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#1037837 - 07/06/07 02:25 PM What's the difference between a pianist and a piano player?
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5658
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
This was inspired by a discussion of the definition of the word "pianist" - but this seemed more fun to me \:D

There aren't any pianists whose nickname is "Fats"

No one ever yells "Don't shoot me, I'm only the pianist!"

I used to think there aren't any jokes that start "A pianist walks into a bar. . ." but we've all heard the one about the 12" pianist by now, huh \:D

Cathy
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#1037838 - 07/06/07 02:55 PM Re: What's the difference between a pianist and a piano player?
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17815
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
If you call yourself a pianist, somebody with dyslexia won't mistake you for a player piano. \:D
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1037839 - 07/06/07 03:05 PM Re: What's the difference between a pianist and a piano player?
rada Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/06
Posts: 1124
Loc: pagosa springs,co
I feel a distinction between the two. A piano player can play the piano while a pianist can make the instrument come alive.

Just a thought,
rada
www.pianopassions.com

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#1037840 - 07/06/07 03:07 PM Re: What's the difference between a pianist and a piano player?
TThomas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/24/06
Posts: 545
Loc: Richmond, VA
 Quote:
If you call yourself a pianist, somebody with dyslexia won't mistake you for a player piano.
LOL[/b]....too clever! \:D
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"Be the change you wish to see in the world."

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#1037841 - 07/06/07 03:09 PM Re: What's the difference between a pianist and a piano player?
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5658
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Monica - LOL
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#1037842 - 07/06/07 05:35 PM Re: What's the difference between a pianist and a piano player?
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8483
Loc: Ohio, USA
'pianist' is more refered to the profession in piano, while 'piano player' is more general term for anyone who can play piano, good or bad or whatever. therefore, i would hesitate to call myself a pianist, but have no problem with anyone calling me a piano player...

actually, people don't take too seriously about it now, but still 'pianist' usually sounds more serious than 'piano player', and therefore, people expect a pianist to play everything great, but not that much expectations with a piano player!

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#1037843 - 07/06/07 05:58 PM Re: What's the difference between a pianist and a piano player?
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5658
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Well, so far Monica wins the cleverness stakes - more silly jokes!

Cathy
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#1037844 - 07/06/07 06:27 PM Re: What's the difference between a pianist and a piano player?
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
Clever is as clever does, don't they say?

Would a dyslectic be able to spell dyslexia?

Just as pain-o is piano spelled dyslectically.

Maybe it's not really dyslexia, but just bad typing.

What is the "de-merit" in the sub-division of the stars? Not so clever after all! Are we enjoying ourselves?

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#1037845 - 07/06/07 06:47 PM Re: What's the difference between a pianist and a piano player?
193866 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 777
Loc: Manassas,Va
My Ramdon House Dictionary defines a pianist as: A person who plays the piano, esp. professionally. When my classical piano teacher asked me to teach classical piano as her understudy, she had her Master's in Music Education, she referred to me as a pianist. I was very happy and very grateful . Sandy B
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Sandra M. Boletchek 08/02/06

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#1037846 - 07/06/07 08:29 PM Re: What's the difference between a pianist and a piano player?
Roger Ransom Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/05
Posts: 1289
Loc: SouthWest Michigan
I actually think it has more to do with ego than anything else.
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#1037847 - 07/06/07 08:46 PM Re: What's the difference between a pianist and a piano player?
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5658
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
True confessions.

I thought of the title as the intro to a joke and was looking for punch lines.

I don't - seriously - find any difference.

Maybe I should have titled the thread "A pianist walks into a bar. . ."

Monica, quit sniggering! \:D

Cathy - hahahahahahahahaha!
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#1037848 - 07/06/07 08:48 PM Re: What's the difference between a pianist and a piano player?
J. Mark Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 1323
A guy walks into the doctor's office and says, "Doc, I haven't had a bowel movement in a week!" The doctor gives him a prescription for a mild laxative and tells him, "If it doesn't work, let me know."

A week later the guy is back: "Doc, still no movement!"

The doctor says, "Hmm, guess you need something stronger," and prescribes a powerful laxative.

Still another week later the poor guy is back: "Doc, STILL nothing!"

The doctor, worried, says, "We'd better get some more information about you to try to figure out what's going on. What do you do for a living?"

"I'm a pianist."

The doctor looks up and says, "Well, that's it! Here's $10.00. Go get something to eat!"

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#1037849 - 07/06/07 08:51 PM Re: What's the difference between a pianist and a piano player?
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5658
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
YES!

