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A musician is a person who composes, conducts, or performs music.According to the United States Employment Service, "musician" is a general term used to designate one who follows music as a profession. Musicians include songwriters who write both music and lyrics for songs, conductors who direct a musical performance, or performers who perform for an audience. A music performer is generally either a singer who provides vocals or an instrumentalist who plays a musical instrument. Musicians may perform on their own or as part of a group, band or orchestra. Musicians can specialize in a musical genre, though a good number of musicians play a variety of different styles depending on cultures and backgrounds. A musician who records and releases music can be known as a recording artist.
A composer is a musician who creates musical compositions. The title is principally used for those who write classical music or film music. Those who write the music for popular songs may be called songwriters. Those who mainly write the words for songs may be referred to as lyricists.
Examples of performers include, but are not limited to, instrumentalists and singers who perform for an audience. A musician can perform as a solo artist or as a part of an ensemble (e.g. an orchestra, a choir or a pop group).
Music is generally defined as the art of arranging sound to create some combination of form, harmony, melody, rhythm, or otherwise expressive content. Definitions of music vary depending on culture, though it is an aspect of all human societies and a cultural universal. While scholars agree that music is defined by a few specific elements, there is no consensus on their precise definitions. The creation of music is commonly divided into musical composition, musical improvisation, and musical performance, though the topic itself extends into academic disciplines, criticism, philosophy, and psychology. Music may be performed or improvised using a vast range of instruments, including the human voice.
A song is a musical composition performed by the human voice. This is often done at distinct and fixed pitches (melodies) using patterns of sound and silence. Songs contain various forms, such as those including the repetition and variation of sections.
Musical composition can refer to an original piece or work of music, either vocal or instrumental, the structure of a musical piece or to the process of creating or writing a new piece of music. People who create new compositions are called composers. Composers of primarily songs are usually called songwriters; with songs, the person who writes lyrics for a song is the lyricist. In many cultures, including Western classical music, the act of composing typically includes the creation of music notation, such as a sheet music "score", which is then performed by the composer or by other musicians. In popular music and traditional music, songwriting may involve the creation of a basic outline of the song, called the lead sheet, which sets out the melody, lyrics and chord progression. In classical music, orchestration is typically done by the composer, but in musical theatre and in pop music, songwriters may hire an arranger to do the orchestration. In some cases, a pop or traditional songwriter may not use written notation at all and instead compose the song in their mind and then play, sing or record it from memory. In jazz and popular music, notable sound recordings by influential performers are given the weight that written or printed scores play in classical music.
Sheet music is a handwritten or printed form of musical notation that uses musical symbols to indicate the pitches, rhythms, or chords of a song or instrumental musical piece. Like its analogs – printed books or pamphlets in English, Arabic, or other languages – the medium of sheet music typically is paper. However, access to musical notation since the 1980s has included the presentation of musical notation on computer screens and the development of scorewriter computer programs that can notate a song or piece electronically, and, in some cases, "play back" the notated music using a synthesizer or virtual instruments.
In popular music, a cover version, cover song, remake, revival, or simply cover, is a new performance or recording by a musician other than the original performer or composer of the song. Originally, it referred to a version of a song released around the same time as the original in order to compete with it. Now, it refers to any subsequent version performed after the original.
A singer-songwriter is a musician who writes, composes, and performs their own musical material, including lyrics and melodies. In the United States, the category is built on the folk-acoustic tradition, although this role has transmuted through different eras of popular music. Singer-songwriters often provide the sole accompaniment to an entire composition or song, typically using a guitar or piano. In the early 21st century, digital production tools such as GarageBand began to be used by singer-songwriters to compose their music.
A composer is a person who writes music. The term is especially used to indicate composers of Western classical music, or those who are composers by occupation. Many composers are, or were, also skilled performers of music.
Street performance or busking is the act of performing in public places for gratuities. In many countries, the rewards are generally in the form of money but other gratuities such as food, drink or gifts may be given. Street performance is practiced all over the world and dates back to antiquity. People engaging in this practice are called street performers or buskers in Ireland. Outside of New York, buskers is not a term generally used in American English.
A concert is a live music performance in front of an audience. The performance may be by a single musician, sometimes then called a recital, or by a musical ensemble, such as an orchestra, choir, or band. Concerts are held in a wide variety and size of settings, from private houses and small nightclubs, dedicated concert halls, amphitheatres and parks, to large multipurpose buildings, such as arenas and stadiums. Indoor concerts held in the largest venues are sometimes called arena concerts or amphitheatre concerts. Informal names for a concert include show and gig.
