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While I admire Claire Chase as a musician, I have some objections to her perspective on musical "entrepreneurship." The 2nd R. Andrew Lee article and posts #124 + #127 of this thread go into detail about that.
I disagree 100%.

Entrepreneurship is the new paradigm, and one that has been embraced by many young (20-40) composers and performers. They found their own ensembles, write their own music, book their own gigs, get their commissions, and establish themselves in the music marketplace and build an audience. No committees, no boards, no directors, no taste moguls, no deciders, no hoops to jump through - they are doing their thing without any static from the mainstream classical music czars.

That said, social media has its own pitfalls, and you have to learn how to work that game - but it is still a more open field than in previous generations.

James Taylor said something apropos: "Used to be that it was hard to get in the door (i.e. to get a record label willing to commit to you). Now the door is wide open, but there's already a million people in the room."

So, maybe because Claire Chase is a talented and attractive young musician she has been more successful than others (and experienced a backlash) - but the model is sound.
 

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Claire Chase is about advocating marginalized music; that's her entrepreneurship, which I think in the longer term will do damage to her art. Quoting Chase from 2015 with underline as mine to emphasize:

"I'm just very focused on making the absolute most of it, and making sure that not just the money but all the other good stuff that comes with it is spread around and kept in the artistic community, the community of people who are doing weird stuff at the margins that needs advocacy and collaboration and support."

I'll tell you what - government subsidies are drying up for the arts, as are private funds, during and post COVID19 as governments are running enormous deficits on more important matters for public health and the economy. She better start to look elsewhere.
 

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I disagree 100%.

Entrepreneurship is the new paradigm, and one that has been embraced by many young (20-40) composers and performers. They found their own ensembles, write their own music, book their own gigs, get their commissions, and establish themselves in the music marketplace and build an audience. No committees, no boards, no directors, no taste moguls, no deciders, no hoops to jump through - they are doing their thing without any static from the mainstream classical music czars.

That said, social media has its own pitfalls, and you have to learn how to work that game - but it is still a more open field than in previous generations.

James Taylor said something apropos: "Used to be that it was hard to get in the door (i.e. to get a record label willing to commit to you). Now the door is wide open, but there's already a million people in the room."

So, maybe because Claire Chase is a talented and attractive young musician she has been more successful than others (and experienced a backlash) - but the model is sound.
First off, I think Lee's criticisms of Chase were reasonable and had nothing to do with her attractiveness or success! Why would you imply that was the case?

My problem with all this talk of "entrepreneurialism" is that it gives off a false impression. Entrepreneurialism in the indie rock sense was like a workers' resistance movement, but for many artists of Chase's generation it simply means savvily circumventing traditional classical music institutions to reap greater financial rewards. Nothing revolutionary about it. There's a lot of posturing of being in the "real world" as opposed to the ivory tower, yet everyone studied at prestigious traditional music programs. Members of this community condemn "academic" music as elitist while relying on academic positions and traditional institutional residencies for financial support; they have consistently gotten professorships and high praise in the press; Chase was the recipient of a MacArthur grant for "arts entrepreneurialism." The fact that there is now entrepreneurial training at every major music program goes to show what the "classical music czars" think of this development; they like it.

Following the success of Chase's generation, there has been a huge institutionalized push for "entrepreneurialism." Composers are encouraged to have "portfolio careers," where the musician creates and maintains their own opportunities, seeks funding, manages schedules, and constantly juggles musical/financial priorities. "Income in this portfolio career is not only not guaranteed, but is likely to fluctuate with little predictability.... [T]he 'portfolio career' does not offer access to benefits such as health insurance, disability, pension, or vacation, and while such drawbacks are now a fact of life for many workers, they remain unaddressed in much of the institutional promotion of musical entrepreneurship" (Moore 2016, 39). Composition programs are now geared towards students living strenuous, unstable lives - at the same time, these precarious labor structures are being glorified through association with the neoliberal values of "freedom" and "innovation." 20 years ago, composers could still hope to obtain tenure track jobs in academia.

Musicologist William Robin has arrived at the terrifying conclusion that Claire Chase's generation may be the last one to have the resources to properly establish themselves. As he puts it, "[t]he mechanisms that allowed indie classical to gain prestige and institutional support have been disrupted" (2016, 251). The rhetorical positioning of "indie" classical - that it came into existence outside the concert hall and academy - is creating "the false impression that the next generation could thrive without the traditional infrastructure of classical and new music" (ibid., 252). Unfortunately, "entrepreneurialism" continues to be touted as a solution to classical music's economic problems. But it's not. New music in the US today lacks the robust funding apparatus it had in the mid-to-late 20th century, and without this all we're left with is an unstable "new music bubble."

