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 Montreal_Guy
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 67
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Is a DJ a musician?Page 2 of 9    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

.I know a lot of DJs, I have yet to meet one who can play with other musicians live, ...unless it's tied to a loop.

There's the defining point, ...do you not "get this"?


That's how I see it, as well. I think, above all, a "musician" should be able to play live with any other musician he encounters rather easily, or at least with a little effort.

No matter what style, or level of expertise they have, that seems to be the defining criteria.

I agree with Late here, I don't see too many DJ's that are capable of that.

Sometimes creative, yes. Entertaining, possibly yes.

Musician, no, at least to me.

They are glorified "sweders"


sweding
Re-making something from scratch using whatever you can get your hands on.


Drives me a bit wild when I read local Montreal alternative papers like Hour and Mirror, and see some lengthy DJ article that seems to present whoever they talk about as some groundbreaking "musician".

Gigs booked for the next two years, rolling in cash, fans galore worldwide, and more groupies than you can imagine.

Meanwhile, a lot of great musicians (the real ones) sit there without jobs or any chance of being heard.
 arwen52
Joined: 3/13/2008
Msg: 68
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Is a DJ a musician?
Posted: 10/1/2010 11:51:02 PM
A DJ plays recorded music, sometimes manipulates it. A musician plays a musical instrument. Why would you ask if a DJ is a musician? Isn't it obvious?

It takes skill to be a good DJ. It's a different skill than being a musician. Just like speaking a foreign language is a different skill than being a cook.

Being a dancer, I appreciate the skills of both good musicians *and* good DJs.

BTW, a musician doesn't have to be professional. There are many non-professional musicians who are more highly skilled than some professionals. Lots of musicians only play one style of music. That doesn't make them any less a musician.


That's how I see it, as well. I think, above all, a "musician" should be able to play live with any other musician he encounters rather easily, or at least with a little effort.

Learning to play well with others is a particular musical skill that not all musicians cultivate. There's lots of solo musicians around. Just because they play solo does not negate that they are musicians.

Insisting that musicians play all genres or play easily with others is, in my opinion, too narrow of a definition of who is a musician. Is one who plays many genres and play with others, but poorly, more of a musician than a highly skilled musician who concentrates on one genre and does it really well? I think these limiting definitions are silly. There are all kinds of musicians. Old time, Irish, classical, jazz, rock, folk, African, Cajun, Zydeco, swing, medieval, new age, Caribbean, orchestral, bluegrass, country, Indian (American and East), Balkan, Turkish, Pakistani, Middle Eastern . . . name all countries, all styles, all time periods. You gonna tell me a musician has to do all of that? Name one!
 Montreal_Guy
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 69
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Is a DJ a musician?
Posted: 10/4/2010 6:38:18 AM

BTW, a musician doesn't have to be professional. There are many non-professional musicians who are more highly skilled than some professionals. Lots of musicians only play one style of music. That doesn't make them any less a musician.


Agree....generally.


That's how I see it, as well. I think, above all, a "musician" should be able to play live with any other musician he encounters rather easily, or at least with a little effort.


What I meant as that (in my opinion) , any musician should be able to at least try to play with others (no matter what their skill level or talent) so that they both enjoy the experience and make some pleasant sounds. That's what it's all about in the end, when playing with others.


Learning to play well with others is a particular musical skill that not all musicians cultivate. There's lots of solo musicians around. Just because they play solo does not negate that they are musicians.


Not at all, nor am I suggesting that. If they love music, then they should (if the opportunity presents itself) focus on the new opportunity to focus on finding some benefit working with others.


Insisting that musicians play all genres or play easily with others is, in my opinion, too narrow of a definition of who is a musician.


Music's a common language, which you can share with someone that doesn't even speak yours.


Is one who plays many genres and play with others, but poorly, more of a musician than a highly skilled musician who concentrates on one genre and does it really well?


Well, if that person can make something that sounds good (not typically by playing poorly, but more by seeing where he fits in) , and can do that across a variety of music styles is (to me) a more rounded musician - not to take anything away from those that focus on playing one style in solo efforts.

That includes playing where you can make it better, and not playing when you can't.


I think these limiting definitions are silly.


You've just proposed limits yourself, in your example of a person playing only one style solo.


There are all kinds of musicians. Old time, Irish, classical, jazz, rock, folk, African, Cajun, Zydeco, swing, medieval, new age, Caribbean, orchestral, bluegrass, country, Indian (American and East), Balkan, Turkish, Pakistani, Middle Eastern . . . name all countries, all styles, all time periods.