Accompaniment is the musical part which provides the rhythmic and/or harmonic support for the melody or main themes of a song or instrumental piece. There are many different styles and types of accompaniment in different genres and styles of music. In homophonic music, the main accompaniment approach used in popular music, a clear vocal melody is supported by subordinate chords. In popular music and traditional music, the accompaniment parts typically provide the "beat" for the music and outline the chord progression of the song or instrumental piece.
A music director, musical director or director of music is the person responsible for the musical aspects of a performance, production, or organization. This would include the artistic director and usually chief conductor of an orchestra or concert band, the director of music of a film, the director of music at a radio station, the person in charge of musical activities or the head of the music department in a school, the coordinator of the musical ensembles in a university, college, or institution, the head bandmaster of a military band, the head organist and choirmaster of a church, or an organist and master of the choristers.
Session musicians are musicians that are hired to perform in recording sessions and/or live performances. The term sideman is also used in the case of live performances, such as accompanying a recording artist on a tour. Session musicians are usually not permanent or official members of a musical ensemble or band. They work behind the scenes and rarely achieve individual fame in their own right as soloists or bandleaders. However, top session musicians are well known within the music industry, and some have become publicly recognized, such as the Wrecking Crew, the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section and The Funk Brothers who worked with Motown Records.
A rehearsal is an activity in the performing arts that occurs as preparation for a performance in music, theatre, dance and related arts, such as opera, musical theatre and film production. It is undertaken as a form of practising, to ensure that all details of the subsequent performance are adequately prepared and coordinated. The term rehearsal typically refers to ensemble activities undertaken by a group of people. For example, when a musician is preparing a piano concerto in their music studio, this is called practising, but when they practice it with an orchestra, this is called a rehearsal. The music rehearsal takes place in a music rehearsal space.
A pickup group is a group of professional musicians, which may be session musicians who are hired to play for a limited time period—ranging from a single concert or sound recording session to several weeks of shows—before disbanding. Pickup groups are formed to play in pit orchestras for musical theatre performances, operas, or operettas, accompany jazz singers or instrumental soloists, and act as a temporary backup band for a pop singer for a tour. As well, pickup groups are hired to perform at social events such as weddings or holiday parties. The size of these ensembles ranges from a three- or four-member rock ensemble or jazz group or classical chamber ensemble to a 20-piece jazz big band, a 20-27 member pit orchestra for a Broadway musical or a 30-100 member orchestra.
A revivalist artist or revivalist band is a musical group, singer, or musician dedicated to reviving interest in a musical genre from an earlier era.
An audition is a sample performance by an actor, singer, musician, dancer or other performer. It typically involves the performer displaying their talent through a previously memorized and rehearsed solo piece or by performing a work or piece given to the performer at the audition or shortly before. In some cases, such as with a model or acrobat, the individual may be asked to demonstrate a range of professional skills. Actors may be asked to present a monologue. Singers will perform a song in a popular music context or an aria in a Classical context. A dancer will present a routine in a specific style, such as ballet, tap dance or hip-hop, or show his or her ability to quickly learn a choreographed dance piece.
Women in music include women as composers, songwriters, instrumental performers, singers, conductors, music scholars, music educators, music critics/music journalists, and in other musical professions. Also, it describes music movements, events and genres related to women, women's issues, and feminism.
A rock band or pop band is a small musical ensemble that performs rock music, pop music, or a related genre. A four-piece band is the most common configuration in rock and pop music. In the early years, the configuration was typically two guitarists, a bassist, and a drummer. Another common formation is a vocalist who does not play an instrument, electric guitarist, bass guitarist, and a drummer. Instrumentally, these bands can be considered as trios. Sometimes, in addition to electric guitars, electric bass, and drums, also a keyboardist plays.
Offstage musicians and singers are performers who play instruments and/or sing backstage, out of sight of the audience, during a live popular music concert at which the main band is visible playing and singing onstage. The sound from the offstage musicians or singers is captured by a microphone or from the output of their instrument, and this signal is mixed in with the singing and playing of the onstage performers using an audio console and a sound reinforcement system. Offstage backup singers are also used in some Broadway musicals, as have offstage instrumentalists, in cases where an onstage actor needs to appear to play an instrument.
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