Picture of Nicole Martín Medina

Nicole Martín Medina

Gestora Cultural – Abogada/MBA

The Fairy Tale of the Trumpeter o What is an orchestra for? – Part 3

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 3
“I would like to know what the point of an orchestra is—what the point of this orchestra made up of grey men is, even without cigars. I want to know what they are for. First and foremost, if I see that apparently my ideas on the subject are wrong.”
“And what are your ideas on the meaning of an orchestra, if I may ask?”
“Yes, it is allowed, your worship. All my life, I thought that in an orchestra, one would experience great emotions such as happiness, joy, passion, and love. I thought that these emotions would be transmitted to the audience, who, in this way, would participate in the delight of music. But I arrive at the most famous orchestra in the kingdom, and there is none of that in rehearsals. An orchestra that doesn’t even know its own soul. How is it possible to give something that I don’t have beforehand? Hence, my initial question: What is the point of all this?”
“Perfect, Mr. Trumpet. I got it. It’s not at all far-fetched. But before I start my experiment with you, think about whether life is lived in a straight line or not. Life is full of ups and downs and changes in mood. And, above all, it depends a lot on ourselves. Does that make sense? Am I clear?”
“To be honest, no, you are not. What has that got to do with it now?” the trumpeter replied. “You’ll see, but, above all, never forget that everyone can make things change. So can you.”
“You’ll see, but, first of all, never forget that everyone can make a difference. So can you.”
“Me?” the trumpeter blurted out a little too vehemently. “I am new here; no one has even spoken to me beyond an unfriendly greeting. And as soon as I arrived, I earned the anger of the maestro. I’m a little ticked off. And you tell me that I can make things change here.”
“Yes, you. Because as soon as you entered, in tenths of a second, you let yourself be impregnated by the atmosphere in the room and adapted to it. Or tell me, where did you leave the boy who five minutes before was full of enthusiasm to be able to play in the National Orchestra? You went in physically, and as a person, you have been left out. A perfect expression of mimicry”.
“That’s the last straw; are you telling me I’m just like the others here?” asked the trumpeter, his head well and truly red with anger.
“Yes, that’s what I’m telling you. And I add, you dare ask about the sense of this orchestra if, in a minimum of time, you have adapted to its reality. It’s not my fault, that’s clear because the scores and I, we have been the same musical symbols for centuries, and we have guided you all these times. What is more, we are still doing it in the same way today. But you musicians forget the meaning and the greater importance of the orchestra, of music, and of life. That often happens when you enter a rehearsal room. Just as you yourself have just done.”
Please accept my candor, but you’re not the first person I’ve had this conversation with. And it’s always the same, if I ask everyone “What does the orchestra mean to you”, nine out of ten musicians remain silent. Which leads me to wonder if you don’t see any meaning in what you are doing at all. Certainly, you, Mr. Trumpet, give me some hope since you were able to give me at least an answer. You are number one out of ten. But you don’t live in congruence with all your ideals, either.”
“Oh my God, that’s quite a speech,” thought the trumpeter. This will take some time to process. However, his intuition warned him as he went along that there was a lot of truth in these words. The joy that characterized him as a person had left him out of this room. Why? He couldn’t say at that moment. Maybe because of insecurity, fear of being rejected, fear of what people would say, or being the new guy. “Don’t be quiet, trumpet,” the treble clef challenged the trumpeter.
“I’m thinking,” the musician replied. “By the way, what experiment were you telling about just now?”
∞ ∞
“Let’s take it step by step. Let’s do an experiment. You should let yourself go and observe. Later, I will ask you and your colleagues again about the sense of the orchestra. We will also describe the atmosphere in the hall again. We’ll meet here, but first I have to ask for help from a colleague of mine, the semihemidemisemiquaver.”
“The semihemidemisemiquaver, what? The trumpeter couldn’t get over his astonishment. He had been talking to a treble clef for a long time, and now he was going to meet a semihemidemisemiquaver. Apparently, the guys in the five brackets had their own characters; that was clear. Let’s see where this one comes out with now.
“Shut up, watch,” insisted the treble clef. At this precise moment, our trumpeter realized that he was in a rehearsal, and, at the last second, he saw the maestro’s baton about to give him his cue for the second time. As if guided by the devil himself, he put the trumpet to his mouth and blew. Too loudly. Good heavens, that sounded terrible.
“Can you tell me what’s wrong with you, trumpet? You can’t work like that,” protested the maestro at the very moment when he saw a semihemidemisemiquaver and several of her companions leave their score and take their places at his music stand, too.
“That couldn’t really happen,” thought the maestro. He took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes, as our hero had done earlier. But just as in his case, the master kept seeing a group of big-eyed semihemidemisemiquaver moving back and forth on his lectern. He felt dizzy as these figurines kept moving at an extraordinary speed.
The maestro took his eyes off the quavers and looked at his musicians, who apparently didn’t notice anything that was happening. Yet there they were. They were still there, dizzying him on his music stand. In the next instant, to make matters worse, they began to speak to him, overlapping, too fast to understand well, all at the same time and at high volume. They were saying something along the lines that the rehearsal had to be cancelled. He didn’t quite understand why. The semihemidemisemiquaver were saying something about imminent danger to everyone in the room and that they couldn’t stay.
“Do they want me to clear the hall?” the maestro wondered in astonishment. With much irritation, the musicians noticed that something was going on with the maestro, but no one understood what it was. Simply, he was seen on his podium with strange evasive movements, as if someone was hitting him or pushing him, not with great force, but rather, as if it was too strong a wind that provoked this strange behavior.
At the same time, the maestro noticed the astonishment in his musicians’ faces without perceiving any reason for it. There was no reason for imminent danger—not in sight. There were semihemidemisemiquavers on his music stand, driving him mad. But no one but himself and the trumpeter at the back of the hall could see the little guys rushing around.
“But what is that, a circus? It can’t be true. And to top it all, the new trumpet player doesn’t measure up,” thought the maestro, doubting his own eyes.
“If you don’t go home right now, you’re all going to catch it and a few of you are going to die.”
… To be continued on December 25…

Nicole Martín Medina

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Christmas 2023

(Original Spanish/Translation Deepl/Revisión NMM)


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