I should add that none of this is Claire Chase's fault. She's an amazing businesswoman, just not as divorced from traditional institutions as many ultra-hopefuls would have you think.

- Andrea Moore, Neoliberalism and the Musical Entrepreneur
- William Robin, A Scene without a Name: Indie Classical and American New Music in the Twenty-First Century
 

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I think that all theories, models, knowledge, and claims are from a perspective, rather than necessarily expressing objective, universal truths. This avoids naive realism, but also relativism because not all perspectives are equally valid. It isn't an exact science, but through a public process of reflection and exchange of perspectives, the world "gets a say" in what the normative (established) set of concepts and theories for a particular domain are (though we may not be able to determine that set in practice); thus, which perspectives are "valid." My flat-earthers analogy describes those who think that the perspectives of the sources I've cited are not part of this set as it pertains to musicology. Time has shown that they clearly are.
Let's revisit the finale of your post in question:
'This polarized environment is what led Beethoven - a young connoisseur - to rebel so vehemently against "background entertainment." And it's ultimately what led to Schoenberg calling audiences "a nuisance" 100 years later. Of course, some members will claim that everything I've just said is part of a leftist conspiracy theory against classical music, but they also can't be bothered to read the many sources I've cited as evidence for these trends. It's like trying to explain the Earth is round to a flat-earther.'

One can only mess with the English language so much and when contradictions become overwhelming, credibility is at risk. A perspective is simply one view and if various perspectives don't 'necessarily express objective, universal truths' (your words) and 'not all perspectives are equally valid' (your words) then one can't draw conclusions from any one of them as if they are fact.

The term 'flat-earther' is a derogatory term which infers ignorance and stupidity. And your conclusion applies those labels to anyone who doesn't accept as factual the perspective you've derived from your sources.
 

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Let's revisit the finale of your post in question:
'This polarized environment is what led Beethoven - a young connoisseur - to rebel so vehemently against "background entertainment." And it's ultimately what led to Schoenberg calling audiences "a nuisance" 100 years later. Of course, some members will claim that everything I've just said is part of a leftist conspiracy theory against classical music, but they also can't be bothered to read the many sources I've cited as evidence for these trends. It's like trying to explain the Earth is round to a flat-earther.'

One can only mess with the English language so much and when contradictions become overwhelming, credibility is at risk. A perspective is simply one view and if various perspectives don't 'necessarily express objective, universal truths' (your words) and 'not all perspectives are equally valid' (your words) then one can't draw conclusions from any one of them that has to be accepted as fact.

The term 'flat-earther' is a derogatory term which infers ignorance and stupidity. And your conclusion applies those labels to anyone who doesn't accept as factual the perspective you've derived from your sources.
I don't see the contradiction.

- Individual perspectives don't necessarily express objective, universal truths. In other words, you can't get the full picture of something when viewing it from a single, narrow perspective.
- A more realistic sense of objectivity can be gained by taking into account multiple perspectives on a given topic.
- But not all perspectives are equally valid; over time, the world "gets a say" in what the normative (established) set of concepts and theories for a particular domain are. Relativism begone.
- Sociopolitical analysis is an established perspective in musicology, but (to give an extreme example) the analysis of music for its conduciveness to upholding white supremacist values is not.​
- Those who do not recognize sociopolitical analysis as a valid and established perspective in musicology are indeed akin to flat-earthers. I did not infer stupidity, only a fair degree of ignorance.

Does anyone else want to point out where I contradict myself?
 

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I have found the following music festivals devoted to contemporary music:
I am aware of several of those from Wikipedia. My point was for any given symphony orchestra that bears a local/national name who is receiving government subsidies (i.e. money funded by tax payers), it would be unwise to have programs only on contemporary music. I have seen orchestras fail by incorporating larger shares of such music in a vain attempt to appease entities. The ideal solution is to have some contemporary music and old music.
 

