TextHarp (prototype)

By Kevin Higgins, using Tone

Turn the volume up and try click on the text if you don't hear anything.

This text was originally the seed of a blog post, but I used it for this audio toy and blogged about that instead.

There are many, many amateur musicians in the world. "I'm not a real musician" is a sentiment I've found again and again in comment threads and forums.

A few months ago I myself retired from being a "real musician" to seek another full-time job. Having been on both the pro and civilian sides, I feel like setting the record straight. Mostly because I feel sad when people are defensively self-deprecating. So, if you dabble in music in any way, I have some questions for you.

Do you play every day? Or even regularly? If so, that's impressive. Many who make a living from music don't practice regularly.

Do you like nice gear? If so, be proud of the nice stuff you own - lots of gigging musicians (particularly younger ones - like I once was!) don't know their gear well, don't take care of it and play second-rate instruments.

Do you love music? Some working performers don't. And there's the case of professionals who could get all the gigs they need, but dislike actual playing - preferring arranging or directing, say.

Finally, are you insecure about how good you are? If so, welcome to the club.

For most people, playing music is hard work. Something I'd never disparage, whatever form it takes.