And each gives us something new to think about if exposed to it. It's like being at a cooking school, and finding out that there's an entire universe of spices and food products you've never even thought of using. It doesn't mean you have to be a master chef, but (if cooking with someone else) you see where you can overlap and compliment one another where the final dish is concerned.

Maybe you're the best rib cook in the world, but what it I use........saffron ?


You gonna tell me a musician has to do all of that?


They can try, can't they ?

Otherwise you're limiting yourself....

One rare DJ example of note that perhaps illustrates my point is that Aerosmith mash up with Run-DMC, which caused the world of rap and rock and roll to collide head on in a fusion that actually worked quite well - complimenting both.
 Tabris
Joined: 6/20/2010
Msg: 70
Is a DJ a musician?
Posted: 10/5/2010 5:18:14 AM
Is a DJ a musician? For me I don't really consider a DJ a musician. But I do consider a great DJ to have great taste in music and an ear for sound.
 arwen52
Joined: 3/13/2008
Msg: 71
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Is a DJ a musician?
Posted: 10/5/2010 6:03:52 PM

Is a DJ a musician? For me I don't really consider a DJ a musician. But I do consider a great DJ to have great taste in music and an ear for sound.


Definitely! It's something a good DJ and a good musician share in common.


Well, if that person can make something that sounds good . . .


I play strictly old time and some people would argue about whether it sounds good or not! We like to say, "It's not as bad as it sounds." (I think Mark Twain said that of Wagner.) As for my musicianship, I absolutely have no delusions about it. I live for a good jam session, I have fun playing with others. If it's not a good time, what's the point of doing it?
 lateā„¢
Joined: 2/1/2010
Msg: 72
Is a DJ a musician?
Posted: 10/11/2010 8:19:39 PM
The dude walking around campus in flip flops holding an acoustic guitar trying to hit on chicks isn't necessarily a musician either.


Exactly


I think DJ's can be musicians just as much as someone wailing away at a live instrument.


You are forgetting the fact that a musician can change keys, modulate to a change, and vary tempo at will, .... BECAUSE HE'S PLAYING AN INSTRUMENT!

(sigh)

A DJ can't (loops are tied to keys and tempo, ...like any recording)

Whether he is a musician (plays an instrument) or not, he can't function as a musician as a DJ alone.

Simple, no?
 nevvyhat
Joined: 3/12/2011
Msg: 74
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Is a DJ a musician?
Posted: 7/9/2011 9:43:38 PM
I've just come across this forum and this particular thread.

I would like to have some input to this by saying the following:-

No, a DJ is NOT a musician!

Anyone can play records, you don't have to have any real knowledge or skill to be able to put one record on after another. There are, of course, more skilled DJ's who have the ability to be able to mix records to the continuous beat of the current playing track but that is all.

The hard work has already been done by the individual band members spending hours in a studio, sticking each track down seperately and then an engineer running the final mix. What for? Just to have some 'random individual' put the track on some decks with an amplified sound and claim all the plaudits? Give me a break!

The DJ is merely a 'vehicle' a 'tool' if you wish, to get musicians music out there. It matters not if the musician is able to read music or not. A strange thing that comes from musicians that are good readers, is that they lack the ability to be able to 'play by ear' which sometimes means that when they do play be 'reading the dots' they sometimes miss the real timing and feel of a song/tune.

Drummers are musicians too. Anything that provides a rhythm or tune is musical and when played by an individual, that individual is a musician. For those of you who don't believe a drummer is a musician, then try playing to a 'click-track'.
 worldtraveller74
Joined: 5/10/2011
Msg: 75
Is a DJ a musician?
Posted: 7/9/2011 10:29:49 PM
DJs are not musicians. They are technicians.
 RSwindol
Joined: 8/25/2005
Msg: 76
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Is a DJ a musician?
Posted: 7/17/2011 6:12:01 AM
I would consider a good DJ an artist, but not a musician.

The reason I would consider them an artist is because they do compose by mixing different songs together and whatnot. But they don't know how to play an instrument, so I can't really call them a musician.

