Because I study music all the time and I happen to play a few instruments, people assume that I appreciate complex music, very rare and sophisticated architectures of sounds so philosophically elaborate only a rare few understand what is going on.
I’ll take the chance of alienating my fellow musician who suck on the tit of Fusion style music and Free Jazz, and I’ll say that my preference goes to simpler pleasures in music. Pop, for example is one of my favorite. It doesn’t mean that I have to like everything in it. Many things are not my taste. But people like Paul Simon or Sting are among my favorite artist.
I also love blues. The Chicago blues is an absolute treasure of strong musicality and deep feelings. Although the music can seem deceptively simple, they weave in its cloth the most subtle and profound pain. Which is my point. Musicians do not need to play a lot of notes to touch people’s heart.
Sometimes a piano and a drum set are all that’s needed to move a crowd! The band “The Police was just 3 guys playing a few notes. The song “Walking on the moon” illustrate that. Minimal amount of notes, maximum impact. Yes, but they fill up the holes with the magic of their musicianship.
Musicianship is everything! EVERYTHING! It doesn’t matter the instrument, the style, the crowd! Musicianship is the only thing that can touch us all.
Now, what is musicianship? Well, I could get technical and talk about the use of dynamics, space, subdivisions, contrasting chords and melodies, but those do not matter. The band “The Clash” for example, didn’t know a lick of theory. Yet, repeatedly, they were able to compose some great songs. Why? Because they had a good ear and they followed it. Also, they arrange the music to fit exactly what they wanted to say. In one word: they composed with their hearts.
Musicianship is following the vision of what you want to say and put it into sounds. Few, very few rules apply. What am I saying “Rules”? Let’s say guidelines. Being generous, attentive, careful, bold helps out a lot. Being honest and determined is also important. Ed Sheeran or Jack White don’t use any other tools.