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Author Topic: Do You Play a Musical Instrument?  (Read 1660 times) Average Rating: 0
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Justin Kissel
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« on: October 31, 2009, 12:24:57 AM »

Like the title says, do you play a musical instrument? Or have you played one in the past?

When I was in elementary school I tried to play an instrument for band, but I stunk at it and I don't even remember what it was anymore. I've played the guitar for about 15 years, though you wouldn't know it from hearing the noise that comes from my guitars. Actually I could probably play just as well when I was in a garage band back in high school play Metallica covers as I can now after all these years. Also, I just bought a bass guitar this past July, so I've only been playing that for about 3 months.
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« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2009, 12:36:23 AM »

Instrument?  I play on people's nerves.  Grin Grin
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« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2009, 12:40:27 AM »

I've attempted.  laugh  I'll leave it at that.
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« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2009, 01:18:24 AM »

Although it's been quite a few years now, I can play the b flat trumpet.
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« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2009, 01:26:35 AM »

Acoustic guitar for 15+ years and now learning the feadóg (Irish tinwhistle)...

Here's Fr. Ryan Dunn (RCC) playing 'The Kesh Jig' on his feadóg.  I've learned quite a bit from Fr. Ryan as well as some great books out there.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnUy349nuqA
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« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2009, 01:48:40 AM »

Electric tweedilly guitar.
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« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2009, 02:14:52 AM »

Let's see:

Strings:

viola
cello
bass guitar

woodwinds:
clarinet
oboe
tenor saxophone

brass:
french horn
trumpet

percussion:
quints (during marching season)

other:
piano (way out of practice)
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« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2009, 06:06:33 PM »

Let's see:

Strings:

viola
cello
bass guitar

woodwinds:
clarinet
oboe
tenor saxophone

brass:
french horn
trumpet

percussion:
quints (during marching season)

other:
piano (way out of practice)

Show off! j/k  Tongue  Wink laugh Kiss

I studied music for 12 years, played the alto sax in HS, and have been singing in choirs since 4th grade.
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« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2009, 06:33:56 PM »

Piano and Organ.
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« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2009, 07:23:24 PM »

trombone, which I've been playing now for 26 years
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« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2009, 09:16:01 PM »

Guitar for 22 years now.  Wow.  I feel old all of a sudden Wink
Bass guitar, a bit, because I do my own home demos and have to have something.  I'm by no means good at it, but I can keep the beat.
Concertina, a bit, because my wife wanted to learn how to play it, yet I somehow play it more than she does.
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« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2009, 09:44:16 PM »

I realize we are not Lutheran, but I found this while doing research for an Art paper, and I thought it was so funny that I had to share it.

Enjoy!

"To each person, God gives some talent, such as writing, just to name one, and to many persons He has given musical talent, though not as many as think so. For the young Lutheran, the question must be: Do I have a genuine God-given musical talent, or do I only seem gifted in comparison to other Lutherans?

If your talent is choir or organ, there’s no problem. Choir members and organists can be sure their gift is from God because who else but God would be interested? Just like nobody gets fat on celery, nobody goes into church music for the wrong motives.

But for a Lutheran who feels led to play in an orchestra, the first question must be: Are you kidding? An orchestra?

In the Bible, we read about people singing and playing musical instruments, the harp, trumpet, psaltery, but always in praise of the Lord, not for amusement. We do not read that our Lord Himself ever played an instrument or enjoyed hearing others play theirs. The apostles did not attend concerts or go to dances. Are you sure this is what you want? Do you know what you’re getting into? Opera. Is that anyplace for a Christian? Don Juan and Mephistopheles and Wagner and all his pagan goddesses hooting and hollering, and the immorality – I mean, is anybody in opera married? You play in an orchestra, you’re going to wind up in opera, and the next thing you know, you’re going to be skipping Sunday mornings.

