Picture of Nicole Martín Medina

Nicole Martín Medina

Gestora Cultural – Abogada/MBA

The Fairy Tale of the Trumpet Player o What is an orchestra for? – Part 1

Work carried out during the

Master’s Degree in Management of Cultural and Creative Industries 

Universidad Europea Miguel de Cervantes, 2020-2021

Subject “Theoretical Foundations of the Cultural and Creative Industries”.

Spanish mark: 10

Reduced text (without the theoretical-academic part)

Special Christmas 2023 entry, in 6 parts

El cuento del trompetista o ¿Para qué sirve una orquesta? PARTE 1 - (6 de diciembre)

Once upon a time, there was a trumpeter who lived in a country called Il Regno Vivace. Il Regno Vivace was a country of vast, green and divine meadows, long roads between villages and a sun shining every day. But what really made Il Regno Vivace special was the fact that everyone had musical knowledge. Everyone knew how to play an instrument, and everyone participated in a musical group, an orchestra. What a wonderful country!

At that time, our trumpeter was about to join the National Orchestra of the Kingdom. He had been preparing for this great day for a long time, as he knew that the national orchestra was the culmination of all his dreams. The National Orchestra was what had given meaning to his life for the past few years. Many times, in his spare time, our trumpeter delighted in philosophical questions such as the meaning of things. He had come to the conclusion that the meaning of things is the meaning that each person gives them through his or her thoughts. Things, experiences, everyday life, nothing is neither good nor bad, but everything is. It is we who interpret them as such.

∞ ∞

On the first day of his new job, he was walking towards the headquarters of the orchestra, a gilded building with a large glass dome that allowed people to see the stars from the central stage. On his way, he was reflecting – as so often – on the meaning of things, and he remembered Descartes. He was the philosopher who said, “Cogito ergo sum”. I think, therefore I am. He saw a certain connection between his own ideas and this statement. But now he had to hurry. Otherwise, he would be late for the rehearsal. When he arrived at the noble golden building where the National Orchestra resided, he was shocked and amazed at the sight of this architectural beauty. It reminded him of Ictinus, the great Greek architect of the Parthenon in Athens, who had written about the symmetry of art. “I’ll have to reflect one day on symmetry in music,” he thought. For a few seconds he stood still, staring at this crystalline dome that at night opened the way to the stars and the whole universe. “What are we doing here in this world? What is the meaning of life?”
Nicole Martín Medina - The Fairy Tale of the Trumpet Player o What is an orchestra for? - Part 1
Suddenly, he received a blow to his side. He had been standing in front of one of the main doors just as another musician had opened it to leave. Man, don’t stand in the middle of the road. And if you’re coming to rehearsal, well, hurry up. You’re late.”
“What a strange behavior of the fellow”, thought our trumpeter. Still, he hurried and went straight to the rehearsal room. Once he found the room, he entered and saw, sure enough, about 83 musicians sitting in a semicircle, all in their sections. The maestro had not yet arrived, thank goodness. He noticed that only one chair at the back, between the wind section, the trumpets, was empty. His. “We’re off to a good start,” he thought. “First day, and, really, I’m late. What a shame.”

Greeting those present, he made his way to his seat, his eyes searching for a reference, the concertmaster, or the maestro. There was no one in the hall from the orchestra management to greet him, either.

Therefore, his seat being obvious, he sat down. No one paid much attention to him, at least not beyond greeting him. “Funny, I’m new, it’s my first day, and everyone is so apathetic,” thought the trumpeter. He began to set up his instrument, again and again trying to get some complicity from his companions, but he got nothing but monosyllabic responses. As he opened the score, it crossed his mind that he had always imagined the National Orchestra to be a place full of emotions and enthusiasm for life and music. A place of art and of doing things well, a place of communication and of hearts beating to the same beat. However, what he found on his first day on the job were people just doing their jobs. At least it seemed that way. 

In this disturbing situation, at last, the maestro approached. He greeted them, paying no more attention to the fact that there was a new trumpet player among his musicians. “Second movement, bar 57,” he said, and, raising his baton, gave the cue. Our trumpeter felt himself getting nervous. He was confused, and on his forehead, the first signs of perspiration were showing.
“But what is that?” If he didn’t know better, he would think he was in a factory. He could only think of the grey men in a book he had read with great passion as a child. It was called “Momo” and was by Michael Ende[1] . In this book, the grey men stole people’s time and smoked it in cigarettes. Nobody knew the value of time, of every second, every minute, and every hour, like them. And if they could no longer steal time from others, they would die. This orchestra was not very different from the grey men of Momo.
El cuento del trompetista o ¿Para qué sirve una orquesta? – Parte 2
A shout from the conductor brought him out of his thoughts. “Won’t you come in if I give you the entrance? The maestro’s baton was directed at our poor hero, who felt more lost than ever in his life. “Yes, you trumpet”. The trumpeter could only reply with a very low “Excuse me, Maestro” and the sweat on his forehead reached the amount of a summer rain. “Again, second movement, bar 57,” said the Maestro. The trumpeter was in a state of panic, his fingers were not going to respond. His breathing was very disturbed. “But what’s the point of all that?” he wondered. Let’s not forget that our story takes place in Il Regno Vivace. Let none of the readers confuse it with a real rehearsal of a symphony orchestra.
… To be continued on 19th of December…
Nicole Martín Medina

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Christmas 2023

(Original in Spanish/ translation Deepl/ Revision NMM)



The tale is also available in

Spanish (original):





[1] Ende, Michael (1973). „Momo – And the grey men”.


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