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Author Topic: For whom do we play?  (Read 2724 times)

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Theo

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Re: For whom do we play?
« Reply #40 on: October 07, 2018, 08:23:26 AM »

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Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

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James Fitton

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Re: For whom do we play?
« Reply #41 on: October 07, 2018, 04:31:20 PM »

Thinking about last night's (pretty typical) gig......


There's the core of dancers who know what they're soing, dance almost every dance, and bring others along, as they make it look fine. There's the couples who are enjoying a night out, and the time they're spending together. There are the terrible dancers, laughing and clapping out of time, but enjoying the messing avout together. The little children sliding around on the polished wooden floor. The older children practising ballet steps to the music. The people just drinking and chatting, and sometimes tapping their feet or the table in time. The people who leave early with children or jobs, the people who stay till the last dance. I play for them all, and all of them make it feel worthwhile. Sometimes I play just for myself, but mostly to help all those people have a different sort of evening, with music and dancing and friends and laughter. Nothing to beat it.
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Nick Ray

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Re: For whom do we play?
« Reply #42 on: October 08, 2018, 07:52:06 PM »

Thank you James F.
How simply and beautifully put!
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Andrius

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Re: For whom do we play?
« Reply #43 on: October 08, 2018, 09:33:56 PM »

It seems most important answer still not here.
We are playing for the soul, of course  :||:
If not - misery and suffering for both - player and listeners...
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: For whom do we play?
« Reply #44 on: October 09, 2018, 07:18:46 AM »

Yes, thank you James, that strikes a chord with me too.
Nicely put.
Q
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Thrupenny Bit

I think I'm starting to get most of the notes in roughly the right order...... sometimes!

Winston Smith

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Re: For whom do we play?
« Reply #45 on: October 09, 2018, 08:18:54 AM »

I feel confident that Mr Fitton's contribution will ring true with a great many of the members here, especially as (or so it seems) most play in a professional or semi-professional roll for dancing of one sort or another. I can see that they might glean immense pleasure from performing those rolls to the benefit of such a disparate "audience". (Mind you, I hope that they aren't a part of the "black economy" and declare whatever income it generates on their tax forms?)

In the meantime, "those for whom we play" will not be so diverse a bunch for the rubbish but still happy players such as myself! I mostly play just for the fun of it, for myself, and occasionally (when I'm fairly confident that there'll be no proficient squeezebox players of any kind there) I'll take one to our local folk club, in order to torture the other members there. Oh, and at Christmas time, I do a little busking for a particular charity. But that is just for local shoppers who suffer my playing for a minute or so as they go in and out! They might hum the Carol tune as they peruse the shelves, who knows?

I often find myself wondering what proportion of members actually do make money from their playing, so much so that maybe I should start a thread which asks that very question? 
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Re: For whom do we play?
« Reply #46 on: October 09, 2018, 08:22:36 AM »

This has been a really interesting topic. Some great contributions from everyone, thank you!

Just a quick hint for newcomers to this thread who may not have read right from the beginning...
There is a story attached to my initial post here.
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Eshed

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Re: For whom do we play?
« Reply #47 on: October 09, 2018, 08:31:48 AM »

It seems most important answer still not here.
We are playing for the soul, of course  :||:
If not - misery and suffering for both - player and listeners...
Exactly.
We're playing because the alternative is unthinkable.
I'm pretty sure playing preserves what's left of my sanity.
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Re: For whom do we play?
« Reply #48 on: October 09, 2018, 09:10:42 AM »

This has been a really interesting topic. Some great contributions from everyone, thank you!

Just a quick hint for newcomers to this thread who may not have read right from the beginning...
There is a story attached to my initial post here.

Rereading the story, the key passage, of the first part, is:

"‘Well’, said the little man, ‘I can soon cure that for you’, he said. ‘I can give you the gift of piping.’ He said, ‘Tell me Henry – which would you prefer: music  to please yourself and nobody else, or music to please everybody and not please yourself?’"

Does it have to be an either or dilemma?
I read the moral as being if you are not self critical of yourself you will not learn to play well. Set yourself higher standards than others.

Have I got it wrong?
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John MacKenzie (Cugiok)

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Re: For whom do we play?
« Reply #49 on: October 09, 2018, 09:51:33 AM »

As a bit of a distantly related non sequitur, here is a quote from a friend of mine, who also happens to be a well known singer and songwriter.
"If you find yourself the best player in the group, it's time to find yourself a new group."
So it matters not for whom you play, only that you improve as you go.

Sir John
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Theo

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Re: For whom do we play?
« Reply #50 on: October 09, 2018, 10:01:25 AM »

That’s good advice John.  I’ve always tried to get in among players who are better than me. I’m lucky in having some very tolerant friends who are very good musicians.  I’m still learning.  That’s one of the great things about music, there is always more to learn.
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Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: For whom do we play?
« Reply #51 on: October 09, 2018, 10:45:45 AM »

Totally agree with John and Theo.
As my wife said recently, your hobby is something that you will always be learning from, improving and enjoying.
Long may it be so.....
Q
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Thrupenny Bit

I think I'm starting to get most of the notes in roughly the right order...... sometimes!

Jozz

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Re: For whom do we play?
« Reply #52 on: October 09, 2018, 03:07:13 PM »

Regarding the story for me it's not black or white. I'm very pragmatic about my playing. Private or publicly.

At home I pick up the instrument at random times for my own enjoyment or to practice. Some days I feel like it, some days I don't.

Later, outside, I get hired to do a job, so firstly I am playing for the organizer. But if crowd reception is good, you enjoy yourself also, more than alone at home.

But one thing is for sure, never have I thought: I wish this gig was over. So playing for my own enjoyment seems to be always in the background.
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catty

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Re: For whom do we play?
« Reply #53 on: October 11, 2018, 03:54:48 AM »

Accordian - I guess I wanted to figure out how to play it, without any initial aspirations otherwise.  I persevered with it, specifically, as an effective performing instrument.  I labor(ed) with it 10 years, not always enamored, as I conceived of it precisely such.  Melodeon was always more fun, but coincidentally not as ultimately fulfilling, polyphonically.  So, I play accordion/melodeon primarily for performing.  There are other instruments I play more for myself.
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Gary Chapin

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Re: For whom do we play?
« Reply #54 on: October 11, 2018, 06:49:04 PM »

That’s good advice John.  I’ve always tried to get in among players who are better than me. I’m lucky in having some very tolerant friends who are very good musicians.  I’m still learning.  That’s one of the great things about music, there is always more to learn.

This reminds me of the quote, "If you're the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room." I want to be around people I can learn from.
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Phil Howard

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Re: For whom do we play?
« Reply #55 on: October 12, 2018, 07:44:17 AM »

If we play for others because we enjoy their enjoyment, isn’t this therefore a form of playing for ourselves?
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Julian S

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Re: For whom do we play?
« Reply #56 on: October 12, 2018, 08:09:37 AM »

Reflecting further on this, as well as the enjoyment of providing music for others, particularly for dancing, playing an instrument is for me a fundamental part of my well being. Being retired, and probably having never being much of a success at anything ( ::)), I have the time to devote effort to trying to get better at playing the music I love, no matter whether the tunes ever get performed. And there are so many wonderful and inspirational musicians out there to listen and learn from.

J
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