Thursday, February 25, 2010

Shutter Island's Classical Score

In my last post, "Dead music, dead issue," I said that I didn't accept the notion that atonal, dodecaphonic and other forms of "modern" music are alien to contemporary audiences -- they've been used in movies since the 1940's.

And now there's "Shutter Island." As Tim Smith pointed out his Baltimore Sun article, the movie's soundtrack CD is chock-full of contemporary classical music.

"And I'm talking seriously contemporary, as in fabulously atmospheric pieces by John Cage (including "Music for Marcel Duchamp"), Morton Feldman (the otherworldly "Rothko Chapel 2"), Krzysztof Penderecki, Alfred Schnittke, Gyorgy Ligeti, Lou Harrison (a movement from the haunting Suite for Symphonic Strings), John Adams (the eerie, riveting "Christian Zeal and Activity"), and Giacinto Scelsi. For good measure, a youthful work by Gustav Mahler, his darkly lyrical Piano Quartet, is in the mix, too."
According to BoxOfficeMojo, the movie ranked #1 on its opening weekend, so all of that crazy classical music isn't scaring away too many people (I think the scaring happens once they're inside the theater).

Sure, no one's flocking to the film because of the music, either.

But that's not the point. Clearly, the filmmakers chose these works because they expressed the right emotions for the scenes they support.

Will it lead to this music being played more? Possibly. Look what happened when the 1967 film "Elvira Madigan" used the slow movement from Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, K. 467 --still, today is known as the "Elvira Madigan" concerto.

According to ticket sales figures, over seven million movie-goers have been exposed to Morton Feldman and lived to tell the tale. As opposed to how many in the concert hall?

- Ralph

BTW - It's really difficult to tell what's on the soundtrack album by any of the online listings. They follow the standard format for pop music, so it's title/artist -- no composers. "Symphony No. 3 - Passacaglia" by itself is not very helpful at all.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Dead music, dead issue

It was an eye-catching headline:

Audiences hate modern classical music because their brains cannot cope

This article in The Telegraph by Richard Gray went on to explain the scientific research behind the assertion.

Could this be the reason all of public radio classical stations we've surveyed so far avoid living composers? Because the music's so foreign to the average listener that its incomprehensible?

Not quite.

Reading the article carefully, I quickly discovered that the modern composer brains couldn't comprehend was -- Arnold Schoenberg. According to the article:
In the early twentieth century, however, composers led by Schoenberg began to rally against the traditional conventions of music to produce compositions which lack tonal centres, known as atonal music. 
Under their vision, which has been adopted by many subsequent classical musicians, music no longer needed to be confined to a home note or chord.
But such atonal music has been badly received by audiences and critics who have found it difficult to follow.
So the modern music they're talking about was written by a composer who died in 1951 -- 59 years ago. To put that into perspective, it's like saying people today can't handle hip-hop because Fats Domino is too outré. Or that Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue" (1959) made jazz incomprehensible for 2010 audiences. Or people won't go to movies because Fellini ruined everything.

A lot has happened in the past half century. But you wouldn't know it by this article.
Professor David Huron, an expert on music cognition at Ohio State University, has studied some of the underlying reasons why listeners struggled with such modern classical pieces, 
"Some of the things that were done by those composers such as Schoenberg undermined this cognitive aid for making music easier to understand and follow. Schoenberg's music became fragmented which makes it harder for the brain to find structure.
Makes it seem like Arnold just left us recently, doesn't it?
While traditional classical music follows strict patterns and formula that allow the brain to make sense of the sound, modern symphonies by composers such as Arnold Schoenberg and Anton Webern simply confuse listeners' brains.
Mmmm, yes. But what happened next? While there are still a few academic composers that continue down the dodecophonic path, many have moved on. What are living composers doing?

Here's an excerpt from Philip Glass' Violin Concerto (1987). I'm hearing "strict patterns and formula" in this 23-year-old work. How about you?

Let's get a little closer in time to what might be reasonably called "modern music." Michael Torke wrote his saxophone quartet in 1995, only fifteen years ago. Do you experience an "overwhelming feeling of confusion" listening to this music? Me either.

Then there's Jay Greenberg's "Four Scenes for Double String Quartet," composed in 2008. Anyone experiencing "constant failures to anticipate what will happen next?"

If you read the article carefully, the "modern" music of Schoenberg is always mentioned in the present tense, creating the impression that this is where classical music is today.

