Playing IrTrad Music is “A Hobby” ???
This is kind-of a response to a post from a week or so ago — in the thread about "Songs versus Tunes." The gist — songs are gaining ground against tunes.
One comment was "Relax, it’s just a hobby."
Okay - here I go. I’m sure playing Irish traditional music can be said to be "a hobby." And I’ve heard it characterized that way before, by a very excellent player. And I cringed when I heard him say it.
I don’t know what it is about the word "hobby" that sometimes makes me wince. I suspect it is a general interpretation of the word — which amounts to — ‘something a nice person does in a nice little moderate way — when they have finished all their nice little chores like washing the dishes and vacuuming.’
I know this is all a matter of semantics — but applying the word "hobby" to playing Ir trad music — to my way of thinking and *feeling,* — removes all the essences of ‘rapture’ that playing music can bestow on one who pursues it over the long course.
Okay, I guess I think music is MAGIC. A musical instrument is an instrument of pure magic. A truly magical discovery in the history of our humanity was the discovery of how to construct musical instruments. Sound is brought out of the silence, out of the realm of the invisible, in such a way that the "human instrument — the ear" has a profound response to it.
I’m sort of "growing" these thoughts as I’m writing.
Okay — so I guess I experience Irish traditional music as having a potential for moving me OUT of the realm of everyday experience — and more into the realm of "myth and magic."
Hobbies, to my way of thinking, belong in everday experience. I guess there is a way of being involved in music where it is "a hobby," but I can’t think of going to a session, which has the potential to get really ripping, as "a hobby." I think it is more like going to "a church" in search of a supra-ordinary experience.
Yeah — I’m in search of more of a "religious-type of experience" when I aim to play music. That’s my hope, is to get out of the realm of the mundane for a little while. I’m in seach of *magic,* — not *a hobby.* And in fact, after years of effort, that’s my gift to myself when I pick up the fiddle now. My playing has improved enough so I can experience some degree of magic. I’m not saying anything about being a "great player." I’m just saying that I have come to the point where I can play some music, and I can experience some feelings of amazement, or being a participant in the making of *magic* — while I am playing a melody on a musical instrument.
Alright —- I bet I’m gonna get "chewed up" here.