Why Do Musicians Make Music?

Because they’ve decided to be musicians! It is the career they’ve chosen and the thing they are (hopefully) most passionate about.

Career. It’s got a really nice ring to it, right? What does one think of when they hear the word career? A job? Stability? A goal? Money? Passion? All of the above and a little more? Aren’t those all good reasons to want a career?

And it’s okay for musicians to want those things. Wouldn’t you agree that someone who puts in thousands of hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars into something should want those things? Wouldn’t you agree that someone who dedicates decades of their life and resources should want at least some small recognition for their efforts?

Why is there a stigma in the musical community against wanting? Perhaps not so much in popular music, but in less mainstream genres it’s there, and it’s hurting so many budding musicians.

Musicians make music because it is their job to do so. They should not be ashamed to consider music their career and to treat it as such. There are things you may do for love of your fans and for the craft, but it doesn’t mean that you have to do everything for nothing. Nor does it mean that you should make other musicians feel ashamed for seeking what they want out of their music.

Can we all agree, fans, musicians, music-lovers and hobbists, that musicians can say they did it to advance their career (whatever that may mean to them), and we not call them “sellouts,” or shun them for not doing things “in the spirit of music?”

Written in love, not anger.

For the record, all music is written in the spirit of music. All music is “about the music.”

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