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Kanye West[edit]

I just came here for the comments. Surprisingly, there are none about hip-hop. The ridiculous amount of racist comments and articles debating whether or not hip-hop producers are "musicians" is beyond quantitative measurement. In other words, there are a boat load of them. Many of them based off of their opinion of the person, such as Kanye West who has quite a notorious media presence, rather than their recorded music or how they perform their music. The endless amount of training and skills it takes to produce much of modern hip-hop music clearly makes them musicians, yet some might rate a tambourine player with almost no music talent as a musician while not considering someone with 20 hit records in the hip-hop genre not a musician. Go figure. And now eternal torture awaits all who doubt my infinite love. - God — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:19, 18 September 2015 (UTC)


is it an age thing or am i having trouble thinking of djs as musicians for good reason? if we accept this, we qare going to have to replace the term musician with instrumentalist in so many places, and that kind of bothers me... --oferdesade-- — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:42, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Who is more of a musician. DJ Jazzy Jeff or the old woman playing tambourine at your church? One persons "sound producing device" you would consider an instrument and the other not so much. But it's pretty easy to figure out. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:27, 18 September 2015 (UTC)

What about Academics?[edit]

I agree with this articles all inclusive approach and attempt to describe various differences between each perceived variant of musician however I must expresses the following preference: A section should be dedicated to musicianship scholars or one who has achieved academic mastery under strict training and assessment either privately or through an academy etc. Such schools (off the top of my head) as the Conservatorium of Music here in Sydney have graduated famous performers of our time. I remember students were majoring in music at high school preparing for university etc. Without advocating how any “musician” should feel about their contribution to the joy of music I feel recognition should be given to music scholars who’s dedication to mastering the science in order to facilitate the art (their own, another's) would other wise be taken for granted. Respectively, musical graduates do not necessarily creatively express anything from within themselves through music but by examination in the very least possess skills that could have made a massive opportunity to a creative without the means to communicate complex musical arrangements or even simple once. It frustrates me that most people won’t know what I'm talking about. Not their fault I suppose. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:58, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Does a musician have to be a person?[edit]

What about say an elephant who plays the xylophone or drums? (they exist!)

Or maybe there is already a word for a non-human or animal who plays music... (talk) 12:43, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

There is a term 'Zoomusicology' to define animal musicians. --Hwan yoon (talk) 02:27, 20 August 2018 (UTC)[1]


  1. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)

Clever, Inappropriate Paragraph Removed[edit]

I took this out:

However, musicians, at least insofar as their human manifestations go, can be distinguished from other creatures that create melodic sounds by their insistence on producing such sounds even when there is no clear reason for them to do so and even in the face of compelling reasons to cease such activity in favour of dealing with crises affecting their personal survival. In other words, even when no reward or likely :P advantage is to be obtained by the performance of "Brown Eyed Girl" or "Mustang Sally" in a bar full of losers, a musician will, nevertheless, perform such composition or other "song" requested by any audience even as his (or her) girlfriend (or boyfriend) is being wooed by the bartender and/or all his/her belongings are being carted off to a disposal site and/or staff of such establishment are telling him/her to "stop now!". (See also, "guitarist" and "singer" and "\hobo ".)

- on the grounds that it is not encyclopedic. It is rather witty and clever and made me smile a bit but I don't think that is a genuine reason for it being in here. Maybe its author would like to reword it into something more suitable? And to be fair some of the humour is a bit old - not such a bad thing but we have all done the homeless joke a bit too much in the past. Maybe a NPOV look at why some people see musicians that way? Otherwise I think it should stay out.

Anonymous grumbler.

More humour for serious musicians - Zigger 17:32, 2004 Mar 28 (UTC)

Should all the links pointing to [[Bassoonist]], for instance, be changed to [[Bassoon]]ist? I can only think of one instance where the playing of the instrument is unusual (Contrabassoon), however it wouldn't amount to much more than a stub, and should be probably merged into Contrabassoon anyway... Dysprosia 08:00, 7 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Not encyclopedic enough[edit]

This article is, in my opinion, not written in a very encyclopedic manner. The paragraph exhibiting its author's negative additude towards bad pop music is very un-equanimous (not that I disagree about its contents.) cool-RR

I removed the paragraph:
  • A special exception must be made to so-called "performers", for example Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera. As they sing other peoples songs, dance other peoples choreography, achieve their popularity solely due to good looks, and require the help of an auto-tuning device in order to sound remotely acceptable. As a rule of thumb, as the ratio of 14 year old female listeners to other listeners approaches 2 or more, it becomes increasingly unlikely that the performer in question is actually a musician.
If that paragraphs contributor would like to re-add that information please provide sources which express your opinions. See: Wikipedia:Cite sources and Wikipedia:No original research.
I tried to add some of the terms used in that para to the article, such as "performer". Hyacinth 04:33, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)

On the other hand...[edit]

I do believe that there is some reasoning behind seperating performers from musicians. Obviously the above paragraph was written in a completely biased manner, however, if one were to talk to the vast majority of actual musicians out there (The ones we all make homeless jokes about), they would be appalled to be lumped in to the same catagory as "performers". Would there be any way of proving this to be the case? I think that's the more difficult question...

