The definition of “musician” is given as:
1. a person who makes music a profession, esp. as a performer of music.
2. any person, whether professional or not, skilled in music.
Interestingly enough, the definitions of pianist, guitarist, bassist, flautist, etc. are not, as I would have expected “a musician whose instrument of choice, or expertise, is…[the piano, guitar, bass, flute, etc.]” or even “a individual who produces music using a … [piano, guitar, flute, etc.]”.
There is, however, no direct connection between being a “musician” (with of course, no specific venue or outlet identified) and a specific occurrence of a musician type.
Instead, a guitarist is “someone who performs on the guitar”. A flautist is “an individual who plays the flute.” Now, maybe I’m a little dense, but it unfortunately doesn’t seem to define WHAT is being performed or played. Is it MUSIC? Alas, only a skilled critic would have the temerity to say.
That would seem to infer … and I have in fact seen it happen … that while some musicians may be guitarists (for example), not all musicians are guitarists nor are all guitarists musicians.
And who determines, using the dictionary definition above, whether or not one is “skilled” in music? What exactly does that mean?
Music, in fact, is a broad subject that covers a multitude of smaller subjects. Besides the obvious areas of music theory, counterpoint, composition and orchestration, there are the lesser aspects: foreign language, history, philosophy, physics, mathematics, audio dynamics, group psychology, teamwork, balance, physical training and discipline, communications, space relations, poetry, breath control, posture, memorization.
To be truly “skilled” in music is to know quite a bit, huh?