"many people still seem to find modern classical music challenging"

"atonal music has been badly received by audiences and critics who have found it difficult to follow"

Composers speak a different, more accessible language today. Is anyone listening?

- Ralph

And I also don't entirely buy that atonal and/or dodecophonic music is totally incomprehensible. It's been a regular part of movie music since the 1940's. Here's Webern setting the mood for an "Andy Griffith Show" scene.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The CE Classical Challange - WHRO

For the third Classical Challenge, I looked at WHRO in Norfolk, VA. For a representative sampling, I used their playlist for Monday, 11/02/09.

Assuming this snapshot of WHRO's regular programming is typical, what would someone whose only exposure to classical music is WHRO's broadcasts might think about the genre?

As with the other stations I've looked at to date, classical music would seem to be an exclusively male form of expression -- no works by women composers were aired. Most were European (95%), with the other 5% being a mixture of composers from the Americans (North and South). And although no music by living composers were aired, at least WHRO doesn't dwell as far in the past as other stations -- 37% of the works aired were written in the 20th Century, most before 1950, but a goodly number after World War I.

About a quarter of WHRO's music came from the Classical era, and the same amount from the Romantic era, with only a small amount of Baroque music (8%). And there were some renaissance works as well (2%).

Although WHRO stayed with deceased composers, they played many more of them during the broadcast day than the other stations I've sampled, which is a plus. Our hypothetical listener will hear more than much more than the Three B's on WHRO.

Unfortunately, some things remain constant from station to station. Orchestral music made up over two-thirds of the music aired, keeping the sound closer to the 101 Strings side of the street. Solo instrumental works (25%) were mostly solo piano, leavened with mostly classical guitar. Chamber music was heard least often (8%), with a good portion of that also accounting for the Baroque era selections.

And although musicians played all throughout the day and night, not one of them opened their mouth. No choral music, and no vocal music. Although WHRO explores the classical repertoire more thoroughly than any of the other stations I've looked at, there are still lines that weren't crossed.

So what about people going to hear their regional ensembles? What's the correspondence between what they hear on stage and what they can hear on the radio?

Certainly nothing by the Virginia Chorale. They're singers.

On the other hand, most of the works of the 2010/2011 Virginia Symphony Orchestra concert season could be aired on WHRO. Repertoire mainstays such as Rachmaninoff, Brahms and Schumann are no problem. And WHRO's adventurous enough to air Barber, Schmitt, Glazunov, and Bantock -- they could even air the same works the Symphony's performing.

But there's an issue with Michael Torke and Lowell Liebermann, who will both have works performed by the Symphony. Is their music too wild for the radio? Nope. Both composers write compelling, imaginative, melodious and accessible works. And their recordings sell very well and in Torke's case, even have appeal outside the traditional classical market. In any other genre, that would help one's music get on the radio.

Michael Torke and Lowell Liebermann are both male, which is good -- so were 100% of the composers aired on WHRO. But they're also Americans composers (only aired about 5% of the time). And they have an even bigger strike going against them. Torke and Liebermann are both still alive. And during our sample broadcast day, 0% of the composers aired shared that condition.

Types of Ensemble
66% Orchestra (includes soloist with orchestra)
25% Solo instrumental performer (mainly piano, and some classical guitar)
8% Chamber group
0% Choral ensemble
0% Solo vocalist

Style Period
37% 20th Century
25% Romantic
24% Classical
8% Baroque
2% Early music (renaissance only)
0% Soundtracks

Composer Demographics
95% European
3% American
2% Other

100% Dead
0% Living

100% Male
0% Female

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Red Harvest

I revisited a classic last week, rereading Dashiell Hammett's 1927 novel, "Red Harvest."

Dashiell Hammett is one of the writers who defined the hard-boiled school of detective fiction (along with Raymond Chandler, of course). Thanks to movies, most people are familiar, or at least have a passing acquaintance with two of his masterworks, "The Thin Man," and "The Maltese Falcon."

"Red Harvest" should be in that pantheon, too, but perhaps because its convoluted plot would make it more challenging to film than "The Watchmen," the story isn't as well-known.

That's a shame, because Hammett's in top form, pulling off a complex story with simple, straight-forward prose firmly rooted in reality. "Red Harvest" begins with the Continental Op coming to the small mining city of Personville. (The Continental Op was never given a name by Hammett in any of the stories featuring the character. He's simply a first-person narrator working as an operative for the Continental Detective Agency.)

