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Why a University Art Degree Might Be Worth It

university art degree

As strange as it seems, a university degree in the arts is one of the few degrees that are still worth pursuing, given a few conditions. A university arts education is one of the few degrees that give you not only a degree and some sort of status, but also a portfolio of works, and given that it is not too embarrassing it may well be actually used in real-life to get real, paid work. Compare this to an enormous amount of degrees in social sciences, management, marketing, PR, etc., and you will see that it may actually be quite a practical decision to go into arts school. Obviously one will have to realistically consider how good and original their work is, but once they are past that, it is a pretty safe bet that they will have a career in the arts that might actually pay off that student debt.

The other content of university arts degrees is an entirely different question and it would only benefit artists if these degrees would at least acquaint them with issues that people working in the sector face on a daily basis. Artists should at the very least be made aware of things like fundraising, marketing, public benefit, and competition that they will face immediately on graduation.

The only degree like this in the UK I know of was Lancaster University’s ‘MA in Contemporary Arts Practice’ which is now defunct, apparently because there was not enough demand. I am sure hundreds of purely artistic courses out there benefit artists, but I am afraid today’s art world is an entirely different animal than it was 20 or even 10 years ago.

There are artists who ‘get it’ even without such courses, so perhaps we don’t need more competition and should just leave things as they are and let the best make their way, right? You tell me.

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My Top 10 Playlist of Contemporary Classical Music

contemporary music playlist

So there was this thing going around (yes, a thing) where people wrote up their 10 favourite post-war contemporary classical music pieces (just like it says in the title). This is where I hop (a month later) on the bandwagon and do the same thing. Here it is, in chronological order:

  1. Pierre Henry & Pierre Schaeffer – ‘Orphee 53’ | 1953
  2. Igor Stravisnky – ‘Epitaphium’ | 1959
  3. Morton Feldman – ‘Crippled Symmetry’ | 1983
  4. Horatio Radulescu – ‘Clepsydra’ | 1983
  5. Iannis Xenakis – ‘Thallein’ | 1984
  6. Beat Furrer – ‘Voicelessness. The Snow Has No Voice’ | 1986
  7. Bernard Parmegiani – ‘Rouge-Mort: Thanatos’ | 1987
  8. Johannes Maria-Staud – ‘Violent Incidents’ (Hommage à Bruce Nauman) | 2005/2006
  9. John Luther Adams – ‘Dark Waves’ | 2007
  10. Bernhard Gander – dirty angel | 2010

It’s funny that I entirely missed out the ‘main’ period of contemporary music – the 60’s, 70’s, (well and the 90’s, but there was nothing but Nirvana in the 90’s). Pierre Henry and Igor Stravinsky are the only composers who’s piece are featured here that wrote in the 50’s, all the other ones starting from Morton Feldman and ending with Bernhard Gander have pieces featured starting from the 80’s ending in 2010.

The playlist is based entirely on personal preferences and

Here are two playlist (one on Spotify and one on Youtube) that have most of the pieces in them, some pieces are excluded because they just were not on Spotify, Youtube, or both: