[linux-audio-user] Thesis: Playing and making music

Rob lau at kudla.org
Mon Dec 11 14:42:30 EST 2006

On Monday 11 December 2006 13:51, Cesare Marilungo wrote:
> Actually, the term 'art' has always been used also, and even
> more, in the sense of 'skill' or 'craft' for a long time. The
> art of making bread, for instance, deserves the same respect
> of the art of making music.

First of all, making bread is part of the culinary arts, which 
are widely accepted as such (if you doubt it, just attend a wine 
tasting and listen to people's critiques.  Performing arts 
critics can only dream of being so vague and effete.)  I would 
argue that art and craft are two complementary concepts which 
both can be used to describe the same activity, but not all 

A person's skill at a craft can be measured objectively.  "Every 
loaf of bread he bakes comes out to exactly 500g."  "He performs 
that Rachmaninov piece exactly the same way every time."  And on 
the videogame front, "She took out the entire opposing team in 8 
seconds with only 2 grenades."  

A person's skill at an art can ONLY be measured 
subjectively.  "His bread is always chewy, but tender and 
flavorful."  "He makes me cry with his reading of Rachmaninov 
every time."  And on the videogame front.... what?  "She can 
play blindfolded?"  "She can do a little dance while she frags 
people?"  On games like DDR you can add a little flair to your 
performance because it's meant to be a performance.  On games 
that people play competitively, like first person shooters.... 
I'm not so sure what the artistic component would be.

Regardless, DDR's existence demonstrates that there can be an 
artistic component to videogame playing.  But it's a different 
art than music performance (or composition, or arrangement, or 
engineering) just as all those musical activities are a 
different art than bread baking.  Well, maybe music engineering 
is pretty close to bread baking.


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