Hammett himself was at one time a Pinkerton Detective. He drew on that experience for his stories, which makes the Continental Op's stories ring true.

"Red Harvest," like real life, seemingly doesn't follow a smooth, narrative arc. The hero is hired by Donald Willson, a crusading newspaper editor, to help him clean up corruption in Personville. The Continental Op never meets his client -- while waiting at his house, Willson is gunned down in front of a high-dollar prostitute's house.

Now most authors would use that as the starting point for their story. The hero, knowing that something's not quite right about the seemingly scandalous death of his client, would keep digging until he uncovered the real killer of Willson and exonerate his name.

If "Red Harvest" did that, it would be simply one of many such now-forgotten detective novels. Hammett goes a different route. Without a client, the Op simply prepares to leave. But the town patriarch Elihu Willson, Donald's father, retains him. Not to find his son's killer, but to rid his town of the mobsters that control it. Mobsters Elihu brought in to break the miner's union and now won't leave.

The Continent Op takes that job, and from there on the story is a thrill ride of deduction and gangland violence, all told in the no-nonsense voice of the narrator.

I got back to the hotel and got into a tub of cold water.. It braced me a lot, and I needed bracing. At forty I could get along on gin as a substitute for sleep, but not as comfortably.
The rulers of Personville have an uneasy alliance, and the Op is quick to spot the fault lines that can spit it wide open.

Within the first two chapters, he solves the Willson murder -- and that's just the beginning. He also finds the true killer of corrupt Police Chief Noonan's brother, a crime that took place years before, as well as at least three other deaths that happen in the course of the story.

Through a little bit of judicial misdirection, the Op sets the opposing forces against one another, and before the story's run its course, just about all the major characters, and many of the important supporting characters are dead.

"Plans are all right sometimes," I said, "and sometimes just stirring things up is all right -- if you're tough enough to survive, and keep your eyes open so you'll see what you want when it comes to the top."
It's a grim story, but a rewarding one to read. When one thinks of hard-boiled detectives, usually its an image of a tough guy in a trench coat, spouting colorful similies ("the body was as cold as an old maid's smile"). Hammett takes a different approach. His Continental Op is just a guy doing his job, albeit one most of us are fascinated by.

In the end, it all comes down to the writing. Hammett's a master at painting a well-rounded character with a few deft strokes.
Thaler sat down and lit a cigarette, a small dark young man with a face that was pretty in a chorusman way until you took another look at the thin, hard mouth.

[The lawyer] Charles Procter Dawn was a little fat man of fifty-something. He had prying triangular eyes of a very light color, a short fleshy nose, and a fleshier mouth whose greediness was only partly hidden between a ragged gray mustache and a ragged gray Vandyke beard. His clothes were dark and unclean looking without actually being dirty.
Or setting a scene with the same economy:
The city wasn't pretty. Most of its builders had gone for gaudiness. Maybe they had been successful at first. Since then the smelters whose brick stacks stuck up tall against a gloomy mountain to the south had yellow-smoked everything into yellow dinginess. The result was an ugly city of forty thousand people set in an ugly notch between two ugly mountains that had been all dirtied up by mining. Spread over this was a grimy sky that looked as if it had come out of the smelter's stacks.

All of it comes together in "Red Harvest," a story that packs as much power and says as much about the human condition today as it did when it was published in 1929.

- Ralph

Monday, February 15, 2010

Classically Challenging

I had an opportunity to go to the local symphony orchestra concert yesterday -- and what happened has bearing on our Classical Challenge discussion. Specifically, repertoire choices, audience demographics, and the relationship between the concert hall and the radio.

Fresh Repertoire Choices
The Charlottesville and University Symphony is a pretty good community orchestra. It's run out of the University of Virginia's McIntyre Department of Music, and is comprised of faculty, student, and community players, with first chairs primarily filled by music department faculty.

Maestro Kate Tamarkin doesn't just stick to the same old same old. She regularly programs new music and lesser-known works in the repertoire. This season she's already presented Nino Rota's Bassoon Concerto, and will give a world premiere of a work by Judith Shatin.

With a title like "Heartland of Europe," you might expect I was in for an afternoon of Dvorak and Smetana. Not so. The program:

Zoltan Kodaly: Galatan Dances
Frederic Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2
- intemission -
Arvo Part: Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten
Andrzej Panufnik: Sinfonia Sacra

Zowie! Now that's a program I could get into! And may I say that the orchestra did a fine job, especially with the intricacies of the Panufnik. It was fearless programming for this community ensemble, and they rose to the challenge.