I even consider vocalists musicians. Their voice is their instrument. Though it did take me many years to realize that.
 RyanfromMI
Joined: 1/16/2011
Msg: 77
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Is a DJ a musician?
Posted: 7/21/2011 2:35:21 PM
Your looking at this from the point of view of a "club DJ". Those jockeys spin other artists music. But dont get that confused with electronic producers. Producers are musicians. They create their own music via different samples of bass, snare, trebble, and various other sounds using music software. Producers are also DJ's. They play their own shows just as any band would.
 THEKidWicked
Joined: 8/9/2010
Msg: 80
Is a DJ a musician?
Posted: 8/6/2011 10:56:34 PM
spinning recorded music doesn't make you a musician.

eating a filet-o-fish doesn't make you captain highlander.

watching nascar doesn't make you a car.

robert johnson sold his soul to the devil and created the blues which **stardized into rock n roll.

so you can blame or thank him.


k.w.
it's hard to be a rock n roller
 poet88
Joined: 7/28/2011
Msg: 83
Is a DJ a musician?
Posted: 8/16/2011 1:26:02 AM
Now do you mean a DJ at say a clubbecause if so then no. Then you have some people such as DJ Tiesto and many others who create there own beats and sounds. They also take someone elses work and mke it into something more.
 chukchillout
Joined: 4/20/2009
Msg: 84
Is a DJ a musician?
Posted: 8/19/2011 6:19:37 PM
A DJ is most definitely a musician! I produce beats & DJ & if you know how music works you can create a whole new song by taking small samples and layering them....I've flipped samples from popular old rock/jazz/funk records to the point they take on a whole new being. Check out DJ's like Q-Bert, Vajra, The X-ecutioners or Beat Junkies & seriously tell me there not musicians! The turntable is highly respected like a guitarist or drummer if its done correct.
 DYLANBROCHILL
Joined: 11/30/2010
Msg: 87
Is a DJ a musician?
Posted: 8/26/2011 4:56:05 PM
The gray area is where there are DJs who compose their own music, and DJs who play strictly other people's mixes or the top 40 or whatever. I completely respect a DJ that spins his own creation and adding extra elements that you wouldn't hear on an mp3 on your iPod. I personally think that the live aspect is more about the energy and the emotions evoked by the artists music, and not about whether or not he knows what a 6/4 time signature is. Hell I'd even dance to the guy who plays the top 40 all night. We could all sit behind our screens and bash who is and who isn't a musician but you need to experience it to judge it. It's controversial, but if you throw a rock at a wall and it makes a thud, that's music. If you scratch an old record, that's music. That's a real rough thought but I believe it to be true.
 THEKidWicked
Joined: 8/9/2010
Msg: 88
Is a DJ a musician?
Posted: 8/27/2011 10:58:33 AM

Absolutely not. It's like calling Britney Spears a musician (I LOVE her music, but she is an entertainer)
Musicians make their own original music, not sample from other talented musicians.


whose music did she sample? she has writing credits on half her albums. she certainly uses outside writers but doesn't exclude her from being a musician.

are cover bands musicians? they don't write their own stuff.

what about ozzy? he can't even play an instrument.
 THEKidWicked
Joined: 8/9/2010
Msg: 90
Is a DJ a musician?
Posted: 8/27/2011 1:12:59 PM
what you're saying is that singers aren't musicians. you're wrong.

or if you don't write your own songs you aren't a musician.

a musician is an artist who writes, performs, or creates music.

an artist using someone else's song isn't "sampling." if it's already been recorded it's called "covering". like what cover bands do. or many recoding artists.

sampling is when you incorporate a part of another song into your own.

k.w.
never wrong
 DYLANBROCHILL
Joined: 11/30/2010
Msg: 91
Is a DJ a musician?
Posted: 8/27/2011 3:47:24 PM
So if noise isn't music, then why is one of John Cages most famous pieces is "4'33", a 3 movement composition of "silence", which in reality is actually noise? He strived to compose something out of the norm, something beautiful by chance. You're merely viewing music through a social view, and not as an abstract artform like much of the arts evolve from. If a person can create something that evokes emotion, it's art. It's music.
 DYLANBROCHILL
Joined: 11/30/2010
Msg: 93
Is a DJ a musician?
Posted: 8/28/2011 8:15:27 AM
Throw as many analogies as you want at it, the door swings both ways. The essence of music is the timbral qualities behind the notes, and ambience is an expansion on that field. If you think music always has to be pleasing to the ears, you're just being close minded. Music is trying to move forward artistically, and that kind of negativity is what's stopping it. If DJing is in an experimental stage of becoming an accepted art on its own, I welcome it. Whether they reach the end of that path or not, I consider them musicians.
 DYLANBROCHILL
Joined: 11/30/2010
Msg: 94
Is a DJ a musician?
Posted: 8/28/2011 5:25:33 PM
Well I'm not above accepting defeat in an argument, and I can't help but agree with you in some areas. I will however continue to live in blissful ignorance seeing DJ's as musicians the same as myself.
 octivate
Joined: 1/11/2011
Msg: 96
Is a DJ a musician?
Posted: 9/2/2011 5:46:56 AM
there are DJs who just spin records, and there are DJ's who sample records to create new records. the former i would not consider a musician, the latter i would. i see DJ compositions to be music's version of collage works in visual art. DJ is a broad term and I think the truly talented artists in this genre (DJ Krush, DJ Shadow for example) do themselves a disservice by attaching the label infront of their name, but perhaps it is a proud salute to how they started.