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My problem with all this talk of "entrepreneurialism" is that it gives off a false impression. Entrepreneurialism in the indie rock sense was like a workers' resistance movement, but for many artists of Chase's generation it simply means savvily circumventing traditional classical music institutions to reap greater financial rewards. Nothing revolutionary about it.
Who's "impression" is false? Who claimed they were being "revolutionary"? The whole point is circumventing traditional classical music institutions and using a different paradigm to promote and sell directly to their audience. But this idea was not unique to classical music, far from it. Classical musicians took their cue from the Indie scene which predates by several decades the Internet. Hip-hop started out entirely Indie, as did other pop genres.

One of the first things Claire Chase did was found the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) - and others like her founded or co-founded their own ensembles and performance venues. These classical musicians commissioned new works, and this new model grew.

This all really took off with the digital age, and record labels realized that the ground was shifting, and their grip on selling music wold over time erode. This has been the case for all genres, not just classical music.

Sites like Soundcloud, Bandcamp, CD Baby allowed musicians to market and sell directly to their audience without a record label or publisher. But building an audience was still done the old-fashioned way: live concerts.

I'm all for it and see it as an outgrowth of what the potential the Internet presented, for all the arts, not just classical music. But it has taken a while for that potential to become reality.

I don't see anything to be against.
 

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- Those who do not recognize sociopolitical analysis as a valid and established perspective in musicology are indeed akin to flat-earthers. I did not infer stupidity, only a fair degree of ignorance.
The problem with that as I have read many times in academia, is that misguided interpretations of history often results. Bizarre and outlandish statements have been thrown about to their discredit. One classic example is with the so-called "new musicology", heavily influenced by sexual queer theory, feminism, critical theory and the like, with so called academics like Susan McClary's (infamous) theory on Beethoven and rape. She wrote (now hold your chairs tightly when you read this): "The point of recapitulation in the first movement of the Ninth is one of the most horrifying moments in music, as the carefully prepared cadence is frustrated, damming up energy which finally explodes in the throttling murderous rage of a rapist incapable of attaining release." It really is a case of academics playing with theory, words and not breathing enough fresh air out from the real world.
 

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The problem with that as I have read many times in academia, is that misguided interpretations of history often results. Bizarre and outlandish statements have been thrown about to their discredit. One classic example is with the so-called "new musicology", heavily influenced by sexual queer theory, feminism, critical theory and the like, with so called academics like Susan McClary's (infamous) theory on Beethoven and rape. She wrote (now hold your chairs tightly when you read this): "The point of recapitulation in the first movement of the Ninth is one of the most horrifying moments in music, as the carefully prepared cadence is frustrated, damming up energy which finally explodes in the throttling murderous rage of a rapist incapable of attaining release." It really is a case of academics playing with theory, words and not breathing enough fresh air out from the real world.
Indeed. I am currently semi-retired, and am filling my time pursuing a PhD after a life working in the commercial world. It has been an eye-opening (although not entirely surprising) time. Some points, which may or may not be relevant in academic fields relating to music, but which occur in the field I am involved in:

- Academic research is much less academic (in the sense of objective and seeking to avoid self-interest from shaping the conclusions) than professional research.
- References to a myriad of other papers are primarily used to exclude other voices, by intimidation and ridicule. ("You haven't read X & Y 1998 and C & D 2018, etc. Well you don't know what you're talking about then.")
- Group think is rampant, where getting published depends on "joining the conversation" (which means accepting the premises of the dominant clique) and not undermining the reputations of those on editorial boards by challenging their positions. A cites B cites C cites A, etc.
- There is a huge problem, the "replication crisis", where findings cannot be repeated (and indeed, few try because work which simply checks the findings of others is not novel and interesting and will not advance one's career: agreeing previous work is not novel, and disagreeing is problematic).
- Specialisms such as the one you refer to have a vested interest in generating provocative "findings" which support their prior theories as applied to whatever area they are investigating, as that is "interesting".
- Social science is interested in producing "new theory", but not so much in having the theory tested. For example, you investigate something, come up with your ideas of the themes that might explain what you see, and cross-refer that against prior work from others in your clique, seeking to demonstrate that you have extended or slightly corrected the prior work, and citing your chums in the process. You hope this will get you published because it supports the prevailing prejudices, and that will then advance your career. Much of this stuff is not falsifiable, as it is little more than speculation, so you end up with a self-perpetuating network of mutually referencing papers which is good for nothing more than appearing to support your prior (often politically motivated) prejudices and boosting your reputation with people who already agree with you.

