We are the Music Makers

betsy sturdevant, principal bassonist, columbus symphony

Betsy Sturdevant

My colleague in the Columbus Symphony, principal bassoonist Betsy Sturdevant, posted this poem on being a musician.

Betsy maintains a wonderful Bassoon Blog, with detailed posts on every piece we play in the Columbus Symphony, among other subjects. Any aspiring bassoonist, any musician for that matter, can learn a lot from her descriptions and analysis of specific technical and musical problems for the performer.

We Are the Music-Makers

We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams.
World-losers and world-forsakers,
Upon whom the pale moon gleams;
Yet we are the movers and shakers,
Of the world forever, it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world's great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire's glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song's measure
Can trample an empire down.

We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o'erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world's worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.

Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy

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