Not Entirely Ancient Audience Demographics
Yes, as in the case of many orchestras, the audience was mostly mature. Plenty of blue-haired ladies and men with liver-spotted bald heads. But there were also a significant number of folks in their twenties and thirties (and even forties and early fifties).

There wasn't a storming of the exits when the second half started, either. While I could see some of ladies from the retirement home outing squirming uncomfortably during the Panufnik, I also noticed quite a few patrons leaning forward in rapt attention.

The audience wasn't just senior citizens on their last legs -- and the music wasn't all over a century old, either. I'd like to believe there's a connection.

Classically Challenged Radio
Now for any other genre of music you care to name, the music you hear in concert is pretty much the same music you'll hear on the air. We heard four works performed live on stage in Charlottesville. What's the chances of hearing any of them on our local radio station?

Well, according to our snapshot of WVTF's programming, perhaps 50/50. I think it's possible that WVTF would play the Kodaly. After all, symphonic music is a pretty sure bet at that station, and Kodaly's European (96% of composers aired on WVTF), dead (80%), and male (100%).

Chopin's piano concerto is a pretty good bet as well. Not only for the same reasons as Kodaly, but he's a romantic era composer, a style period WVTF heavily favors (about 30% of all pieces).

Panufnik has the right credentials, (European, male, dead), but with the exception of movie soundtracks, WVTF usually stays safely in early part of the 20th Century for their music. A work from 1963 is just, well, too modern. Doubly so for Arvo Part's 1976 "Cantus."

Besides, Part's still alive.

Anyone else see the problem?

- Ralph

Friday, February 12, 2010

WMG's Unbusiness Model

Two stories broke this week about the Warner Music Group (WMG) that are very much related.

First story: WMG to stop licensing music to free ad-based streaming services.
Second story: iTunes variable pricing cited for slowing WMG download sales.

How they're related: In both cases, WMG ignores the way the market is, and tries to impose their will on how the market should be. And in both cases, the change results in lost real revenue. And in both cases, WMG is returning to a business model that they've lost money on before.

So Warner is no longer going to license to streaming services. According to Chief Exec Edgar Bronfman, Jr. "Free streaming services are clearly not net positive for the industry."

Clearly? These services do pay licensing fees to the labels -- but they don't generate as much revenue as music subscription sites. And that's really the issue.

Bronfman said, "The number of potential subscribers dwarfs the number of people who are actually purchasing music on iTunes. [There are] hundreds of millions if not billions of people, most of whom are not today either buyers or certainly heavy buyers of music."

Which simply shows that WMG does not understand what these services are, and how people use them. A streaming music feed paid for by ads inserted into the programming. Sound familiar? Yep, it's the same as radio -- and listeners use it the same way.

Look at WMG's logic in light of radio. "We're not going to let our music be played on the radio because people are listening to our music for free instead of buying copies at the record store. Instead, we like satellite radio. We're going to put our efforts into persuading everyone to subscribe to satellite radio. Imagine the profits!"

Imagine epic fail.

But this isn't the first time. The major labels for years have been pushing subscription services -- some even had their own in the beginning -- with indifferent results. Because that's not how most people want to get their music. There are many casual listeners, few serious buyers. That's the reality.

Which leads us to the second story. What made iTunes so successful in the first place? Uniform pricing, in part. For years Apple insisted that it was 0.99 or nothing, and 0.99 it was. Now before iTunes, the labels had their own download services -- with variable pricing. And none of them did particularly well.

Once the major labels forced iTunes to do variable pricing, guess what? Sales went down. Steve Jobs understood that under a dollar was the magic price point. When it comes to downloads, the price to beat is "FREE." Ninety-nine cents for the convenience of the iTunes interface? Fine. Over a dollar for a song vs. free? No deal.

WMG didn't get it when they ran their own download service, and clearly, they don't get it now.

The market's moving on, with or without WMG. Right now, it's looking like "without."

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The CE Classical Challange - WCVE

For the second Classical Challenge, I moved down the road a little from WVTF and looked at WCVE in Richmond, Va. As a representative sampling, I used their playlist for Monday, 11/30/09.

Remember, the goal here isn't to do an exhaustive analysis of the station's programming -- I have neither the time nor resources to do that. Rather, consider this a spot-check on a (hopefully) typical programming day.