If you steer clear of opera and stick to orchestral concert music, where are the Christian composers? Modern ones are existentialists, the Romantics were secular humanists, the eighteenth century was all rationalists, and the seventeenth was Italians, except for Bach, and you can’t make a living playing Bach. You go in an orchestra, you’re going to be devoting your life to a lot of music that sort of swirls around in spiritual mystery searching for answers that people could find in the Bible if someone showed them where to look.

But if you’re determined to play in an orchestra, then you ought to ask yourself: Which instrument is the best one for a Lutheran to play? If our Lord had played an instrument, which one would he have chosen? Probably not a French horn. It takes too much of a person’s life. French horn players hardly have the time to marry and have children. The French horn is practically a religion all by itself. Should a Lutheran play the bassoon? Not if you want to be taken seriously. The name says it all: bassoon. Maybe you’d do it for a hobby (“Let’s go bassooning this weekend, honey!”) but not as your life occupation.

Many Lutherans start out playing clarinets in marching band and think of the clarinet as a Christian instrument, clear and strong and almost human, but a symphonic clarinet is different from the band clarinet: it’s sardonic, skeptical and definitely worldly. The English horn sounds Christian, maybe because we think of it as the Anglican Horn, but it’s so mournful, so plaintive. And so are English Horn players. They all have incredibly complicated problems, they’re all depressed, especially at night, which is when the concerts are.

The oboe is the sensualist of the woodwind section, and if there’s ever a wind a Lutheran should avoid, it’s this one. In movie soundtracks, you tend to hear the oboe when the woman is taking off her clothes, or else later, when she asks the man for a cigarette.

The flute is the big shot of the wind section. Jean-Pierre Rampal, James Galway, both millionaires (how many millionaire bassoonists are there?), because everyone knows it’s the hardest to play. To spend your life blowing across a tiny hole – it’s not really normal is it? The flute is a temptation to pride. Avoid it. The last member of the woodwind family is the flakiest, and that’s the piccolo. No Salvation Army Band ever included a piccolo and no piccolo virtuoso ever did an album of gospel music. This is not a devotional instrument.

We come now to the string section. Strings are mentioned in the Scripture and therefore some Lutherans are tempted to become string players, but be careful. Bass, for example. An extremely slow instrument, the plowhorse of the orchestra, and bass players tend to be a little methodical, not inventive, not quick, not witty or brilliant, but reliable. This makes the instrument very tempting to German Lutherans. And yet, bass notes have a darkness and depth to them that, let’s face it, is sexual. And when bass players pick up their bows, I don’t think there’s any doubt what’s going on in their minds back there.

The cello section seems so normal, and cellists seem like such nice people. The way they put their arms around their instruments, they look like parents zipping up a child’s snowsuit. They seem like us: comfortable, middle-range. And yet there is something too comfortable, maybe too sensual, about the cello. The way they hold the instrument between their legs: why can’t they hold it across their laps or alongside themselves?

The viola section is not a nice place for a Lutheran and here you’ll have to have to take my word for it. I know violists and they are fine people until, late at night, they start drinking a few bottles of cheap red wine and roasting chickens over a pit in a vacant lot and talk about going to Yucatan with a woman named Rita. Don’t be part of this crowd.

The violin is a problem for any Christian because it is a solo instrument, a virtuoso instrument, and we’re not solo people. We believe in taking a back seat and being helpful. So Christians think about becoming second violinists. They’re steady, humble, supportive. But who do they support? First violins. You want to get involved with them? The first violins are natural egotists. The conductor looks to them first, and most first violinists believe that the conductor secretly takes his cue from them, that he, a simple foreign person, gets carried away by listening to the violins and falls into a romantic, emotional reverie and forgets where in the score he is and looks to the concertmaster, the No. 1 first violin, to find out what’s going on: this is what violinists believe in their hearts. If the conductor dropped dead, the rest of the orchestra would simply follow the violin section, while the maestro’s body was carried away, and nobody would know the difference. Is this a place for a Lutheran to be? In the biggest collection of gold-plated narcissists ever gathered on one stage? No.

