I recently had a brief discussion with someone who suggested, that music, that takes longer to be listened to than it took to write it (e.g. various pieces by LaMonte Young, Morton Feldman or John Cage - but also, even, Erik Satie) kind of abuses the term "composition" and also abuses the attention of the listeners. I am not sure, if this is a fair claim.

On the other hand, it could be regarded as equally wasteful spending a whole day's work on little more than one musical bar, that is over in a couple of seconds or such.

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  • Ha!  Reminds me of a quote from Oscar Wilde:

    “I spent all morning putting in a comma and all afternoon taking it out.”

  • When I read your comments it reminded me of the time I played second fiddle in a production of Showboat.

    I had whole pages of vamp with copious use of the bar repeat sign ‘/. 

    We did ten evening performances in 35c+ heat with no Airconditioning and me going um-cha um-cha page after page.

  • We all have our individual definitions of music and what's craftsmanship and not. I believe there's still room for craftsmanship though the current trend in Lego composing and "big bang orchestration" give lie to that. You can buy preset instrumentations by the cartload now, all effusing with superlatives - you'll be the greatest composer since God created the earth. Bung a few together, press the render button and wow, you have your masterwork!! 

    But then, reading about the problems Schoenberg encountered composing Verklaerte Nacht I can appreciate the need to spend weeks at a couple of bars to get things right. Composing isn't all plain sailing. 

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