Looking at the numbers below, here's what I think a listener whose only exposure to classical music was WCVE might think of the genre.

Here's what I saw:

Classical music is an apparently exclusively male form of expression, and is a genre whose time has come and gone. Every work WCVE aired was written by a dead composer, so clearly the genre's over and done with. On the plus side, although 94% of the composers were European, WCVE did air some American composers and even some from Latin and South America. All dead, of course.

About two-thirds of the compositions aired were orchestral, which isn't too surprising. For many listeners, classical stations often fill the void left by the demise of the easy-listening format by providing nice, background music. It's an easy audience to please -- just keep it bland. But is that what classical music's all about?

Modern orchestras were the favored sound. Chamber groups performances outnumbered solo artists about two to one. Most of the chamber groups played baroque music, and most of the solo artists were pianists (primarily playing romantic music).

Not a single note was sung by the human voice.

Now take a moment and think about that. How many times do you sing each day, either in the car, or the shower, or elsewhere? How many times do you hum along, or whistle to music? As humans, we almost can't help but make vocal music. So why is it so underrepresented on air? (I have an idea, which I'll share in the next post.)

The stats indicate you might hear the Richmond Symphony on Richmond's public radio station (especially if they play something from the romantic period). But the Richmond Choral Society? I don't think so. Nor any of the music they perform.

Here's something else to consider. I attended a world premiere performance of a Steve Reich work in Richmond a while ago. The audience was packed to overflowing with enthusiastic listeners. Any chance of hearing Reich's work on WCVE? Not likely -- he's still alive. (And while I agree not all of Reich's works are ideal for radio, there are several short pieces that are engaging and quite fun, IMHO.)

In any other genre, a popular recording artist like Steve Reich would not only pack the house, but also be heard on the local radio station. In the city of Richmond, classical music is a lively, vibrant, forward-looking genre. On the city's radio station, it's a different story.

Types of Ensemble
66% Orchestra (includes soloist with orchestra)
13% Solo instrumental performer (almost exclusively piano)
21% Chamber group
0% Choral ensemble
0% Solo vocalist

Style Period
36% Romantic
28% 20th Century (mainly post-romantic)
18% Classical
15% Baroque
3% Early music (late renaissance only)
0% Soundtracks

Composer Demographics
94% European
3% American
3% Other

100% Dead
0% Living

100% Male
0% Female

Monday, February 08, 2010

Snow and dough

As I shoveled our driveway this morning, the snowplows came rumbling through. (Bear with me -- the point I'm trying to make is not region-specific). Now we don't normally get a lot of snow in Virginia, so the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), forced to do cutbacks and layoffs, blew through its snow removal budget during the first big snow in December. And we've had two since.

VDOT has promised to keep up their round-the-clock snow removals efforts despite the lack of funds, and the Governor has promised to use some emergency funds to cover the cost.

Now here's the thing. Our newly elected governor continually promised no new taxes and to actively cut existing taxes (despite a budgetary shortfall of 1.35 billion dollars). It was an appealing stance for the electorate, the most outspoken of which wanted the government out of their wallets!

OK, but in our own lives, there comes a point where -- if we can't afford it -- we stop doing it. The fiscally responsible thing for VDOT to do would be to simply stop operations when the money ran out.

Not a popular option. So how about the second most fiscally responsible thing to do, which would be to ask the population of the Commonwealth to pony up the money needed to keep the streets clear?

A back of the envelope calculation indicates that the added expense (25 million dollars) divided among the citizenry (7.7 million) means each person should kick in $3.24. Let's be even fairer and limit it to the Commonwealth's 5 million licensed drivers -- the primary users of said cleared roads. That would be about $5.00. Still not a budget-busting figure for many.

Now there are many other public services in the same position as VDOT -- and if we divvy up everyone's shortfall into the number of citizens, the bill starts getting into serious numbers -- sort of. Our 1.35 billion-dollar shortfall could be covered with $175 from every citizen of the state, or about $14.00 a month.

And that's really my point. It seems the current political discussion are all about eliminating taxes and cutting taxes. But that doesn't recognize the reality -- taxes collectively pay for the services that benefit the community and fund them far beyond the level any individual could afford.

I can't think of many people who could get their street plowed for $5.00 if they had to hire someone -- but $5.00 times 7.7 million people gets all the roads in the state cleared.

So how about we move the discussion away from how to eliminate taxes -- which gives us even less resources for the services we need -- and instead focus on what should services we should be funding?

