Where is the best place for music, to be performed.? Stage, Studio, or Private House.

Where is the best place for music, to be performed.? Stage, Studio, or Private House.

The title is a bit of a mouthful, but let me explain a bit more. Some weeks back, I got in to a debate or maybe an argument, with a fellow musician/singer. We were both giving our views, on the places where music sounds better. What comes out of a recording studio often sounds great, because the person recording it, can take their time with the whole project. However, live music on stage is also important, because the performer will do their thing in the public eye. Whatever happens, will happen on the spot. Performing live, also seems more professional. In my opinion, music in private houses, does not have the same magic. Anyone who can play traditional, can and will play it in the privacy of their own house, but quite often, there is no one to give them encouragement. People who want to perform something different, will sound better on stage. Singing will always work better, when there is someone providing backing. However, Instrumental music has it’s upside. If musicians make a mistake in the tune, they can easily smother the notes, and sometimes it will work. Singing can be a problem, for people with poor voices, or people who get nervous. It might be harder, to bluff your way, if you make a mistake while singing. Let’s hear the views, on this topic.

Re: Where is the best place for music, to be performed.? Stage, Studio, or Private House.

I can see why you got into an argument 🙂

Posted by .

Re: Where is the best place for music, to be performed.? Stage, Studio, or Private House.

You’ve laid out lots of pros and cons for both sides, and I don’t think you’ll come up with a straight answer to this question. Two things I’d like to raise objection to, though, if I may -
First, a solo singer with no backing can absolutely be just as strong and beautiful as with backing. No question. Possibly even more so. This will hold true regardless of setting, from Carnegie Hall to your living room and everywhere in between. Sean-nos is the word in traditional Irish music, though there are other styles around the world.
Also, I think music in private houses can be just as magical as on a stage. You are right that a stage is more ‘professional’ but remember that word only has to do with money, not necessarily with ability, experience, or training. I’ve attended (and played) house concerts that rank among the most fulfilling musical experiences of my career. Of course, you might think of those as more like being on a stage. Like I said at the beginning, you are probably not going to get straight answers to the question you’ve asked. 🙂

Re: Where is the best place for music, to be performed.? Stage, Studio, or Private House.

Wherever it can be heard properly without amplification.

There don’t seem to be many situations where that is commerically viable, though I recently heard a duo perform to an audience of about 80 in an old non-conformist chapel.

Re: Where is the best place for music, to be performed.? Stage, Studio, or Private House.

There are so many other factors, for me, besides sound, that influence the experience of listening to live music. There is something about musicians playing for each other in a session - sitting in a circle, rather than facing an audience… It’s not a performance as much as just hanging out musically together. I enjoy it so much more than sitting and looking at a stage.

Re: Where is the best place for music, to be performed.? Stage, Studio, or Private House.

There isn’t a best.

Studio, a studio equals perfection and typically you get the best musical quality from the studio.

Private, a private place equals a great time to bond and learn tunes together.

Stage, a stage is where you perform and the music takes on a life of its own.

Re: Where is the best place for music, to be performed.? Stage, Studio, or Private House.

House concerts can be a lot more fun than going to a venue. At a house concert it can be more "anything goes" as long as the host is ok with it. What I mean is people can be a bit less reserved. You’re not limited to the bad selection at the bar and can bring your own drinks or food. People dance more, hang out until later (past bar closing time). Often the guests live in the neighborhood so people aren’t driving home.

As a musician performing in such an environment I find myself less nervous as well. Also you might feel more connected with the audience as they are not just random folks but friends or friends of friends. Connections can be more lasting.

That being said, there is nothing like hearing music in a proper theater with good acoustics, but lets face it, most public performances take place in bars or pubs where the acoustics can be terrible, the bartender forgets to turn off the background music (or worse doesn’t realize that it’s something they should do), and the "punters" as they call them on the other side of the pond often drown out the musicians with their chatter.

Not saying I don’t enjoy it still. It even has it’s own charm in a way.

Re: Where is the best place for music, to be performed.? Stage, Studio, or Private House.

There isn’t a best.
# Posted by GreySatyr
That says it for me.

Posted by .

Re: Where is the best place for music, to be performed.? Stage, Studio, or Private House.

It really depends on what you are performing, why and for whom.

Re: Where is the best place for music, to be performed.? Stage, Studio, or Private House.

There isn’t a best.
# Posted by GreySatyr
That says it for me.

… and me.

Posted by .

Re: Where is the best place for music, to be performed.? Stage, Studio, or Private House.

Well, I said you wouldn’t get a straight answer to your question, but GreySatyr has provided it. Well said.

Re: Where is the best place for music, to be performed.? Stage, Studio, or Private House.

I didn’t read the post cause it’s my bedtime, but I will say…

Session music was really nice in the "barn"(more like a guest house). We all sat in chairs in a circle. No pub noise, crashing glasses, people yelling. The energy was different, but it was nice energy. Being in such an intimate space with no aural interferences was a special experience.

Re: Where is the best place for music, to be performed.? Stage, Studio, or Private House.

I think the studio is where the best performances happen. Stage is where you find out if you’ve been practising enough, and house playing is just laid back noodling, and nobody really minds too much about "standards".

