Musicians are the luckiest people

Published on December 05, 2020 • 1 min read

One of the most awe-inspiring things to watch is a skilled musician performing live music – especially when they play the piano or guitar and sing together. How can anyone not admire that level of coordination? When I'm reading a great book and the author pulls off a masterful plot twist, I don't feel the same way about their skillful writing. When I'm watching an exciting movie, I rarely find myself thinking "Damien Chazelle's pacing for that scene was excellent!" It's not that I don't feel any less admiration for writers and directors relative to musicians – it's just that musicians seem to be deserving of an entirely different class of admiration. There's something more visceral about watching music get made. What do musicians do differently?

I think it's because musicians are the only craftspeople that get to create something at the exact same time their audience consumes it. Their vocals and chords are heard by their audience the moment they get played. Compare that to a director whose film gets watched months, if not years after it was created. The same goes for writers, chefs, artists, programmers and nearly every other class of creator. They don't get to stream their finished creation directly to their audience's senses as they're creating it. Unless they're a musician. That explains why there are no concert venues where a director produces a film right in front of you. The process of creation is just too time intensive to watch – a single minute of a film can take hundreds of hours of effort.

Musicians on the other hand get to experience the unique joy of creating music while having their audience enjoy it at the exact same time. That's why musicians are the luckiest people.