Musician: Any Aspiring Musician Should Download As Much Music As He Can
from the well,-that's-one-view... dept
I recently listened to an interview with a famed old school reggae musician, who’s been in the business for 42 years. The interviewer asked him what kind of music he liked to listen to himself, and the guy said: “All kinds.” He explained, by saying that any serious musician should listen to as much music as possible, just to learn from it and build your own skills. So even if he doesn’t play country music or symphonies, he tries to listen to them just to gain a better appreciation of them so that he can take some of that and bring it back to his own music. This is a key point in the creative process, which is often missed by those who insist that musical creation is some sort of individual effort that doesn’t involve outside influence.
It’s also a point highlighted by musician David Hahn, writing a response to a mother concerned about her son file sharing. She sent in a note to The Working Musician, a blog by and for working musicians, saying that her son file shares, and she wants him to stop, saying that he would feel differently if it was his music being shared. Hahn replies, however, by telling her that he feels exactly the opposite: and that her son should download as much music as possible (found via EFF):
My perspective on file-sharing is probably different that you would expect. I think that your son should download every track he can find. I mean it. Download every song out there and sift through them one by one. And not just the genres he likes — but everything — Creole bandeon playing, French rap, hymns, metal, classical, South African jazz, samba — whatever he can find…. If you’re son is really going to be a musician — I mean make a real, professional try at it — he’s going to need to know every one of those genres.
He goes on to give a number of other reasons to support this position, and it makes for quite a read. Obviously, plenty of musicians disagree with this, and we’re not posting this to suggest it’s a representative view of musicians. But it’s yet another well-argued explanation for why locking up music isn’t necessarily in musicians’ best interests, despite what some might tell you.