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Symphony Listening Diary

I'm terrified of repeating myself and stagnating. Now that I'm outside of academia and don't have anybody pushing me, my worry is that I'll stop developing and start to rely on habits and past successes to write music.


You can't get anything new out without putting anything new in. I've decided that the time is right to confront the dirty secret I have of being largely unfamiliar with the bulk of the classical canon. I'm going to make a big dent by working through a list of 20 symphonies I have to listen to.


The challenge I'm facing at this stage in my compositional development is thinking of ways to organise music on the macro level. What are the different ways composers build large-scale structure, how do you convincingly organise music across 20 minutes or more?


I'll be keeping a little listening diary to help keep me to schedule. Nothing ground breaking here, just a little log of any progress I make in my learning as a result of listening. You absolutely do not want to end up with frankly sickening stuff like this where you congratulate yourself on being a genius for half-listening to Mozart while you're on your phone. A heavy, heavy dose of modesty will be served with every entry.


I'll keep each entry to roughly 500 words to keep it from getting out of hand.

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