Monday, July 31, 2006

Two Decisions that Every Young Composer Must Make

In my multitudinous years of teaching experience, I have noticed that, when it comes to two simple career-decisions, virtually none of my students make the right choices. The purpose of this blog entry is to educate my future students in advance.

Decision #1: Graduate School

Young people, the choice is simple. No creative artist has made worthwhile art without at least one doctorate. Before you rush out with your bachelor’s degree and start expressing yourself, think about how much you don’t know about what kind of music you should write. Chances are you haven’t quite found your voice yet. Writing a couple of theses will help you tame those impulsive needs to churn out compositional drivel. You’ll learn to develop the intellectual distance needed to express your feelings formally and structurally.

You may be too young and virulent to understand this reasoning, but think about this: if you get accepted to graduate school, you will get HEALTH INSURANCE.

Decision #2: Commercial- or Self-Publish

Some of you young people believe you can wiggle and squiggle your way into the establishment by generating your scores on dot matrix printers. Well I’ve got news for you: You can’t make a squiggle with some stupid internet composition program. Just ask Morton Subotnick.

You may have a computer that can generate scores, but that doesn’t mean your music is accurately represented (especially if you're not using a TANDY computer). In the past, the purpose of a publisher was to promote and publicize your music. Even though publishers no longer function as publicists, they do keep half of your royalties for you. They invest those royalties in the publishing industry. If you keep all of your royalties to yourself, the big publishers will go bankrupt, and then there will be no establishment left, and no one to hold on to those royalties for you.

Again, the choice is simple.

I’ll have more BlogLessons for potential students in the near future. Meanwhile, you can visit this site for some lessons to keep you busy until school starts.


Anonymous A Composition Student said...

Gee, thank you Professor McJeebie, those composition lessons you sent us to have changed my life. I never would have thought that everything could be explained in one web page. But there it is: innie music, outie music, and ironic-ie music. Composing music is as easy as looking at your naval!

7:32 PM  

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