Would I be willing to pay an extra $5.00 to ensure the roads stayed plowed? You bet.

How about adequately funded schools, or emergency services? Would I be willing to pay a little extra for them? How much is a properly staffed police force worth, or social services?

Something to think about as the snowplows rumble past, moving mountains of white aside, operating in the red partially because we demanded they do their part while we refuse to do ours.

- Ralph

Friday, February 05, 2010

A different look at music subscriptions

Online music subscription services continue to be developed and announced with great fanfare. And yet, acceptance has been indifferent at best. Why? I got an insight when the latest issue of Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact arrived the other day.

Granted, there's not a one-to-one correspondence between magazine and music subscriptions, but I think there are some interesting contrasts.

Analog presents new science fiction short stories and serialized novels, so it's a little different then general interest or news magazines -- which makes it work better (I think) for my analogy.

Most music subscription services operate this way: you pay a monthly subscription fee, and you get access to all the music available through the service. You can download the newest songs, or classic hits, or anything in between.

With my subscription to Analog, I get the latest fiction in monthly installments, and I can freely access anything in the previous issues I've received.

If you discontinue your subscription to the music service, you no longer have access to their library. And any music you've downloaded and put on your MP3 player or computer is disabled. You can't play any of it.

If I discontinue my subscription to Analog, I'll no longer receive the latest science fiction, but I can reread anything in the back issues I've saved (and goes back quite a few years at this point).

If I had been told that the back issues of Analog would self-destruct if I canceled my subscription, or they would be repossessed, I would be more than a little upset. It would be kind of like holding my collection hostage. "Keep paying us money, or your science fiction library goes up in flames."

It's obvious why the labels like the music subscription model. They get to control the music, and if the money stops coming in... they still have all the music and you don't.

But is it what the customer wants? I like revisiting past issues of Analog -- even during the time in graduate school when I couldn't afford a subscription. I don't keep every copy of every magazine that comes into our house -- but what goes is my decision, not the publisher's.

And that's kind of the way I like it.

- Ralph

(Yes, some services let you burn your music to CDs if your subscription's paid up. That would be like me being allowed to photocopy any story in Analog I wanted to keep. Nice option, but impractical on a large scale)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The CE Classical Challange - WVTF

For the first Classical Challenge, I looked at our local public radio station, WVTF. As a representative sampling, I used their playlist for Monday, 11/2/09.

Take a peek at the numbers below, and consider what impression someone might have if their only exposure to classical music was WVTF.

Here's what I saw:

Apparently, classical music was mainly written for orchestras. It was composed by European men, mostly between 1820-1920 (although there's a fair chunk of it written between 1750-1820). And they're all dead. So classical music comes to us from times long past -- sort of like what you get on an oldies station.

Something else. The only music heard by living American composers on WVTF were movie soundtracks. So one might assume that Europe is the exclusive source of great classical music (not the Europe of today, mind you, but the Europe of all those dead guys). So the best we can do over here is write a catchy tune or two. Hardly the same.

Now WVTF has a nice on-air sound. And I concede that their goal is primarily to keep their audience happy. But I think there's something of disconnect with that audience.

It is unlikely that the nationally-known artists performing in local chamber music series will be aired on WVTF. It is extremely unlikely any music composed within the last 20 years -- even those played by regional and university orchestras -- will be aired on WVTF (unless it's from a soundtrack). It is almost a certainty that no woman composer will ever get an airing on WVTF (and not the just ones whose works are regularly performed by those regional and university ensembles). It is unlikely that the cantatas, oratorios, or other music performed by community choral groups will be heard on WVTF.

Consider this for a moment: Rene Fleming's album "Verismo" just won a Grammy for Best Classical Vocal Performance. Beyonce Knowles won a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. You can be sure that stations airing some form of popular music (CHR, AC, Urban, etc.) will be playing Beyonce's songs in heavy rotation. And you can be equally sure you will never, ever hear a track from "Verismo" on WVTF.

Types of Ensemble
64% Orchestra (includes soloist with orchestra)
16% Solo instrumental performer (almost exclusively piano)
13% Chamber group
1% Choral ensemble
0% Solo vocalist

Style Period
34% Romantic
27% 20th Century (mainly post-romantic)
20% Classical
15% Baroque
3% Early music (late renaissance only)
1% Soundtracks

Composer Demographics
96% European
3% American
1% Other

80% Dead
10% Living

100% Male
0% Female