Posted by Gerald on May 03, 1999 at 10:18:13:
In Reply to: Music major doubts posted by Tito on May 02, 1999 at 21:35:26:
There are musicians, hungry musicians, and MUSICIANs. The difference is not always passion or capability, sometimes its circumstance, opportunity, or the flip of a coin in an audition. Only the MUSICIANs can be only MUSICIANs and eat well, the rest of us need something else to pay the bills. Remember for each advertised orchestra or band position there may be 100 applicants who actually show up for the auditions and more who wanted to but couldn't afford the travel costs. And ONLY ONE is going to get the job. Likely the top ten meet all the requirements of the organization quite well and so the choice may be based on something no one has prepared for, like the gloss on the shoes showing under the partition, or a single velvety tuning note...
Acoustical engineering is a lot easier with a musical background, though its getting harder to work that way in the computerized (never mind the question of whether the computer program is right, it makes pretty pictures) world of today. Knowing the match of horn acoustics can make understanding the trick to more perfect intonation without needing a 24 valve compensating instrument far more practical. Applying acoustical engineering to the ordinary 3 valve horn might come up with a technique in adding nodules or variations in the taper so that combinations and harmonics line up better. There's lots of room for work, not all based on experiment, there's too many interacting variables for experiment, if there weren't then every horn out of a factory would play the same and its clear they don't.
Actually, I went overboard on the engineering with a Phd in electrical engineering and I took the only acoustics course available. Keeps life interesting. And I put the tuba in the closet playing mostly double bass because the pitches are the same and I get to play more often in the community orchestra. I'm not good enough after 35 years to make the cut in an audition, but in my own little corner, I've been principal (often the ONLY bass) in a community orchestra for more than a decade. Doesn't pay for strings but keeps me playing. I've know several bass students (not mine, its been proven I can't teach) that have gone from the small town to the big city to study bass and after a couple years the big city bass teacher has said... Don't make this your living, you won't survive...
A dual major is far better than relying on something that even if you come out as worlds top ten you may not have a job.
But pick for the fun and enjoyment, not for the profit. If you like your work, profit can happen.