Music: Starvation Amidst Plenty

Serious composers are traditionally hard up. They pick out their masterworks on battered garret pianos with chilblained fingers, present them to a frigid world that applauds them only when it is too late. Or so the legend goes. In 1945, Paul S. Carpenter, director of the University of Oklahoma School of Music, decided to make a study of their situation in the U.S.

Carpenter died last year, but not before he had got his findings down on paper. This week they were published in an irreverent, readable book entitled Music: An Art and...

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