Composers on composers

September 17, 2010

Students need to take with a grain of salt any opinions by composers about other composers. Composers have strong feelings about their own aesthetic and what music is “good” and what music is not “good.” The network of decisions that a composer makes helps define who they are.

By the same token, composers should not compose for other composers. People criticized Ezra Pound as a poet who wrote for other poets: only other poets could understand it. Composers usually write what feels authentic to them. Those who imitate the style of the year usually crumble. Composers usually know who they are writing for. It is sad if they are composing for an old composition teacher, perched on their shoulder like a guardian angel or devil.

We need to cut our umbilical cords to academia after we graduate. Don’t worry about what your old theory teacher might think: Stephen Sondheim certainly didn’t.

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Links! Pareidolia, pianists, composers « Endless Possibilities
September 20, 2010 at 7:18 am

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