Let’s be clear about the brass section. First of all, the rest of the orchestra wishes the brass were playing in another room, and so does the conductor. His back is toward the audience, so they can’t see what he’s saying to the brass section; he’s saying: You’re too damn loud, shut the [heck] up (in Italian, this doesn’t sound course at all). The brass section is made up of men who were at one time in the construction trades and went into music because the hours were better. They are heavy dudes, and that’s why composers wrote so few notes for them: because they’re juveniles.

The tuba player, for example, is a stocky bearded guy who has a day job as a plumber. He’s the only member of the orchestra who bowls and goes deer hunting. It’s not an instrument for a sensitive Lutheran, and anyway, there’s only one tuba and he’s it. The trombonist is a humorist. He carries a water spray gun to keep his slide moist and often uses it against other members of the orchestra. A Shriner at heart, he knows more Speedy Gonzalez jokes than you thought existed. The trumpet is the brass instrument you imagine as Christian, thinking of Gideon and of the Psalms, but then you meet a real-life trumpet player and realize how militaristic these people are. They don’t want to wear black tie and play Bach, they want tight uniforms with shiny buttons, and they want to play as loudly as they possibly can. Most of the people who keel over dead at concerts are killed by trumpets.

There are two places in the orchestra for a Lutheran, and one is percussion. It’s the most Lutheran instrument there is. Percussionists are endlessly patient, because they don’t get to play much. Pages and pages of music go by where the violins are sawing away and the winds are tooting and the brass is blasting but the percussionist sits and counts the bars, like a hunter waiting for the quail to appear. A percussionist may have to wait for twenty minutes just to play a few beats, but those beats have to be exact and they have to be passionate and climactic. All that the epistles of Paul say a Christian should be – faithful, waiting, trusting, filled with fervor – are the qualities of the percussionist.

The other Lutheran instrument, of course, is the harp. It is the perfect instrument for a Christian because it keeps you humble. You can’t gallivant around with a harp. Having one is like living with an elderly parent in poor health – it’s hard to get them in and out of cars, impossible to satisfy them. A harp takes fourteen hours to tune and remains in tune for twenty minutes or until somebody opens a door. It’s an instrument for a saint. If a harpist could find a good percussionist, they wouldn’t need an orchestra at all; they could settle down and make wonderful music, just the two of them’.


– Garrison Keillor, ‘The Young Lutheran’s Guide to the Orchestra’ in We Are Still Married (New York: Viking Penguin, 1989), 30–4.
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« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2009, 10:08:47 PM »

I've played the piano for 20 years and the guitar (electric and acoustic) for 11. I took up singing about five years ago, and I've played the drums for about a year. I would love to learn to play the cello, but that takes time and money. Maybe someday.
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« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2009, 10:59:48 PM »

I've always wanted to learn the Clarinet except I would only care about playing old folk songs.   Shocked

While DJ Hero isn't an instrument; It sure looks fun.   Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2009, 09:10:16 AM »

I have enjoyed both Guitar Hero and Rock Band, and I think my appreciation is deepened by actually playing all of the instruments. No, it's not the same: For one, there's no room for creativity in the video games (which is, IMO, the best part of playing music); and for another, the song list is limited mainly to rock hits (though they do make an effort to include other styles, such as funk and blues). But overall, the games are just fun--which is the main point of music, isn't it?
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« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2009, 01:46:49 PM »

Guitar Hero and Rock Band are NOT and will NEVER be the same as playing real instruments.  The south park episode which lampooned this whole phenomenon was dead on accurate!
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« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2009, 06:01:26 PM »

Guitar, keyboard, drums
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« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2009, 09:15:29 PM »

Used to play piano.  Now, just the vocal cords.
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« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2009, 09:30:05 PM »

Guitar.  And could still probably play my trumpet.
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« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2009, 12:06:10 AM »

