I expect most musicians aim to master the instrument they play. But articles & interviews I've read suggest that:
- Classical musicians:
- Place importance on precision and theoretical knowledge
- Should master many styles/techniques. This way, the director can select pieces covering a wide stylistic repertoire, and the orchestra can play in an appropriate (but different) manner for each piece, on demand.
- Rock musicians:
- Value self-expression, individual “quirks”
- When recording, try to capture an excellent “take” by both tweaking the texture of the sound (effects, microphone placement, etc.) and selecting a specific performance, often among the first ones, which has enthusiasm. Some call this a “rock moment” saying that if you don't capture it when it happens, it might be very hard to get another one.
This suggests that, while all serious musicians strive to master their instrument, classical musicians aim for reproducibility (consistently delivering the same performance) while a rock musician aims for his or her individual “voice” when performing (but each performance ends up having a slightly different character, enthusiasm – still within his or her unique voice, or style).
Of course any such “rule” will have exceptions, but in general, do classical and rock musicians have indeed different goals? Are the things I noticed (reproducibility vs spontaneity) generally accepted as such, and do you know of others?
Let's make a list of similarities and differences, based on trustworthy sources (e.g. what you know from real musicians; articles from a reputable source).