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Conductors and Composers

My worst experience had to be in high school playing Duke of Earl on the flute at football games, I’ll never get those precious hours back. Why do conductors and composers torture musicians? Were they inspired to become parasites and see if another family would claim them as their own?
Anna Montgomery

We like it better when the composer is dead.
– The wag that sits third row in every second violin section in every orchestra, ever.

For A.M.

Conductors extrovert their will on the wanna-be.
Composers sit alone, some scheme in mind
some puzzle without the parts
until those pieces forge themselves on the framework
of theory problems that arose along the way.

And after this bit of cosmic flotsam solidifies
it becomes Intention, like plasma turns into a moon,
and Conductors guard their opinion of it
with a mania reserved for religious dispute,
but colored with a type of synesthesia
that leaves no room for your D#s
to taste different from their ideal.

So do what they’re thinking,
and not what the count would seem to indicate.
It’s a fool who looks at the pointing baton
and not the moon.

based on a dVerse prompt, and a comment exchange with my cyber-friend Anna Montgomery from some time ago. 🙂

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  1. July 8, 2013 at 2:09 am

    Loved your poem but was mortified to hear myself grouse in print :). As a composer and a musician I felt painfully both sides yet both sides laughed heartily at the conductor. Fantastic!

    • July 8, 2013 at 6:37 pm

      My aim, as always, is to laugh at the conductor…

  2. July 8, 2013 at 6:15 am

    each bring a bit of order out of chaos in their own way…smiles…i like that last line as well…ha

  3. July 8, 2013 at 11:06 am

    If it weren’t for composers, Musicians would have no music to perform and if it weren’t for conductors, most large ensembles would be a giant flustercluck. If it weren’t for musicians, composers and conductors would have nobody to teach and/or torture an if not for an audience, we as universal music makers would have nobody to listen.

  4. July 8, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    sometimes i just wanna be the composer of my own music but then… what would we miss out on if there weren’t the big ones…and it’s good to just play as they tell us to sometimes

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