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.


Regular Contributors


Adrienne Albert
Beth Anderson
Larry Bell
Galen H. Brown
Cary Boyce
Roger Bourland
Corey Dargel
Lawrence Dillon
Daniel Gilliam
Peter Gordon
Rodney Lister
Ian Moss
Tom Myron
Frank J. Oteri
Carlos R. Rivera
David Salvage
Stefano Savi Scarponi
Alex Shapiro
Naomi Stephan
David Toub
Judith Lang Zaimont

Composer Blogs@ Sequenza21.com

Lawrence Dillon
Elodie Lauten
Anthony Cornicello
Everette Minchew
Tom Myron

Alan Theisen
Corey Dargel



Latest Posts


The Composer Next Door: April 15th - Bielawa, Moon...
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James MacMillan Interview
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Kyiv-Lavra Perchersk Monastery
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A More Perfect Union
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'In C' Follow-Up
jodru

Text and Con-Text
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Will choral music always be tonal?
Roger Bourland

Two Questions
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New Music Clarification
Cary Boyce


Beepsnort Lisa Hirsch


Record companies, artists and publicists are invited to submit CDs to be considered for review. Send to: Jerry Bowles, Editor, Sequenza 21, 340 W. 57th Street, 12B, New York, NY 10019


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Friday, March 04, 2005
What Is It?

Perhaps the question of what music actually is has no clear answer. Certainly music is many things to many people. Stylistically, chronologically, aesthetically, music forms a remarkably complex tapestry of human creative effort.

We can name the parameters of music. Sound. (But not necessarily always.) Silence. (But not necessarily always.) Rhythm. (But not necessarily always.) Dynamics, pulse, meter, color, the dimensions go on in kaleidoscopic array, but may be present or not, so music cannot be strictly said to be these things. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Maybe it's easier to say what it does rather than what it is.

But I think that it has a single common element: the delineation of time. Through an aural medium, we frame a segment of time with a beginning and an end, though some may claim to write eternal pieces. (And some just seem that way.) But if we frame a bit of time in this fashion, within a specified space, then sound, or the lack of it, becomes the medium through which a composer and musicians provide a common emotional, intellectual, or artistic experience--along with all of the cultural context (also framed by time, geography, and perhaps philosophy) that go along with it.

Music exists on a more evanescent plane than any other, and dependent on time as itís real medium. An experience on that plane can be good or bad, depending on any great number of factors.



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