Unfortunately, no. Since my very early childhood, I had a perfect ear for music, a very good musical memory; I could repeat a very complicated tune without a single mistake. I also had a rather good singing voice as for a child, a second discanto. When I was a second grader, I was picked up and admitted into the Kiev Boys' Choir "Dzvinochok" ("Little Bell"), and I rehearsed with that choir for about 6 years, and participated in its recitals (concerts), and went for trips to Moscow and elsewhere, and was on the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic's Central TV, etc. etc. etc. But my finger coordination was, for whatever reason, very poor, and I never learned to play piano or guitar. 
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« Reply #20 on: November 04, 2009, 05:23:01 AM »

The trombonist is a humorist. He carries a water spray gun to keep his slide moist and often uses it against other members of the orchestra. A Shriner at heart, he knows more Speedy Gonzalez jokes than you thought existed.
Hey!  I resemble that description! Grin

One of the funniest orchestra stories I ever heard was an urban legend about a trombonist.  I'll quote it here from the Darwin Awards web site:

Quote
Mad Trombonist
1998 Urban Legend
(August 1998, Uruguay) In a misplaced moment of inspiration, Paolo Esperanza, bass-trombonist with the Symphonica Maya de Uruguay, decided to make his own contribution to the cannon shots fired during a performance of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture at an outdoor children's concert.

In complete disregard of common sense, he dropped a large lit firecracker, equivalent in strength to a quarter stick of dynamite, into his aluminum straight mute, and then stuck the mute into the bell of his new Yamaha in-line double-valve bass trombone.

Later from his hospital bed he explained to a reporter through a mask of bandages, "I thought the bell of my trombone would shield me from the explosion and focus the energy of the blast outwards and away from me, propelling the mute high above the orchestra like a rocket."

However Paolo was not up to speed on his propulsion physics, nor was he qualified to wield high-powered artillery. Despite his haste to raise the horn before the firecracker exploded, he failed to lift the bell of the horn high enough for the airborne mute's arc to clear the orchestra. What happened should serve as a lesson to us all during our own delirious moments of divine inspiration.

First, because he failed to sufficiently elevate the bell of his horn, the blast propelled the mute between rows of musicians in the woodwind and viola section, where it bypassed the players and rammed straight into the stomach of the conductor, driving him backwards off the podium and directly into the front row of the audience.

Fortunately, the audience was sitting in folding chairs and thus they were protected from serious injury. The chairs collapsed under the first row, and passed the energy from the impact of the flying conductor backwards into the people sitting behind them, who in turn were driven back into the people in the third row and so on, like a row of dominoes. The sound of collapsing wooden chairs and grunts of people falling on their behinds increased geometrically, adding to the overall commotion of cannons and brass playing the closing measures of the Overture.

Meanwhile, unplanned audience choreography notwithstanding, Paolo Esperanza's Waterloo was still unfolding back on stage. According to Paolo, "As I heard the sound of the firecracker blast, time seemed to stand still. Right before I lost consciousness, I heard an Austrian accent say, "Fur every akshon zer iz un eekval unt opposeet reakshon!" This comes as no surprise, for Paolo was about to become a textbook demonstration of this fundamental law of physics.

Having failed to plug the lead pipe of his trombone, he paved the way for the energy of the blast to send a superheated jet of gas backwards through the mouthpiece, which slammed into his face like the hand of fate, burning his lips and face and knocking him mercifully unconscious.

The pyrotechnic ballet wasn't over yet. The force of the blast was so great it split the bell of his shiny new Yamaha trombone right down the middle, turning it inside out while propelling Paolo backwards off the riser. For the grand finale, as Paolo fell to the ground, his limp hands lost their grip on the slide of the trombone, allowing the pressure of the hot gases to propel the slide like a golden spear into the head of the third clarinetist, knocking him senseless.

The moral of the story? The next time a trombonist hollers "Watch this!" you'd better duck!
<< http://darwinawards.com/legends/legends1998-17.html >>
« Last Edit: November 04, 2009, 05:26:28 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2009, 12:51:10 PM »

I've been playing the Great Highland Bagpipes for nearly three years now. I usually play in a band, but night classes this semester prevent me from playing with them. Such a rewarding instrument.
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