Pretty funny, J. Mark -

Cathy
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#1037850 - 07/06/07 08:58 PM Re: What's the difference between a pianist and a piano player?
J. Mark Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 1323
A pianist is playing in a seedy, Mafia-owned tavern in South Jersey...it's 11:55 PM, and he's 5 minutes away from the end of his gig. The owner's assistant comes up to the pianist and says:

"Da boss wants you should play Strangers In Da Nite."
The pianist says: "Okay, no problem."

The henchman continues: "Da boss wants you should play it in F#"...
The pianist says "I usually play it in F, but no problem!"

The henchman goes on: "Da boss wants you should play it in 5/4 time."
The pianist says "But the song is in 4/4 time...How am I supposed to do that?"
Henchman asks him: "Look, you want paid or not?"

So the pianist improvises an introduction, and as he gets to the opening notes of the song, he hears, in a really ugly, raspy voice behind him:

"Strangers in-da-friggin' night....exchanging glances; Strangers in-da-friggin' night ..."

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#1037851 - 07/06/07 09:03 PM Re: What's the difference between a pianist and a piano player?
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5658
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Good thing I'd swallowed my coffee before I read that - otherwise I'd have to clean it off the screen - 8>/
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#1037852 - 07/06/07 09:11 PM Re: What's the difference between a pianist and a piano player?
J. Mark Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 1323
Did you hear about the pianist who kept banging his head against the keys?
He was playing by ear.

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#1037853 - 07/07/07 06:29 AM Re: What's the difference between a pianist and a piano player?
candi bowen Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/07
Posts: 36
Loc: akron, ohio
The difference is $200 an hour.
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horses, flute & piano - what's life without 'em?

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#1037854 - 07/07/07 06:41 AM Re: What's the difference between a pianist and a piano player?
jwjazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/02/07
Posts: 278
Loc: New York
 Quote:
Originally posted by jotur:

There aren't any pianists whose nickname is "Fats"

[/b]
Why is "Fats" Waller not a pianist?
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#1037855 - 07/07/07 08:46 AM Re: What's the difference between a pianist and a piano player?
SAnnM AB-2001 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/20/04
Posts: 2022
Loc: Canada
If I was a "pianist" I think I should be able to accomodate a request for "Do you know ____?" by at least faking it by ear. I also think I would be able to sightread well at an intermediate level, in December, plop a book of easy to early intermediate Christmas tunes in front of me and entertain guests. Then I would be a pianist!!
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It's the journey not the destination..

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#1037856 - 07/07/07 11:46 AM Re: What's the difference between a pianist and a piano player?
Matt H Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/26/07
Posts: 170
Loc: Indiana
This reminds me of a violin joke.

What is the difference between a violin and a fiddle?

A violin has strings. A fiddle has "strangs".

I think the difference between pianist and piano player relates to genre and social distinction. A piano player plays in a bar (or better yet, in a joint), a pianist in a concert hall. That's why Fats Waller is not a pianist.

Note: I'm not endorsing the value judgment implied by this distinction, just pointing it out.

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#1037857 - 07/07/07 12:11 PM Re: What's the difference between a pianist and a piano player?
TX-Dennis Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/05
Posts: 4126
Loc: Texas
 Quote:
Originally posted by Sandy Moore:
If I was a "pianist" I think I should be able to accomodate a request for "Do you know ____?" by at least faking it by ear. I also think I would be able to sightread well at an intermediate level, in December, plop a book of easy to early intermediate Christmas tunes in front of me and entertain guests. Then I would be a pianist!! [/b]
Does 3 out of 4 make me a 3/4 pianist? \:D

Yes, the pun was intentional.
_________________________
Dennis

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#1037858 - 07/07/07 12:18 PM Re: What's the difference between a pianist and a piano player?
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5658
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
Matt H posts: "What is the difference between a violin and a fiddle?

A violin has strings. A fiddle has "strangs"."

Ay-yup - \:\)


For jwjazz, from an earlier post of mine: "True confessions.

I thought of the title as the intro to a joke and was looking for punch lines.

I don't - seriously - find any difference.

Maybe I should have titled the thread 'A pianist walks into a bar. . .' " - FATS WALLER AND MARCIA BALL FOREVER! \:\)

and from Matt H again: "Note: I'm not endorsing the value judgment implied by this distinction, just pointing it out." - I was just poking fun at it, myself.

