What are the Differences Between Artists and Musicians?

Differences Between Artists and Musicians

It is very easy to get a few of them wrong when it comes to musical terminology. One of the more unusual terminology comparisons is between artists and musicians. The terms are frequently used interchangeably, but there are some distinctions. So, what exactly are the differences between artists and musicians?

An artist is not limited to a single creative style. A musician is a type of artist who specialises in the performance of an instrument. The term “artist” is typically applied to those who are serious about their performances.

We’ll look at clear definitions of an artist and a musician. We will also look at different scenarios in which they could be used.

What Is An ‘Artist’ In Music?

An artist is defined as anyone who creates art. One of the most important aspects of music is the ability to dream and conjure up what to say through their work.

While there is structured instruction on how to learn music theory and play an instrument with lots of practice, the process of creating art often necessitates individual creativity.

An artist is responsible for developing their distinctive sound. They must also promote themselves and develop their own “brand.”

Artists such as David Bowie and Prince are examples of great artists who were able to not only play instruments and write music but also translate their ideas to other musicians who collaborated and featured on their records.

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Who is a Musician?

A musician can play an instrument, understand music theory, and write music. Instrument virtuosos like Steve Vai and Victor Wooten are not only incredible players but also have a distinct sound and a thorough understanding of their instrument and music theory.

Musicians are frequently able to compose and arrange music. Although it is not a required skill, more and more musicians are learning music production to bring their music to life.

Bands are excellent examples of a diverse group of musicians who are proficient in their instruments and can contribute to the creation of music.

What are the Differences Between Artists and Musicians?

An artist is someone who can create music or contribute to the advancement of music while also expressing their vision through their work. On the other hand, a musician plays musical instruments, composes music, and performs that music. While every musician is also an artist, the opposite is not always true.

Many popular musicians, for example, do not create their music from beginning to end, which means they do not compose, arrange, or perform the instruments themselves. They do not meet the definition of “musicians.” However, some pop stars, such as Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran, are also musicians in the sense that they write, perform, and play their own music.

Can You Call a Musician an Artist?

We can call a musician an artist if he creates or contributes to the creation of original music. A musician who can read musical scores is still just that: a musician, regardless of whether he composes his own music or simply performs other people’s compositions from sheet music.

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Are Music Producers Musicians?

Many people mistakenly believe those who create music solely on computers are not musicians. This, on the other hand, is completely false. If you want to be a successful producer, you must have strong musical abilities.

If you don’t understand music theory, you’ll have trouble composing whether you use a guitar or a digital audio workstation like Ableton Live.

Music production necessitates a diverse set of skills, including not only playing and repairing instruments but also arranging and composing.

Electronic music producers are typically responsible for composition, mixing, and mastering.

Examples of Artists and Musicians

Despite the fact that some genres have a larger population than others, both can coexist peacefully in many others. Musicians perform Metal as a musical genre, whereas composers and sound artists perform neo-psychedelia and experimental music.

Kanye West, Kenny G, Kendrick Lamar, and Tyler the Creator are all artists. Eminem, Jay-Z, and Run the Jewels are among the musicians. Phil Elverum best represents the artist archetype, while Guthrie Govan best represents the musician archetype.

King Crimson is considered an art group, whereas Pink Floyd is considered a band (this is a debatable distinction). You are free to fight it out among yourselves.


The difference between artists and musicians is found in the medium through which their creativity is channelled and the sensory experiences they generate. Artists shape our visual and conceptual nature, while musicians create soul-stirring sound journeys.

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