Jay C. Batzner is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Central Florida where he teaches theory, composition, and technology courses as well as coordinates the composition program. He holds degrees in composition and/or theory from the University of Missouri Kansas City, the University of Louisville, and the University of Kansas.

Jay's music is primarily focused around instrumental chamber works as well as electroacoustic composition. His music has been recorded on the Capstone, Vox Novus, and Beauport Classical labels and is published by Unsafe Bull Music.

Jay is a sci-fi geek, an amateur banjoist, a home brewer, and juggler.

Let's Get Organized

One of my summer projects was organizing (re-organizing, actually) my CD collection. Like many of you, I have too many CDs (according to my spouse, not enough according to me). I used to have them alphabetized by either composer, performer, or whatever held the disc thematically together. A few years back I broke them up chronologically and arranged them by period. It forced some judgement calls: Schubert was in the Classical era (and I still stand behind this). Trio Medieval was in the Middle Ages (even though they had plenty of contemporary stuff) because that is where I could find them quickly. I was going to redo my "contemporary" section into a living/dead duality, but that seemed morbid.

So a week ago I arranged everything by performing forces. Vocal music broke down into lieder, a cappella, with orchestra, and opera. Chamber music has a piano section, wind section, miscellany, and string quartets. Next come concertos, then orchestral music. Electronics got its own shelf and band music went in the wind section. Everything is alphabetized within the section.

The one thing I didn't expect was how much this organization has changed how I pick out music. On one hand it is rather liberating and on the other it is completely baffling. I didn't know I had so much vocal music. I thought I had more string quartets. Can my wife find enough flute music to keep her happy?

Any organizational model has problems. What do you do with a disc that is x but not y? You have to make those judgement calls yourself. I wasn't expecting my entire collection to seem new and foreign. That is kind of neat. In a few years, maybe I'll arrange them by the last letter of the composer's name...or by duration...