If the Chinese year starting at the end of January 2006 is the Year of the Dog, 2005 was a dog of a year for music. Beset by war, rising prices and catastrophes from tsunamis to hurricanes, people’s money went to charities or other more necessary expenses. Annual CD sales in 2005, according to a Nielsen statistic shown in the Wall Street Journal, are lower than they were in 1995. This includes all musical styles and digital downloads. Obviously, people have figured out how to get their music for free. I haven’t bought a CD myself in years, and I may listen to music on the internet, but as a rule, I do not download. I use the public libraries to get access to books and CDs. Actually, one of my proudest contributions to society is donating my own CDs and videotapes in large quantities to libraries. Should we complain about piracy or accept the fact that CDs have become more like works of art to be collected.

My musical year 2005 centered around two college productions, one opera and one orchestral premiere, none of which were in New York, and a CD release of piano soundtracks on 4-Tay. I had to turn down a venue because I was too busy looking for a job… and still looking.

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