A composer is a musician who thinks he has a talent for writing music. He is often WRONG. The people who write true music are always deaf, blind or live with their mother and 12 cats. A Composer writes for 3 reasons:
- To declare his "Undying love" for something, someone, or to make him seem the sort of cool dude who feels undying love
- To be able to boast about having written a piece to all the single female flute players. (We all know he doesn't have a chance with them, but let him dream)
- He is secretly a viola player, and dreams of fame, which can only be achieved through composing a successful symphony. These people write pages of manuscript, which is then neatly filed in a spare room, never to be seen again
The rest of this article has been infected with a common misconception - that Composers make good conductors. This is really not true, and illegal in 286 countries of the world. No composer should be encouraged to conduct, especially not their own pieces, as they have no skill and may find themselves having a fatal disagreement with the business end of a trombone. The orchestra do not take kindly to a stuck up composer telling them how to perform the piece, as they know much better than him and he wouldn't know how to play it, it's not as if he wrote the thing or anything. Please save this article by changing the following to observations of the TRUE composer. For the good of musicians everywhere.
Composers MUST bow before, during and after performing a concerto. In the Berlin Operatic Theatre in 1994 the London Philharmonic Orchestra was about to perform their debut of 3 blind mice when the composer bowed and left the stadium. Enraged, the Germans set about destroying the entire theatre hall. When the composer came back from the toilet ready to begin the performance he was chased back off the set by the enraged Germans, through a field and into some cow's dung. "How come?" you may ask. Well it comes from a cow's dump.
This traditionalistic view of bowing before a concerto soon became obsolete.
Bowing in the middle of an orchestra has its problems too, as became apparent when Sir Voss Fontane II bowed half way through a concerto ripping a hole in his trousers causing him to perform the remaining concerto with his trousers round his ankles.
When bowing it is common courtesy to bow to the entire audience; this is done by bowing several times at intervals of 45 degrees. Upon finishing each bow a fellow onlooker has to throw a number of flowers at you, otherwise the bow has to be performed again. In 1846, Chester Hermingray bowed to onlookers in the Royal Albert hall after performing Tchaiovsky's Violin Concerto in G Minor. Unfortunately no one threw flowers at him and his smile soon turned to a sad face of bewilderment and astonishment. He carried on repeating the bow for several days hoping someone would throw flowers at him as his back was getting awfully painful. Eventually his back gave way and he had to be taken away in the bowing position to the London Hospital for Needy Backs.
You may think the arm movements of a composer are completely random and have nothing to do with timing or rhythm; your thoughts are true. The main purpose of the arm movements is to distract onlookers of the orchestra from the fact that the entire orchestra has pre-recorded the concerto several days ago and the instrumentalists are all simply miming. By waving his/her arms around like a non bi-pedal primate it allows the audience's gaze to be averted to the composer instead of what the instrumentalists are doing.
Using the Composers Wand
Often you will see a composer wielding a rod shaped device, this is a magical wand. Be aware that among the random arm movements there are some arm movements for curses and witchcraft. Again, the magical wand is the centre of much controversy these days, as recently, in 2004 whilst going through the Carmen Fantasie, Bernard Humperdink was waving and dancing around the stage drunk; as a composer should do. When all of a sudden he cast an enchantment curse upon a violin the violin all of a sudden had a personality; it jumped up, yelled out "How dare you play me!", then chased the composer out of the theatre hall, through a field and into some cow's dung.