One way of summarising all this is that it provides a leisure activity for an intellectual class which is well remunerated (if you are successful), delivers status, and allows the advancement of political postures. Nice work if you can get it.

I hope that the academic approach to music is not similar to the above, but every time a post here links to a political stance my heart sinks a little further.
 

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Indeed. I am currently semi-retired, and am filling my time pursuing a PhD after a life working in the commercial world. It has been an eye-opening (although not entirely surprising) time. Some points, which may or may not be relevant in academic fields relating to music, but which occur in the field I am involved in:

- Academic research is much less academic (in the sense of objective and seeking to avoid self-interest from shaping the conclusions) than professional research.
- References to a myriad of other papers are primarily used to exclude other voices, by intimidation and ridicule. ("You haven't read X & Y 1998 and C & D 2018, etc. Well you don't know what you're talking about then.")
- Group think is rampant, where getting published depends on "joining the conversation" (which means accepting the premises of the dominant clique) and not undermining the reputations of those on editorial boards by challenging their positions. A cites B cites C cites A, etc.
- There is a huge problem, the "replication crisis", where findings cannot be repeated (and indeed, few try because work which simply checks the findings of others is not novel and interesting and will not advance one's career: agreeing previous work is not novel, and disagreeing is problematic).
- Specialisms such as the one you refer to have a vested interest in generating provocative "findings" which support their prior theories as applied to whatever area they are investigating, as that is "interesting".
- Social science is interested in producing "new theory", but not so much in having the theory tested. For example, you investigate something, come up with your ideas of the themes that might explain what you see, and cross-refer that against prior work from others in your clique, seeking to demonstrate that you have extended or slightly corrected the prior work, and citing your chums in the process. You hope this will get you published because it supports the prevailing prejudices, and that will then advance your career. Much of this stuff is not falsifiable, as it is little more than speculation, so you end up with a self-perpetuating network of mutually referencing papers which is good for nothing more than appearing to support your prior (often politically motivated) prejudices and boosting your reputation with people who already agree with you.

One way of summarising all this is that it provides a leisure activity for an intellectual class which is well remunerated (if you are successful), delivers status, and allows the advancement of political postures. Nice work if you can get it.

I hope that the academic approach to music is not similar to the above, but every time a post here links to a political stance my heart sinks a little further.
I suppose this is somewhat off topic, but I was rather struck with the description of academic research above. I assume you are in the social sciences. My career has been in science related academia. I would say each of your conclusions for social science would be exceedingly different (almost opposite) in the areas of science where I have worked. Based on the relatively little I have read, I have assumed that humanities would be even further from the sciences in terms of the above conclusions, but I don't know. The fields are all clearly different.

I read about Susan McClary and assumed she was rather an outlier within music related academic research.
 

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The problem with that as I have read many times in academia, is that misguided interpretations of history often results. Bizarre and outlandish statements have been thrown about to their discredit. One classic example is with the so-called "new musicology", heavily influenced by sexual queer theory, feminism, critical theory and the like, with so called academics like Susan McClary's (infamous) theory on Beethoven and rape. She wrote (now hold your chairs tightly when you read this): "The point of recapitulation in the first movement of the Ninth is one of the most horrifying moments in music, as the carefully prepared cadence is frustrated, damming up energy which finally explodes in the throttling murderous rage of a rapist incapable of attaining release." It really is a case of academics playing with theory, words and not breathing enough fresh air out from the real world.
She's right actually. Mozart too. Listen to the Turkish March. It is the sound of a psycho marching happily to the house of his victim. Don't you hear it?? :lol: I don't want to know her interpretation of Don Giovanni. How can these people graduate at Harvard?? Who gave them a degree?
 

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Claire Chase is a great example of the new paradigm for classical composers/performers.
Without getting deeply into debate, I think Claire is wonderful. And so long as we're talking about flutists, let's mention another who is a great guy and phenomenal composer and player, Robert Dick. Robert was a flute student of Julius Baker (legendary NY Philharmonic principal flutist and Juilliard professor, check out his Nielsen concerto with Bernstein) and studied composition with Ezra Laderman at Yale. But he decided to go in a very different direction.

http://robertdick.net/
 

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Without getting deeply into debate, I think Claire is wonderful. And so long as we're talking about flutists, let's mention another who is a great guy and phenomenal composer and player, Robert Dick. Robert was a flute student of Julius Baker (legendary NY Philharmonic principal flutist and Juilliard professor, check out his Nielsen concerto with Bernstein) and studied composition with Ezra Laderman at Yale. But he decided to go in a very different direction.

http://robertdick.net/
Robert Dick is fantastic and a trailblazer for all instrumentalists, not just flute, although that is where he has had the largest impact.