This thread reminds me of the time when I passed out a bunch of flyers for a tennis tournament and asked my (computer programmer) colleagues to color them before I posted them around work - wow! were they good colorers! And not in the lines, either! We hadn't had so much fun since Hector was a pup -

Cathy
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#1037859 - 07/07/07 01:03 PM Re: What's the difference between a pianist and a piano player?
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17815
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
J. Mark,

I liked the "playing by ear" joke the best. \:D
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1037860 - 07/07/07 01:19 PM Re: What's the difference between a pianist and a piano player?
193866 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 777
Loc: Manassas,Va
Dear Members, To be called a pianist has to be earned . Many years of lessons and talent. Hard work and talent... not ego...makes a pianist. In fact, my pianist friends are quite humble and admit they do not know it all...Sandy B
_________________________
Sandra M. Boletchek 08/02/06

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#1037861 - 07/09/07 02:51 PM Re: What's the difference between a pianist and a piano player?
dfpolitowski Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/09/06
Posts: 166
Loc: New Jersey
Well, it seems to me the difference is not so much as to definition as to word origin together with historical curcumstances. A quick look to the dictionary tells us the suffix "ist" to be an inflexed ending. This makes the noun verbal. The inflexion is typical of latin origin. So I see, this term to have french origin or in a broad sence perhaps europian. Which is problely an older term than "Piano Player" Also note, the inflexed term seems to my ears to have a more subjective or personal meaning to it. The syntax "piano player" seems to include the notion of many surrounding instruments. But my feelings on this are only from my own mind and life experience as a user of English. One would need to do a major corpus search in order to find when and how this syntax was first used. I think it to be more vulgar and of course less established than "pianist".

Furthermore, words have a phenomenon moving from phrase to a fixed form know as collocation to hyphenation and than lastly becoming single word. This is no guarantee that "piano player" will ever move into one word. It probably won't because pianist is already doing the job.

But remember which ever term you chose to use the meaning should be understood to as the users intention first and context. Not historical definition.

Just my pedantic ramblings.
David P
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#1037862 - 07/12/07 10:35 AM Re: What's the difference between a pianist and a piano player?
glyptodont2 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/07
Posts: 45
Sandy writes: Dear Members, To be called a pianist has to be earned . Many years of lessons and talent. Hard work and talent... not ego...makes a pianist. In fact, my pianist friends are quite humble and admit they do not know it all...Sandy B

------------------------------

I don't know that I would apply either word to myself. If asked what sort of pastimes I like, I would probably include playing the piano.

Neither word is entirely satisfactory. Pianist sounds like it is your profession. Piano player sounds patronizing, and suggests "self taught."

Sandy's quote suggests the importance of recognition for a person's extensive training and effort. No disagreement. However, the back side of that is, if you call yourself a pianist, you had better be GOOD. If you are mediocre and term yourself that, you will look like a prime fool.

I always only play for my two cats, and they don't really care what I call myself.
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#1037863 - 07/12/07 10:41 AM Re: What's the difference between a pianist and a piano player?
durtyz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/14/06
Posts: 65
Loc: luxembourg
They easily avoid this in popular music, credits are usually

vocals: person 1
guitar, piano: person 2
bass: person 3

or some similar permutation.

I suppose it really depends on the value the individual applies to the words in question if someone calls themselves a pianist and they're not particularly good, pointing that out to them could make you look overly pedantic and just as foolish.

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#1261271 - 09/02/09 06:51 PM Re: What's the difference between a pianist and a piano player? [Re: Monica K.]
Benn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/23/06
Posts: 91
Originally Posted By: Monica K.
If you call yourself a pianist, somebody with dyslexia won't mistake you for a player piano. laugh


Great one, Monica! Two years after making your joke you are still making people laugh.

I've always thought of a "pianist" as somebody who makes their living (or at least tries to make their living) off of playing the piano. I suppose though that anybody who plays the piano can call themselves a pianist... it's shorter and funner to say!

However, it would probably be misleading to call yourself a pianist or piano player if you haven't yet reached a skill level where you can either entertain or move people with your piano playing. If you are at a beginner level, it's probably more straightforward to just say that you are learning to play the piano.


Edited by Benn (09/02/09 07:02 PM)
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#1261277 - 09/02/09 07:01 PM Re: What's the difference between a pianist and a piano player? [Re: dfpolitowski]
HomeInMyShoes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 495
In the dictionary, beside the entry for pianist, one will not find a picture of me.

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#1261303 - 09/02/09 07:57 PM Re: What's the difference between a pianist and a piano player? [Re: dfpolitowski]
TrapperJohn Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 3600
Loc: Chocolatetown, USA
I'd be more than happy to have anyone call me either one - but if I played a flute I definitely would slap silly anyone who called me a flautist - I know it's supposedly "correct", but is there any term more pretentious in the musical world - one does not play a flaut - one plays a flute - thus, one is a flutist - can we shelve the term flautist forever and henceforth flog anyone "uppity" enough to use it!

Regards, JF

Note: if flaut is French for flute then go to France with the rest of those spaghetti-spinned weasels and be a flautist... (French piano players and pianists excepted)


Edited by John Frank (09/02/09 07:59 PM)
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