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 Post subject: Amateur or Professional?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:06 pm
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What would the definition be for those who compose music?

There are many people who may never be able to make a name for themselves in the outside world by writing songs or composing music. They may, nevertheless, have their work performed publicly in, perhaps concerts, on radio broadcasts, or as part of shows, pantomimes, or other means.

Would these people be regarded as amateur or professional?

Any constructive thoughts on this question would be welcome especially as the word 'professional' has several meanings.

Thankyou in advance

Marian


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:18 pm 
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I would say professional simply means you make your living from an activity.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:14 am 
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Thanks for your reply, Jon.

This is quite a thought-provoking subject.

As is the case in our English language, we have many words that can be used in different ways. Professional is one of those words i.e. people or their work can be described as 'professional' which would be a compliment but if described as 'amateur' then would it not be a bit disparaging? The impression would be that the person could not be described as 'professional' and their work not seen as 'professional' standard. This then raises the word 'professional' to a higher status because of it's comparison to 'amateur'.

The above definition, or my attempt at a definition, isn't the one that has anything to do with making a living from an activity. (I have seen a painting, framed and on the wall of someone's home and it is amazing that it was painted by someone who is not an artist and it is not that person's way of making a living). The painting looks very professional.

On the subject of music, I gave examples of new, or original music being performed in various ways publicly, and whether they, the composers, would be regarded as amateur or professional. The music heard could be described as 'very professional' but the composer may not be making a living from composing music, so if that meaning is right, the composer writing professional standard music would be regarded as an amateur. This would then come back to whether that word would be the correct description if compared with professional.

Really, I wouldn't think it would make any difference whether music was composed by an amateur or professional, and in some cases, an amateur could feel a great sense of pride that their work has been considered worth presenting to the public. If they present it themselves, there is the risk that the word amateur could then be used in a disparaging way, especially by reason of 'sour grapes' or that some members of the public may not recognise what would sound amateurish or professional.

There is then the situation for songwriters and composers who have moved up the ladder into the music-business but not to a dizzy-height.

That is the next part of my thinking and analyzing of whether people are regarded as 'amateur' or 'professional' in their work (creative, in this case).

Any more thoughts would be appreciated.

Thankyou
Marian


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 3:39 pm 
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Both meanings of "professional" and "amateur" are correct. They can be used to describe the status of anyone not just in the arts but even in less artistic activities such as sport. They can also be used to describe the work produced, and Marian is right to suggest that the one can be seen as praise, and the other as derogatory.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 6:15 pm 
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Hi Davrob and thankyou for contributing with your information and comment.

To put it in a nutshell, it is a sad fact that many people, in this case, songwriters and composers, will have to remain with an amateur status, whereas, 20, 30, 40 years ago, they would have been recognised as outstanding writers and earning Royalties that put them in a professional status.

The Internet and downloading music has changed the arena for people who were born too late for financial reward or even appreciation for their creations. They are the creators of music and songs which, if played on the Internet, are heard for free and will never have their names on a CD sleeve or their compositions seen on a CD in a music shop.

Modern technology, it seems, has made the status of creative people remaining amateur instead of professional, in the way of not being able to earn a living from their creative music activities.

Marian

(have ended this here in case the time-out comes into action and these thoughts are lost).


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