Music: How to Be a Composer

The business of being a composer used to consist mainly in having talent, writing music in a garret, and maybe finding a wealthy patron or two. Nowadays, what with foundation grants, teaching jobs, formal contests and informal cocktail party juries, the business is a lot more complicated. In the A.C.A. (American Composers Alliance) Bulletin, Iowa-born Composer Lockrem Johnson (A Letter to Emily) offers a sardonic, modern-day guide to musical success. Excerpts: ¶ "Learn to balance teacups. Naturally, this applies only to the beginning stages of your career. By the time of your first major symphonic work you will graduate to balancing...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!