"The Composer and Society":
replies to a questionnaire by Robert L. Jacobs
1. What do you think is the minimum income
a composer needs in order to live in such a way that he can do justice
to his art?
Mr. Moeran remarked that it was purely
an individual matter that a composer may need luxury, as Wagner
did, or "do just as well in a dingy bed-sitting room or...in
a caravan or houseboat", and that accordingly the question
2. Do you think is is possible to earn
this sum by composing?
3. If not, what is the most suitable way for a composer to supplement
"...Some job as a keeper of a level-crossing
on a branch line, with only four or five trains daily and a good
cottage thrown in," replied Mr. Moeran: but if the composer
preferred "the bustle of town life", then musical criticism.
4. Do you think the State of any other institution
should do more for composers (e.g. subsidize individuals, promote
performances, commission works, etc.) and if so, how?
Mr. Moeran suggested reducing entertainment tax
at concerts in which "either a certain amount of time is devoted
to British music or...a major British work performed", and
furthermore making the entry and right to earn fees of a foreign
artist conditional upon his performing a proportion of british music.
He also felt that a Ministry of Fine Arts, provided it could be
kept free of party politics, might do good.
5. Have you any specific advice to give to young people
who wish to earn their living by composing?
"Study the technique necessary to compose