Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Composers' web pages
I spent a while this morning surfing through composers' webpages. Many are impressive, with smart layouts and striking graphics, but the content often makes one wonder about the intended readership. I estimate that 90% of the biographies on these pages are basically lists of academic degrees and prizes and almost none try to say something about the music. Possibly good C.V.s for prospective academics but lousy promotionional materials for music. If the readership is gathered primarily from among composers and other musicians, then listing institutions, degrees, and prizes may be a convenient shortcut for establishing some parameters (or pedigree?) with which a composer's work might be characterized. But that's just performing for the choir, and a webpage ought to be able to do more than that. While writing meaningfully in a compact way about music is almost impossible, if the idea of the web page is to call attention to one's work, then go for the impossible and say something about the work.