I'm not sure why there is a debate about new music musicians seeking to find and create opportunities for themselves. This is really nothing new, by necessity new music opportunities have always been mostly a matter of self-help, going back to Schoenberg's Verein für musikalische Privataufführungen. There were probably earlier groups, I seem to remember reading that Robert Schumann did something like this, but I could be wrong.
 

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I suppose this is somewhat off topic, but I was rather struck with the description of academic research above. I assume you are in the social sciences. My career has been in science related academia. I would say each of your conclusions for social science would be exceedingly different (almost opposite) in the areas of science where I have worked. Based on the relatively little I have read, I have assumed that humanities would be even further from the sciences in terms of the above conclusions, but I don't know. The fields are all clearly different.

I read about Susan McClary and assumed she was rather an outlier within music related academic research.
Yes. My original degree was in mathematics, which is different again. My current studies are at a business school. My jaundiced view of some (not all) of what goes on arises from a sense that it is too easy for a clique to create a large body of mutually reinforcing articles based on their own shared assumptions (or prejudices) and practically impossible for anyone to refute them. (Take the example of the quoted stuff from Susan McClary: how would one, even in principle, refute her assertion? It is expressed as a statement of fact, but it is at most a metaphor designed to support a viewpoint that she wants to use her assertion to promote.) None of this might not matter too much, except that such cliques can have political objectives, which they seek to pursue using their academic prestige as a tool. Susan McClary's objective here is presumably to advance feminist positions, and that is the reason for the assertion about Beethoven. As political campaigning it may or may not be successful, but is it really academic research? I imagine you could pick other passages from a work as long as Beethoven's 9th and hang words off them to establish :rolleyes: pretty much whatever you wanted, and no one could refute it (- all they could do would be to agree or to disagree or more pertinently to suggest that it is simply meaningless).
 

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The problem with that as I have read many times in academia, is that misguided interpretations of history often results. Bizarre and outlandish statements have been thrown about to their discredit. One classic example is with the so-called "new musicology", heavily influenced by sexual queer theory, feminism, critical theory and the like, with so called academics like Susan McClary's (infamous) theory on Beethoven and rape. She wrote (now hold your chairs tightly when you read this): "The point of recapitulation in the first movement of the Ninth is one of the most horrifying moments in music, as the carefully prepared cadence is frustrated, damming up energy which finally explodes in the throttling murderous rage of a rapist incapable of attaining release." It really is a case of academics playing with theory, words and not breathing enough fresh air out from the real world.
I hear it. The recapitulation is a massive, massive failed climax. You expect it to resolve into a triumphant reprisal of the opening cadence, and it doesn't, it bashes against the walls in a rage before coming to (given Beethoven's maturity, I'm assuming this was intentional) a somewhat unsatisfying entry into the recapitulation of the second subject.

When this came out, a bunch of people lobbied to have this struck, and her fired, as if the comparison was some kind of attack against Beethoven, or the 9th, or the implication that the 9th was "rapist music". It isn't. I'm well aware of the excesses of critics, but the statement that the first movement recapitulation is an explosion of rage is extremely supportable by listening to the piece.

In fact for all the talk about how this is one of the most infamous passages in the history of classical music criticism, I was shocked how little exegesis it made. It's fundamentally no more absurd than any other metaphorical statement about a purely musical element, like calling the 7th "the apotheosis of the dance" as Wagner did.
 

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(sorry for the double post)
Just to clarify, my general limits for this kind of thing is when exegesis isn't supportable by the actual experience of listening to the music. To keep it in the Beethoven vein, the many contemporary comparisons at the time that the 7th Symphony was some kind of veiled narrative about the French Revolution in the vein of the Eroica seem silly, even if individual bits of these readings can theoretically be supported. I don't think that's the case with the 9th first movement- when you read about it, even in "purely" musical readings, you read things like "violence", "anger", "titanic struggle with God", etc etc- in other words all the clichés people say about angry Beethoven works. And that movement does come off to listeners as violent, angry, and struggling- I don't think *that's* a controversial statement. That statement seems just like a natural metaphor arising from the association of that movement with such concepts.
 
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