I’m almost out of business cards. It’s time to order a fresh batch. I’m glad because it’s time to fix what I now see as a HUGE error.
If I met you at a gig (or a few other places), you probably got one of my cards. Among the basic information, you’ll see that I refer to myself as an author and a musicologist. While I’m perfectly cool with the former title, I’ve never been all that comfortable with the latter. So I’m not gonna refer to myself that way anymore.
My rationale is simple: I haven’t earned it.
A dear friend of mine bestowed the “Musicologist” title upon me. I tried to beg him off it, but he insisted because I was one of those people willing to travel from my then-home in St. Louis to wherever the band I was eager to see was playing. In the end, I wound up putting it on my business card because I thought it sounded cool. I shouldn’t have done that. I knew it as soon as I looked up the proper definition of “musicologist.”
A true musicologist is a scholar. The field considers the relationship between music and other subjects like geography, politics, or race among many other things. I can speak to some of these comparisons on an elementary level, but nowhere near anything that would be considered scholarly.
What I am is a fan. A really, really, REALLY big fan of music. I LOVE it. I’ve loved it for 50 years. I have a lot of information in my head, but no formal training toward doing something with it. I could probably teach a class on a couple of musical topics, but they would have to be MY topics assembled MY way. This does NOT make me a musicologist.
I respect academia. I respect anyone who has taken the time, trouble, and expense to achieve a higher level of learning on just about anything. I wish I could do it. Had ADHD been a Thing in the 80’s, I might also have achieved such a goal. But it wasn’t, so I haven’t. So, I’m giving credit where its due and letting the experts show why they are just that.
My new cards will read “Author and Music Journalist.” I am comfortable with both titles. I’ve written a book. It has been published and is available for sale. I’m working on my second one, with at least three conceived beyond that. While I don’t have a Journalism degree, I have written for newspapers on multiple levels, receiving a couple of awards in the process. I understand how to properly research and write a news story and will be doing so even more in the coming months at an even higher level. More on that later.
To all the true Musicologists out there who worked and slaved away to attain that degree and title, I am truly sorry. I hope you can forgive me. I meant no harm or disrespect. I understand what I am now and I will leave this particular field to you. After all, you EARNED it.
Now let’s see what happens when I’m ready to declare myself a Documentarian.
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (cirdecsongs) My book, I Can’t Be the Only One Hearing This: A Lifetime of Music Through Eclectic Ears, is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other fine book dealers. I’m currently working on my next book, The Wizard of WOO: The Life and Music of Bernie Worrell.
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