I wanted to translate the term "musical friend" recently. The friend is female, so I used "una amiga música". My teacher insisted that this is incorrect, and that the correct version is "una amiga músico" - but she wasn't able to explain clearly why this is so. She lives in Oaxaca, Mexico. Is she right? Is there some reason for using the masculine form of the adjective?
According to the Royal Academy of Spanish, your teacher is wrong and the feminine "música" should be used:
músico -ca. ‘Persona que se dedica a la música’. El femenino es música (→ género2, 3a): «La presencia de los jóvenes músicos y músicas de la Orquesta de Cámara Tupay» (Tiempos [Bol.] 11.12.96). No debe emplearse el masculino para referirse a una mujer: la músico.
It is worth noting that professions are always nouns, even if used attributively to modify another noun, for example:
- Tengo una amiga abogada.
- Tengo varios primos dentistas.
- Tengo una vecina veterinaria.
- Tengo varios amigos médicos.
The word musical is the same actually, "musical". However that term is never used to describe a person. So you would have to re-phrase it. "Le gusta mucho la musica" = "she really likes music". "toca un instrumento" = "she plays an instrument". "toca la guitarra=she plays the guitar". "le fascina la musica" = "she loves music"/"she's fascinated by music".
Correction- I found a use of "amiga musical" on the internet, I have never used the phrase and it sounds odd to me in spanish but not in english. I'm a native speaker of spanish but speak english more fluently in a lot of contexts. Google "sonrisa, amiga musical". And there's videos of a lady clown in the results who goes by that moniker, I guess you were right. It's musical, not música. Música=musician. You can find an example of both uses on that channel.