Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Eziachco, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. Eziachco

    Eziachco New Member

    I was wondering what was the ratio of professional musician in the top section band like Black Dyke, Cory or Grimethorpe. I guess all the soloist are professional but do they get paid for that ?
    And wich level do the amateur in these bands have ? I'm not familiar with UK's diploma but if you could tell me how many years of study these musicians have.
  2. Alyn James

    Alyn James Member

    Now there's a lovely can of worms for you isn't it.....:)
  3. Ali

    Ali Member

    As far as I'm aware, brass banding is still amateur in the uk. I think that there maybe retainers and soloist fees at Grimey and Dyke but to my knowlage, there are no professional players as such. Unless you concider the likes of Brett Baker. As far as I know almost every player on top section banding has a job such as teachers, doctors etc.
  4. The Wherryman

    The Wherryman Active Member

    Perhaps a definition of 'professional' and 'amateur' is needed here. For example, members of HM Armed Forces bands, who are involved in brass bands at many levels, are professional musicians. Does that status change if they leave the Service and teach music as well as play?
  5. Eziachco

    Eziachco New Member

    Sorry I'm french, i don't understand :oops:
  6. Eziachco

    Eziachco New Member

    I'd like to avoid the old debate "what is a professional musician" but let's say that I was thinking of musicians who earn their lives by playing or teaching an instrument.
  7. Aidan

    Aidan Active Member

    Going by that definition there is a very small minority of professional players in top bands.
    A much larger chunk of players would be classroom based music teachers rather than instrumental teachers.
    I would think there are very few musicians in the world who can make their living solely on playing and not doing any teaching.

    Avoid thinking that everyone in these bands has a music diploma though, or that they have even studied music at all! Granted there are a fair few music students and graduates but plenty of normal working people with 'normal' jobs are there too.
  8. JAlexK

    JAlexK New Member

    'boîte de Pandore' would probably be closest in the way of a translation.
    He means that asking the quesions can cause cause problems or produce more difficult questions.
  9. The Wherryman

    The Wherryman Active Member

    Rather interestly, from Wiki, "The term professional is used more generally to denote...a person who performs commercially in a field typically reserved for hobbyists or amateurs."

    So does the payment of a retainer or generous 'expenses' suggest that a player is 'performing commercially'? It doesn't appear that it is necessay to obtain a living-providing remuneration to be classed as a professional.

    Many 'professional' musicians/artists/actors have to take on other jobs to keep body and soul together, but still regard themselves as professionals in that field.
  10. Eziachco

    Eziachco New Member

    Ok. And that could be true.
  11. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

  12. The Wherryman

    The Wherryman Active Member

    ...and, if you take out the references to 'recognised' professions, such as doctor or lawyer, it's unremarkable that the majority of the remainder make reference to payment :rolleyes:.
  13. Mujician

    Mujician Member

    A professional is somebody who is paid for what they do, no matter how much, so all the principal players of the top band who are paid a 'retainer' could class themselves as professional musicians. However the majority of these people have real day jobs. Im a peri teacher, so I would call myself a professional musican even though I dont get a lot of paid gigs. I still think I would class myself as a professional musican even if I was in another sort of employment.
  14. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    I've always been led to believe that an individual in any given field must earn most of his/her (taxable) income from that activity. Quibbles can be raised concerning brass band vs. general music performance. However, there seems to be a grey area when someone is sponsored or given enhanced expenses to participate. Athletics is one such domain.
  15. davidaus

    davidaus New Member

  16. Chris Thomas

    Chris Thomas Member

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but we all go to band after work and some of us go to work after band.

    There are various connotations of 'Professional'; it can describe your principal source of income, or it can describe your playing standard. Occasionally, it can apply to both.

  17. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    The term 'professional' in banding terms has often been abused and I feel that it diminishes the strengths and abilities of real professional musicians. If we take a fairly literal definition, a professional musician is a person who earns their living in the music business, be it as a performer, producer, composer etc.

    As there are no hard and fast rules in the banding world, you will find a number of people claiming to be professional musicians. Quite often, we find that they are either music teachers, HM Armed Services bandsmen, or students with delusions of adequacy. In my opinion, these people are not professional musicians; they are teachers and soldiers etc.

    If you hover over my 'experience' bit, you will see what I do for a living. I earn 100% of my income playing a musical instrument (just ask my accountant!). I think that makes me a professional musician, but there are times when I feel that my job description has been hijacked by con-men, liars and the deluded. In the banding world, I also find myself having to justify the word 'freelance' too, but we won't go there for fear of mounting my high horse!
  18. Kjata

    Kjata Member

    I would have to agree with Bass Trumpet, but a professional musician as I was led to believe, especially from the major insurance companies see it (which unfortunately puts me at a disadvantage as a music student) is:

    A musician who earns the majority of their household income from playing their instrument/singing.

    The Bmus undergraduate course for most conservitoires, including the one I will be doing at the RNCM is 4 years, or a 3 year course with the extra year to earn the honours.
  19. Darth_Tuba

    Darth_Tuba Active Member

    Although I agree with most of your post, I fail to see how a forces musician is not a proffessional musician? They get paid for playing, most of the time. Would you say an engineer in the armed forces is not a proffessional engineer? Or a doctor in the armed forces not a professional doctor? Just because the circumstances in which they perform is different doesn't make it any less professional than what you do.

    Personally, I like keeping myself an amateur... in every sense of the word! :)
  20. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Until we have a little war, of course!

    I was aware that some might disagree with me on that one. While I appreciate your point of view, I'll keep mine :D

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