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 6

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

Seleccionar The Fairy Tale of the Trumpet Player o What is an orchestra for? – Part 6 The Fairy Tale of the Trumpet Player o What is an orchestra for? – Part 6
As the trumpeter listened to the increasingly poetic, more creative, more artistic thoughts of his companions, I would say, more and more authentic and human, he began to remember his first grey and listless day in this house. How much everything had changed and, at the same time, everything was the same. So what is the consequence of the experiment? What is the answer to the question?
The treble clef interrupted his thought and demanded his personal answer: “So what is the consequence of the experiment? What is the answer to the question? With the help of the fermata I can hear your thoughts, too. We could say that the greatness of an orchestra (just like culture itself) lies in the fact that it serves no purpose at all and, at the same time, is all that we are. But that’s not enough for me; I want you to take a risk now and answer yourself. Show me if you are who I think you are.”
“The orchestras’ value lies not in their practical existence, but in their essence. An essence that defines the society that defends them or ignores them, encourages them or denigrates them[1],” the trumpeter argued.
“I see you are beginning to understand better,” replied the treble clef contentedly.
“But I have another question: do you remember that I told you that we all have the power to influence things, I mean, to give meaning to certain things or experiences in life? Do you remember?”
“Yes, I remember. That day, before the incident with the semihemidemisemiquavers, it has always been in my hands to go into the room and give everyone why and what we are here for. We all have this possibility, if we truly realize it. Music is the most universal language on the planet and the orchestras, whatever their category, are the messenger, the interpreter, and the spokesperson of music. We, the musicians, are the lucky ones to form this orchestra and to be part of this intercultural communication, without borders or misunderstandings. When there is nothing left, music is always there. It is part of us from an anthropological point of view. If there is nothing left inside us, there will always be this little flame of wanting to express ourselves and communicate, be it with words, music, or dance. That is what an orchestra is for; that is its purpose: to be human.
In the end, I agree with Mark Twain who said, ‘Culture is what remains, when we have spent our last penny’. Or with the great Winston Churchill, of other times, who, as far as I remember, said that ‘culture is the only thing worth winning a war for’. In case it wasn’t Churchill, may I be excused, it was another sage person,” the trumpeter quoted with a laugh.
∞ ∞
“Wow, Mr. Trumpet, you take my breath away. Take these people as example. I see that our experiment has borne fruit. My congratulations. Well, there is hope left, I see. But, please keep in mind that it is up to you to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. However, you’d better concentrate on the rehearsal now; otherwise, you won’t last long in this orchestra. I’ve told you that before. Pay attention to the maestro.
And just as it had appeared, the treble clef disappeared. It never came back.
“Excuse me partner,” our trumpeter turns to his partner, “have you seen my treble clef?”
“What treble clef? What madness are you talking about?” another trumpeter replied grumpily?
The color grey had returned. Our protagonist had to realize that he was still at his first rehearsal in the kingdom’s National Orchestra, still feeling the sweat on his forehead and the nerves of the first day when he had not started at all well.
He hadn’t paid attention to the maestro. What was he thinking?
“What does that mean?” our trumpeter wondered.
“Does that mean that the treble clef was never real?
So the incident with the semihemidemisemiquavers wasn’t real either?
Except the fermata?
Were all the conversations with Sir Treble Clef, his mercy, the know-it-all, nothing more than a dream?”
All that we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream“[2], by Edgar Allan Poe, is the last thing that crossed his mind before the maestro called his attention for the third time in his short membership of this formidable orchestra.
“What do I have to do with you to make you pay attention to me? Again, second movement, bar 57”.
With a big smile on his face, our trumpeter went about doing what he had come to do as a novice, in the fourth row. For today, he would just play, but there would be time from now on to be a bit of a treble clef for the orchestra.
… and than they lived ever happily after.


Nicole Martín Medina 

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Christmas 2023


(Original Spanish/Translation Deepl/Revision NMM)




[1] Herreros, Gonzalo (2013). Diario de Córdoba: What is an orchestra for?

[2] Poe, Edgar Allan (1849), A dream within a dream (poem)


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