Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Not Thrifty Moment-Dedicated to Publishing Companies & Self Published Composers

I have a small rant to go on....brace yourself....

I buy a lot of music. Its one of the few things in my thrifty band directorness that I'm ok with spending money on. I mean, come on, we are music teachers and our curriculum is the music that we teach students. For me, its the most important thing that I give the students and its the thing that I toil over the most. "What are we going to play for band festival? What cool piece can I find that will interest and challenge the percussion section in Concert Band?

And so I spend a lot of money on music. After all, I have three concert bands and three jazz bands. I also am a huge fan of new music. I am always trying to support young and new composers and put music in my students hand that is new and old. (Old music is the most thrifty because those tried and try classics can be recycled over and over again for good and not evil).

So what happened yesterday? Yesterday the JW Pepper package came in the mail with two pieces of music that I had purchased for my Wind Ensemble. They needed something "fun, hip, and cool". And so I ordered fun, hip, and cool. I ordered two relatively new pieces by two well known and respected young band composers. One is self published and one is with a major publisher (who will get many shout outs later for being *****). They came in the mail. The one by the major publisher was fine.

The one that was self published just about caused me send him a facebook message in disgust. The reason I didn't, I doubt he cares. I doubt he cares that his music IS RIDICULOUSLY EXPENSIVE and shows up in new cover. That's right I open the package to find the score with the parts shoved inside of it. The cover to the score is just made out of flimsy paper and its already starting to tear on the top because the parts really shouldn't be inside this kind of score. And the parts....two sided 8.5 X 11 not taped, not attached (he could have easily done double sided 11 X 17 and then no tape was required) oh yeah and one copy of each part.

So your telling me that ahead and splurged and purchased the piece instead of borrowing it so that I could support a young composer and I get a score and parts that I have to provide a crappy folder to keep the music in and then I photo copy and tape all the parts.

My response THAT IS NOT THRIFTY! You are not helping band directors and I am disappointed in you Composer-Who-Shall-Remain-Nameless. I do think you are a great composer but a lot of your music sounds the same and so I doubt I will need to buy anything else of yours for a long time....

And that's my thrifty rant of the day!


  1. Wow...totally shocked. That sucks big time. I know I've gotten stuff from Steve Melillo and I've gotten things on a DVD format and he noted to print as many parts as needed. The only down side was, as you stated, that I had to print them out on 8 1/2 x 11 paper. If you are looking for some music, I actually am finishing up some stuff if you want to give it a read.

  2. And it shouldn't be that shocking because this year Alfred Publishing has just decided to stop printing TC Baritone parts. You know and that's kind of ok because its forcing the kids to learn "real baritone" as I call it. However...I paid for the chart and I don't want the extra work of having to go to their website and download all those parts AND every time I have tried to do so on their website (print the parts) its been an epic fail....Alfred may get their own thrifty rant at some point!

  3. That is really lame. Bad on Alfred's part. Ugghhhh. I'll let you know when I finish the music. I actually have two band pieces i am working on.

  4. i want to compose music how exactly do you get into that industry?