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Double bass player

Musicians (also known as musicians or, more rarely, Tonkünstler ; formerly, Latin and colloquially also Musici ) are artists who make music . The term includes both producing and reproducing musicians. Producing musicians are people who have a producing or managerial function for pieces of music (e.g. composers , songwriters , conductors , music teachers , music producers, etc.). Reproductive musicians are people who actively create music. This includes all instrumentalists (e.g. guitarists , pianists , drummers , violinists , DJs, etc.) and people who use their voice and / or their breath for musical purposes (e.g. singers , spoken vocal artists , yodelers , beatboxers , Kunstpfeifer etc.). A distinction is made between professional and amateur musicians. A professional musician is someone who earns his living exclusively or predominantly from music. A professional musician operates the music with a so-called profit - making intention . Musicians usually specialize in a particular genre , with overlap possible.


In the course of music history , the image of the musician has changed considerably. In the Middle Ages, performing musicians and music theorists were strictly separate professions. During this time, the performing musicians were on the same level as prostitutes and tinkerers. Later musicians were usually active in all areas of music and beyond , i.e. composers , performing musicians, teachers and theorists at the same time , but by the 18th century at the latest the areas mentioned separated more and more from one another. The advent of virtuosity influenced this development. In the 20th century, the division into the areas of composition , interpretation , music education and musicology had progressed so far that there were four different professional fields . Today, the profession also includes making ring tones or creating apps and applications, as well as developing programming languages ​​for computer music .

Special aspects

Musicians' medicine deals with the special problems caused by the often very one-sided and sometimes very special posture, predominantly of the arms and hands, when the same movements are repeated for years .

Overloading and premature wear and tear of the muscles, tendons and joints, mainly of the arms and especially the hands, are particularly common. Of the 264,000 salaried professional musicians who worked in the USA in 2006, 50–76% suffered from work-related musculoskeletal complaints, depending on the instrument played.

Musicians' medicine also deals with noise- related hearing loss and tinnitus , which are common occupational diseases of musicians.

See also



  • Heiner Gembris; Daina Langner: From the music academy to the job market: experiences of graduates, job market experts and university lecturers , Wißner, Augsburg 2005
  • Walter Salmen: Profession: Musician: despised - adored - marketed; a social history in pictures. Bärenreiter [u. a.], Kassel [u. a.] 1997

reference books

  • Alain Pâris: Lexicon of Performers of Classical Music in the 20th Century , dtv / bärenreiter, Munich 1992
  • Metzler Composers Lexicon. 340 factory history portraits , ed. by Horst Weber, Stuttgart and Weimar 2001
  • Peter Wicke, Kai-Erik Ziegenrücker, Wieland Ziegenrücker: Handbook of Popular Music: History - Styles - Practice - Industry , Schott, Mainz, fundamentally revised. u. exp. 2006 edition


  • Friederike C. Raderer and Rolf Wehmeier: It has to sound like a zoo Musician anecdotes , Philipp Reclam jun. Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-15-010654-9 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Musicians  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Cf. also Willibald Gurlitt : On the history of the meaning of musicus and cantor in Isidor von Sevilla (= treatises of the Academy of Sciences and Literature. Humanities and social science class. Born 1950, Volume 7). Verlag der Wissenschaft und der Literatur in Mainz (commissioned by Franz Steiner Verlag, Wiesbaden).
  2. Martina Lenzen-Schulte: Music is also noise to the ear. FAZ, May 16, 2014, accessed on October 20, 2016 .