music culture

marchcouldbedarker: said

One more thing:

If I’m playing an instrument-even one you can duet on (Piano, etc.)-I will get extremely irritated if you start playing on it while I’m playing without my proper consent.  You usually do not know what I’m playing/don’t know how to play what I’m playing and will distract me with errors when I need to focus on my piece.   

realsocialskills said:

Wow, I didn’t realize that anyone thought that was ok.

Yeah, don’t ever play an instrument while someone else is playing it, unless they’ve given very clear consent.





anonymus-maximus said: And never never never ever attempt to touch a wind instrument -whilst it is being played-. Signed, Super cranky clarinetist who’s almost had their teeth knocked out a couple of times.


mellopetitone said:

Touching large brass instruments isn’t terrible. I’ve touched a tuba while someone was playing it because I couldn’t hear (low frequency loss) and it was kind of fun (with permission and all) and I would be annoyed but not super affected if someone touched my euphonium. On the other hand, anything moving while it’s touching your face can be bad. My mellophone bell got hit by a rifle when the guard set four steps too far back during a show and I had a split lip for over a week.

realsocialskills said:

I’m reblogging this without commentary because I don’t understand much about wind instruments.

slashmarks said:
The difference is that wind instruments sit up against or between your teeth most of the time. If you jar one, you’re either smacking or levering a heavy hard thing into the person’s teeth and could potentially hurt them badly. Brass instruments usually sit against your lips, so they would have to be pushed harder to knock into the player’ teeth or jaw, although it’s still possible.

realsocialskills said:

Ah, I see. That said, it’s still super rude and invasive to touch an instrument that someone is playing without being explicitly invited to do so.



chavisory said: Same as with assistive equipment and service animals-you shouldn’t even touch somebody else’s instrument without asking, usually. Again, unless some kind of unusual familiarity or intimacy creates an exception

realsocialskills said:

Yes. And also, this is *especially* the case if they are not present. Because some instruments are easy to break accidentally in ways that aren’t obvious. If you touch someone’s instrument when they’re not there, they can’t stop you from doing things that will break it.

theprettiestboy said:

I work backstage at a pretty big music festival, and one of my jobs is helping the bands set up. It’s my job to carry things for them, but I still DO NOT touch anyone’s instrument without asking them first, and that’s the first thing we teach people who are working with us for the first time. For many people, it’s as much of a boundary violation as touching their body without permission.

About musical instruments

Serious musicians often experience their instruments as an extension of their body. In any case, their instruments are usually deeply personal things.

High-level instruments also tend to be very expensive and difficult to replace.

Therefore, you should never play a musician’s instrument without asking first.

It’s a good idea to err on the side of not asking, unless you have a very good reason to suspect that they might be ok with sharing their instrument. (Eg: you’re very close friends and you’re both musicians, or you know they’ve been ok with other people playing them sometimes). And it’s good to ask in a way that makes it clear that it’s a request, not a demand.

Pianos and keyboards are a partial exception - since it’s relatively difficult to break them, and they’re usually played by more than one person, most people who have pianos are willing to let other people play them. But it’s still good form to ask.