Musicianship Musings

Sometimes, the word "musicianship" comes into a music-related conversation. Beginner pianists using the Piano Adventures series are more familiar with the term "artistry" from their Technique & Artistry book. "Artistry" in music and "Musicianship" mean basically the same thing. Ah, but what is artistry? defines it as: a superior skill that you can learn by study and practice and observation; "the art of conversation"; "it's quite an art". I tend to associate "expressiveness" with these words. How well can we as musicians move our audiences? If the song is a happy one, how well can we paint a soundscape to portray that emotion? If the song is dark and mysterious, how well can we communicate that without words?

I feel that musicianship is more important than technique. Yes, technique helps us express ourselves better and helps us deliver a convincing performance; but it's musicianship that pulls on the heartstrings. The emotions we paint are what stays with the audience (and the musician) long after the performance. Most members in an audience won't walk away from a performance thinking "If only she didn't hit that wrong note in bar 25." They remember how the music made them feel.

(c) 2006 by Musespeak(tm), Calgary, AB, Canada. All rights reserved.