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Although one should not listen to music during Sefirah, may musicians practice their instruments during this time?

Would it matter if their livelihood is or is not dependent on their musical talent (professionals vs. hobbyists)?

Would it matter if they are certain they could survive 7 (or 5) weeks without any adverse effects to their musical talents?

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Does anyone keep avelut minhagim for all 7 weeks? Also if you wish to change my answer to a comment please go ahead. –  Baal Shemot Tovot Apr 15 '12 at 4:17
    
@Vram Rav Aharon Lichtenstein does, with the exception of holidays (Pesach, Lag BaOmer etc.). My impression was that is also minhag chabad, but I'm sure someone on this site will confirm or deny that more authoritatively than I. –  Double AA Apr 15 '12 at 4:46
    
@DoubleAA It is also minhag Chabad, with those same exceptions. –  HodofHod Apr 15 '12 at 4:49
    
Not to stir any controversy, but it is a simply a Humra to refrain music in the Sefira. –  Hacham Gabriel Apr 17 '12 at 1:15
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@HodofHod can't argue with "and all that" :) –  Hacham Gabriel Apr 17 '12 at 1:17
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4 Answers

It seems from Shu"t Kapei Aharon (Siman 52, first column on page 55b of linked edition- paragraph that starts with ואם), which was written by הרב אהרן הלוי אפשטיין, that one may not practice playing musical instruments during the mourning period of Sefirat HaOmer. (Hacham Ovadia quotes him in Yechave Da'at 1:45.) Perhaps this is only according to those who do not listen/play music all year round except for educational purposes.

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BTW does anyone know who אהרן הלוי אפשטיין was? –  Baal Shemot Tovot Apr 16 '12 at 20:37
    
Why do you think " Perhaps this is only according to those who do not listen/play music all year round except for educational purposes." ? –  HodofHod Apr 16 '12 at 20:53
    
@HodofHod he kinda says something along those lines in the teshuva. והא דל א הב י א ו סש ״ מ וה ר מ ״ א דב ר זס לס ד י ׳ מש ו ס שה ם ס״ ל מי ק ר דכ ל סש ג ס ג״כ אש ו ר כלי שיר וז מ ר כנ ״ ל sorry for the bad copy/paste but its from HebrewBooks. I recommend you see the teshuva itself. –  Baal Shemot Tovot Apr 16 '12 at 20:55
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My LOR permitted me to practice instruments during Omer even though my livelihood does not depend on it. I am only an amateur musician, which possibly modified the ruling.

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Local orthodox Posek (LOP) –  Hacham Gabriel Apr 15 '12 at 19:13
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Did he explain his reasoning? (Since you and AJew got opposite answers, it would help to get more info.) –  Monica Cellio Apr 16 '12 at 14:29
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My LOR/LOP did not permit me to practice. Although my livelihood does not depend on it; I don't know what he would have said if yes.

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Did he explain his reasoning? (Since you and ex-Vram got opposite answers, it would help to get more info.) –  Monica Cellio Apr 16 '12 at 14:29
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AJew, welcome to Judaism.SE, and thanks very much for sharing yoiur rabbi's bottom line here! Please do heed @MonicaCellio's suggestion, if you can, to make your answer eve more valuable. Also, please consider registering your account, which will give you access to more of the site's features. –  Isaac Moses Apr 17 '12 at 3:55
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I remember seeing Yalkut Yosef that for profession it would be Mutar.

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