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...

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