the orchestra world

coding vs. musicking

A few weeks ago I had this (most likely very unoriginal) thought: in programming/coding, the axiom goes “garbage in, garbage out”. In the orchestra world, it sometimes can follow that rule, but most of the time, at any level of professionalism, the opposite is expected: “garbage in, beautiful out”. This applies both to the raw materials (the score and the venue), and the conductor. If supplied with lemons, we’re told, don’t simply make lemonade, make a lemon drop. Not a rant – this is the reality for every single professional musician from the smallest semi-pro orchestra to the Chicago Symphony or the Berlin Philharmonic – but it does explain the low average level of job satisfaction in symphony orchestras.

By Charles Noble

I'm the Assistant principal violist of the Oregon Symphony.

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