Composers Forum is a daily web log that allows invited contemporary composers to share their thoughts and ideas on any topic that interests them--from the ethereal, like how new music gets created, music history, theory, performance, other composers, alive or dead, to the mundane, like getting works played and recorded and the joys of teaching. If you're a professional composer and would like to participate, send us an e-mail.
The tradition of multi-movement compositions spans the centuries, with roots in the linked sections of religious services and the groupings of dance suites. In our own time, some composers have sustained this tradition while others have rejected it. Still others have blurred the distinction, blending independent movements into large-scale forms.
What do you think? Are there compelling expressive reasons to use multi-movement forms, or are they an unwanted relic of the past? Have you used them in your music? Have you deliberately avoided them? Do you like it when people clap in the middle of your piece? Do you like it when they shift around and cough?
posted by Lawrence Dillon