Re: Where is the best place for music, to be performed.? Stage, Studio, or Private House.

The bath.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t do the instruments a lot of good 🙁.

Re: Where is the best place for music, to be performed.? Stage, Studio, or Private House.

Unless you’re playing a water organ

Re: Where is the best place for music, to be performed.? Stage, Studio, or Private House.

The pub.

Posted by .

Re: Where is the best place for music, to be performed.? Stage, Studio, or Private House.

Actually, wet fingers make a whistle unplayable.

Re: Where is the best place for music, to be performed.? Stage, Studio, or Private House.

In my head!

Posted by .

Re: Where is the best place for music, to be performed.? Stage, Studio, or Private House.

The best place to play for me would be: in an area where my fellow musicians can hear me and I can hear my fellow musicians.
I also like playing at home when learning tunes🙂 Mandolin is quiete and I don’t bug my parents or anybody by going over tricky parts of tunes.

Re: Where is the best place for music, to be performed.? Stage, Studio, or Private House.

I don’t think our original poster was asking about house concerts, but about just playing alone, or with friends.
I would just say that all are different, but if you ARE a performer then the live audience lifts you up and stimulates you to greater heights. Some people are much better in quiet unstressed situations. Don’t ever think that being in a recording studio is unstressfull, and that you can get your best performances in there; having spent some considerable period of time trying to put together a cd with friends, I say we have come out with more respect for professional musicians than we had before.

Re: Where is the best place for music, to be performed.? Stage, Studio, or Private House.

Home is where the real music happens. Playing for/with friends and family is truly magical, relaxed, natural and can’t be beat IMO.

Professional (paid) performance cheapens the magic of music. Doing what you love for cash always seems to have that effect sooner or later. (Assuming a professional musician actually loves what they do to start with)

Finally, studio music is too "perfect". It’s like processed food, or a photo that’s been Photoshopped; in the end it’s just not natural.

Re: Where is the best place for music, to be performed.? Stage, Studio, or Private House.

My kitchen is the best place for music, as the sound is excellent in there. It’s like playing in a cathedral! Probably not good for very large groups, though. I like the smaller more intimate settings, personally.

Re: Where is the best place for music, to be performed.? Stage, Studio, or Private House.

"Professional (paid) performance cheapens the magic of music. Doing what you love for cash always seems to have that effect sooner or later. (Assuming a professional musician actually loves what they do to start with)"

I was watching a black romantic comedy/music movie called "Brown Sugar"(Starring Taye Diggs and Sanaa Lathan). It’s about two best friends’ experience through the birth and sad popularization of hip-hop. One of the main characters was talking to his best friend about how music changed for him since he signed on with a big-time mainstream hip-hop record label. Even though he became successful from the record label, he quit his job and "walked away from it all". He was hurt that he couldn’t make the real and connected music that he grew up on and was influenced by. They reminisced about how real and raw it was before mainstream and "money" got ahold of it. It was a pretty interesting movie if you can stomach the romantic element.

Re: Where is the best place for music, to be performed.? Stage, Studio, or Private House.

The OP’s question can be taken various ways, the ‘best place’ from the standpoint of:

1) acoustics/sound
2) social interaction with fellow musicians
3) audience
4) perks

For #1 it’s a place with nice acoustics where everything can be heard well, say, a room with some natural reverb but not too much, or as people have said a recording studio with nice mics and other equipment.

For #2 I would guess that most would prefer a private home.

About #3, many musicians like to have an audience, like the performance aspect, and would prefer a public venue. In a recording studio you would get eventual audience feedback, perhaps.

About #4 there are people who need to make a living with music, and the pay and working conditions are paramount. Then there are other perks: getting free food, drinks, or other stuff; playing prominent venues and/or meeting famous people; travelling to interesting places you otherwise wouldn’t; and so forth. I got to tour Japan, play in some venues in Scotland, and tour across several states in the US, in each case the travelling a bigger perk for me than the money.

Re: Where is the best place for music, to be performed.? Stage, Studio, or Private House.

Myself, I am not terribly enthused about playing alone. I enjoy it somewhat, but do it more to build my skills. I enjoy playing music with friends—audience not required, but audiences can be fun. But as soon as amplification is involved, I find my enjoyment diminishes.

Re: Where is the best place for music, to be performed.? Stage, Studio, or Private House.

"Actually, wet fingers make a whistle unplayable." (Nicholas)

However, it turns out that the one instrument for which wet fingers are essential is the glass harmonica. If anyone is not familiar with this instrument (which I have yet to see in a session), then details are on Wikipedia. Mozart composed a couple of pieces for it - God knows why (but it might have been the money, so that’s ok).

Re: Where is the best place for music, to be performed.? Stage, Studio, or Private House.

Very amusing use, of commas. It seems as though, you aren’t happy, unless there’s at least one comma in every sentence. Whether it’s needed, or not.

Posted .

Re: Where is the best place for music, to be performed.? Stage, Studio, or Private House.

Any of those three categoires can be a place with the right energy, or not. Perhaps it could depend more on the occasion, the people, the weather, a set of new strings on the fiddle, etc.

Posted by .