Art or Craft?

The passing of Pavarotti brings again to mind  the question (doesn’t it?) as to whether a performer is an artist or a craftsman. In other words, is he simply providing the vocal expression of what the composer wrote down, or, by his experience and expertise, is he adding to the value of the piece.

Even deeper, it opens the debate about the parts played by the composer, the producer, the conductor, the performer, and the listener (or viewer), in how we appreciate music or other fine arts.  All are essential in the activity, as each has a speciality, and, hopefully, expertise.  

I can only imagine the situation where a composer writes a piece of music, plays it (badly) and listens to his own composition alone. Was the quality of the composition lessened because of his mistakes, or might a hearing problem lessen the experience?

Do you ever wish you had never opened a discussion, but just left the question in the air?

I think in this instance, the latter might have been easier on my brain!!


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