Wednesday, January 09, 2002

I spent yesterday evening with some friends who were studying for the Listening Exam, which is being offered again today. One of them had gotten copies of someone's personal study CDs, which had excerpts and high points from most of the music on the exam. The editing of the CDs was a bit overzealous -- excerpts were too short to really learn, and massive works were compressed to just a few seconds, according to the importance it was given by the student who had made the CDs. It's interesting to think that a future measure of acceptance and staying power for current composers will be such academic exams in the twenty-first century. Barring acceptance by the mass media culture, the main place our works will be studied and/or enjoyed will be in academic circles. It's also unsettling to think that I could spend years perfecting the details of a single piece, only to have it systematically pared down to its "essential" motives and phrases for the purpose of memorization and regurgitation.

I passed my trumpet audition last semester. One less thing to worry about for the future. As this semester gears up, it looks like I'll have plenty of free time for practicing and composing, although how wisely I use that time will always be in limbo.

"It's that damn Connor piece. Man, I hate that piece." - composer, on what future listening exam students will say

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