Anonymous Time-Waster

As a musician, I can certainly agree with being "appalled" as you say, but bad music is still music, and bad musicians are still musicians, so there's really no reason to keep the separation. Lip-synching is a different kettle of fish. --Wahoofive 07:26, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

For the external links[edit]

I think also applies...they just have it all and it's all about musician!

The site has such a massive structure that musicians can get/do anything from a/z...i really think it should be listed.

Patrick N.

Are boy band members musicians?[edit]

Sounds rather stupid, but they do kinda sing... mirageinred 22:38, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Amateur vs Professional[edit]

This is a very narrow and unfair description. There are many musicians who consider themselves professional, belong to professional organizations such as ASCAP, but who also hold non-music "survival" jobs. The lack of full time music employment does not make them "amateurs." According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 40% of musicians work part time. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

At least the two sentences purportedly defining amateur musicians should be taken out. All musicians play in their own style, not just amateurs. The applicable definition of "amateur" from the American Heritage Dictionary is "A person who engages in an art, science, study, or athletic activity as a pastime rather than as a profession." I will make a preliminary change. Seb144 (talk) 23:33, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Definition of a musician?[edit]

I'm not sure that this page really properly defines what a musician is. I think the first few lines and bullet points can be replaced by this line: "A musician is a person who participates in musical activity, such as playing, singing, conducting, or composing."

This then includes all instrumentalists, vocalists, conductors, composers, and leaves scope to include more academic fields of music like musicologists - it would be silly to say that a musicologist isn't a musician, yet the current definition doesn't make this distinction clear.

I also take issue with this statement: "The concept of the musician and the status of the musician in society varies from culture to culture."

This doesn't bother to explain exactly how the status of musicians varies from culture to culture and is therefore frivolous. It also doesn't allow for the fact that musicians can have different statuses even in the same culture - for example, a boy band could be very popular, with an adoring audience, while in the same culture there might be a "classical" composer struggling to make a living.

This statement, "Both singer and instrumentalist can be improvisers, who create new music in real time," is perhaps worthy of its own subsection in order to expand on the idea, such as including the fact that the singer and instrumentalist can also not be improvisers, reading from music. Currently I believe that this is only implied by the article.

Finally, I don't think that the whole list of bullet points is needed. It is well sumarised by the "usage notes" section.

If nobody has any objections, I might begin to implement these changes.Cosmicpanda (talk) 03:08, 6 January 2008 (UTC)


I do not exactly think that poetry has a place in the musical genre. I am aware that there are tone-poems and how songs often have poetic lyrics, but poetry I feel is something different. SamWhitey (talk) 15:57, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Re: Poet?[edit]

I think poetry does have a place. It's true that there is often "poetry" that does not consider the sound that the letters create, but there is also "music" that doesn't consider the sound the notes create. "Poetry often uses particular forms and conventions to suggest at alternative meanings in the words, or to evoke emotional or sensual responses. Devices such as assonance, alliteration, onomatopoeia and rhythm are sometimes used to achieve musical or incantatory effects. . . . Some forms of poetry are specific to particular cultures and genres, responding to the characteristics of the language in which the poet writes. While readers accustomed to identifying poetry with Dante, Goethe, Mickiewicz and Rumi may think of it as being written in rhyming lines and regular meter, there are traditions, such as those of Du Fu and Beowulf, that use other approaches to achieve rhythm and euphony." (Wikipedia) -Afisamule'al 23:14, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Are all musicians composers?[edit]

Of course they're not, but every single individual named in this article is a composer. Since the vast majority of musicians don't compose, surely we could find at least a few to name. Farinelli? Rostropovich? Or at least some who were better known as players than composers, such as Paganini. —Wahoofive (talk) 16:31, 1 August 2012 (UTC)


As it stands, this article gives an overview the history of Western music and ignores the history of musicians from other, non-European cultures around the world. Also, like Wahoofive above, I have to question this article's current focus on composers and trends in composing, given that the article title is "Musician". If I searched for the term "musician", I would expect an article more about different types of musicians and their instruments than about the history of Western composition... wouldn't you? AtticusX (talk) 14:23, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Agree. This article has a very unbalanced point of view. Despite it is not meant to contain a full list of musicians, some non-Western examples would help a lot. --Isacdaavid (talk) 02:05, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Are singers musicians?[edit]

the article doesn't answer whether voice is an instrument -- (talk) 08:02, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

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