SHORT ESSAYS
On Certain Essentials of Music Theory, History, and Society

by Christopher Fulkerson

CF's Composition Desk

These short essays, none longer than a few paragraphs, have evolved from my talks and conversations about music. This is a selection of subjects I have on hand, along with simple descriptions of the gist of each essay.

How to Talk to a Composer (Short Answer: Ask Him What He's Written, Not What Instrument He Plays)

The Pyramid of Genres of Classical Music (Short Answer: Opera below Symphony below Chamber Music)

What Are the Methods of Composing Music? (Short Answer: There are Basically Only Two Methods: Developing Details Into A Form; or: Creating a Form and Deducing the Details)

How Real Composers Write Music (Short Answer: At Their Desks, Not at an Instrument)

Why Is Contemporary Music So Complicated? (Short Answer: It isn't. The New Music of Every Era Seems That Way to Its Audience)

Do Composers Die Young? (Short Answer: No)

Do Composers Achieve Fame After Death? (Short Answer: No)

Simple Points About the Relation Between Classical Music and Science (Short Answer: They're the Same Thing)

The Truth About Meter (Short Answer: You Should Never Accent Anything Unless the Score Specifies It)

The Truth About Scales and Chords (Short Answer: No Composer Really Thinks In These Terms)

The Truth About Solfege (Short Answer: Fixed Chromatic Solfege Is Best, It Requires the Least Theoretical Explanation)

Is Musical Composition a "Passion?" (Short Answer: No, It's a Vocation)

On "Child Prodigies" (Short Version: Almost None Are Artists, and 98% Don't Go On to Become Musicians)

Is "Tone Deafness" Real? And, Can the Average Person Sing? And, Can You Prove This? (Short Answers: No, Yes, and Here Are the Facts)

Why Classical Music Has A Hard Time Finding Support (Short Answer: Government By The People Did Away with Those Dreadful, Unfair Aristocratic Lords Who Were the Patrons Who Commissioned Music)

Why the Concert Repertoire Isn't Changing (Short Answer: Marketplace Mentality of the "Culture Industry")

A Short List of the Key Composers of Every Era

A Short List of the Most Important Philosophers of Music (Short Answer: Plato, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Adorno)

Should Music Be Taught In the Schools? (Short Answer: Not If the Eras of Real Success of Classical Music Are Any Indication)

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First Posted 1/16/2010. Last updated 4/12/2010.


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