there is also a huge difference between the complexity of art/work of those who would call themselves a dj. a traditional hip hop dj just loops records and does the 'wicka wicka' as it was called in this thread lol. scratching is an art form in itself- watch some dj championship videos on youtube (improvising drum beats by scratching 2 records to individual drum shots is damn impressive). but the creative/artist dj uses many many records as well as samples for a song and writes beats basslines melodies with drum machines or synths, mixed in with loops, or extremely edited loops.
 THEKidWicked
Joined: 8/9/2010
Msg: 97
Is a DJ a musician?
Posted: 9/2/2011 6:51:48 PM
dj's that sample other artists are PLAYING SOMEONE ELSE'S MUSIC!

same as the dj in the peeler bar.

i might call a "wiki wiki" scratcher guy an artist but not a musician.



k.w.
former dj
 redraider609
Joined: 2/2/2007
Msg: 98
Is a DJ a musician?
Posted: 9/4/2011 2:17:09 AM
A musician is a person who composes, performs, or creates music in some way. Now, whether or not that music is purely composed by that DJ, or it is mixed and mashed up/cut from other people's own compositions is not important: it is STILL MUSIC, therefore the person who creates it is a musician (the DJ).

Also, never confuse the quality of music with the idea that the person who made it is not a musician. If you think it is noise, or just so terrible, it doesn't mean that it isn't music..... there are so many people out there who state something along the lines of *ugh that is so terribly sounding, how can anyone consider that music*.

Well it is music. Even if it isn't quality music that was crafted carefully and with purely musical intentions. "Talent" has NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with holding the label of musician.

EXAMPLE: If a child is banging a ladle on a metal pot for 5 minutes with the conscious intention of rhythm, it is being a musician for 5 minutes.

EXAMPLE #2: The sound of rain falling on a tin roof and the boom of thunder are noises that are non-musical because there was no one there to create them - they occurred naturally. If I was to sample these noises and throw them together (even in the simplest and easiest way with no technique) I am being a musician.

P.S. I have studied music, am classically trained, and am currently a professional musician.

Thanks.
 redraider609
Joined: 2/2/2007
Msg: 99
Is a DJ a musician?
Posted: 9/4/2011 8:51:42 AM

Has anybody actually said this on the thread?


Who cares if anyone has said it yet? I'm saying it now. Every word of my response doesn't need to be directly correlated to anything that has been said before. I'm making a point.


Another vote for "throw a rock at the wall "- get your union card.


If I organized the sound of that rock hitting the wall to occur at a certain time and have a certain musical purpose, then yes it would be music. Just the sound of a rock hitting the wall without any kind of purpose or musical thought would be noise.
 THEKidWicked
Joined: 8/9/2010
Msg: 104
Is a DJ a musician?
Posted: 9/9/2011 10:02:37 PM

. I think there's a difference between a musician and a professional musician though. I like a professional musician should be able to read music in all the clefs, transpose music, be able to recognize intervals and chords, and be proficient at at least one instrument.


so ozzy isn't a professional? he can't read anything. can't play an instrument.

slash can't read music. the list is endless.

a professional gets PAID for playing or writing music. period.


k.w.
seriously?
 Jamerson54
Joined: 6/3/2011
Msg: 105
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History
Is a DJ a musician?
Posted: 9/10/2011 3:55:57 PM
FFS.....some total shite going down here. The question in the first instance is ridiculous. I am, or rather have been, a musician and DJ, and there is no comparison between the two.
Not going into a heavy discussion, save to say......try using a dictionary, or for the challenged, Wikipedia. The answer lies therein.
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