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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Accompanist vs. Collaborative Pianist: I weigh in

It's fashionable nowadays to rail against the hateful, offensive, blasphemous word "accompanist."  "Collaborative pianist"or just "pianist" tend to be accepted as more PC, more considerate, more elegant.

My opinion:  nope.

I like the word "accompanist."  Why?  Because when I with you up on that stage, OK, yes, we're collaborating. But I am not following you.  If I were, I would already have to be behind you.  I am accompanying you.  To accompany is to go with, to remain with, to stay with.  If I am your accompanist, you can trust me.  You can trust that I am by your side and sticking with you, from capo to fine.  My favorite aspect of accompanying, the reason I still do it, is that bond of utter trust between my soloist and myself.  In a sense, we have to accompany each other.

That is why I am proud to be an accompanist.

1 comment:

  1. Love this picture, Celesta. As an accompanist for more than 40 years with a Bachelor's degree in Piano Accompanying, I remain content with this terminology just because of the experience you so well well describe - thank you!