NJ: No Joke

Lassies and Gendermen, let me introduce you to one of the greatest hypocrites in German music business—Enjott Schneider. A successful and influential representative of film music industry, president of the German Composers Association, and honoured with the highest academic and professional merits, this man doesn’t miss an opportunity to denigrate the system that feeds him. Here are some testimonials of his blatant double standards (quotes in in my translation):

(1) In a public discussion on the sense and nonsense of the term ›maestro‹, he contemptuously mocks German audiences for their alleged vanity and superficialness: »The average attendant of classical concerts is rarely a responsible citizen: […] he is just interested in celebrity hype and […] reactionary, masochistic self-suppression.«
(2) In an interview just published in this month’s nmz, he exuberantly praises the Chinese government for its cultural policy, and particularly for funding his recent mammoth opera project with fabulous production conditions. At the same time, he again dismisses the European music scene for its shortlived capitalism: »Everything is subordinated to capital and rigid economic principles«, focusing on »the ego’s hyperindividualism«, and »›freedom of art‹ has long become an eyewash«.

I say: Enjott, stop lamenting the system. You are one of the most powerful figures in it, so start improving its deficiencies if you really mean to change something. If not, please do me a favour—just enjoy your wealth and STFU.

The Misery of Music Universities

How can we restore employability for classical music graduates? I keep denouncing it all the time, but here is somebody who is capable of finding the right words on the absurd and deplorable state of professional music education in Germany. Please read and share this noteworthy interview with Esther Bishop in VAN Magazin, conducted by Sophie Wasserscheid. It’s really about time that a paradigm shift takes place in the current system of dysfunctionality, self-referentiality and maladministration, and to rethink music performance curricula from scratch. But alas, wise words won’t change anything—and I have serious doubts whether music universities will be able to carry out reforms on their own initiative.

Music Theory Lecture Scripts

Dear peers and colleagues, I have devised lecture notes for my music theory classes during the past semester, addressed to undergraduate students in the musicology minor at Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf. If you are interested, you can download the scripts here as PDF files (in German language)—both were supplemented by a Moodle course with audio examples and sheet music. I’d be delighted to have your comments and suggestions on these teaching materials so as to improve them for future use. Thanks in advance!

Preparatory course in music theory
Seminar on musical form