Using my work?

Here’s a question.

I’d love to hear from people who’ve made use of my work. People who, for instance, may have assigned or discussed it in courses they teach. Or cited it in discussions inside classical music organizations. Or else quoted it in things they’ve written.

ADDED LATER: And as I should have said — all responses are confidential, unless you tell me otherwise, or (of course) unless you post them publicly as comments.

I know these things have happened, because I’ve heard from people who’ve done them. Not too long ago, for instance, I talked to someone on the board of a classical music group, who’d quoted me often, he said, to other board members.

People may also have put some of my ideas into practice, or else done things suggested by my ideas.

I’m not asking for public credit. You can email me privately. Or comment on the blog, if you’d like. Whatever you feel most comfortable with.

What I’m after is some way to measure whatever influence I’ve had. This will be helpful, quite honestly, in promotion for my book, especially when I get to the stage of involving a print publisher.

I also have felt for a long time — and have sometimes said this here — that a movement is building, a movement for change in classical music, a movement I’m part of. So I’m trying to get some idea of how big that movement might be, and how it spreads.

My influence of course isn’t the only measure of that! Not nearly. One strength of the movement is that it has many independent centers.

But I think we’d also be stronger if we formed more definite ties, and without knowing, at this point, exactly what those ties would be, I might move closer to understanding that if I knew more about what my own role has been.

Finally, I’ve got the simplest of motivations. I’m just curious. I write these blog posts (and give talks, and do projects, and teach, and visit music schools for residencies, and go on the radio, as I’m about to do this morning for the BBC)…and then what? I know people pay attention, but I want to know more.

Thanks, everyone, for indulging me with this!

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  1. says

    It is a curious question, how to find out to what extent those of us who write online aren’t just throwing our words into the digital winds…

    I’ve used some of your ideas and sent my students to your blog when teaching aesthetics (I’m an aesthetics professor) — particularly when talking about why students w/o backgrounds in classical music are so uncomfortable making judgments (behaving like critics) about music, and whether that hampers the ability to understand/appreciate it.

    Haven’t used them in writing, but if I ever get around to writing the book I have simmering in the background on The Fictional Auto-biography of Adrian Leverkuhn, I certainly would..

  2. says


    You know that I built a “book” of a great deal of your work, from your weblogs and from your home page. I sent you a copy of the file.

    I first used your work as a guide for buying music.

    I have also referred to your home page and all that it contains, and also your own weblogs, in my own weblog.

  3. says

    I use your sonata form discussion for a music appreciation class at a community college. The students have to answer two questions about sonata form: what is it and who cares? I have also used your speculation about what the first audience/congregation would bring to a hearing of a Bach cantata. When I lecture about the blues, your Robert Johnson discussion is often mentioned. I always provide the links to the original posts to the students, hoping they will follow the trail beyond the assignment.

    I have joined the board of the Redwood Symphony, a community orchestra, and plan to send relevant links to fellow board members. As for influence, without any prompting from me, the conductor, Eric Kujawsky, already is doing many of the ‘right’ things – a heavy emphasis on 20th century and contemporary rep, no tuxedos, fun with lighting and projections, and a relaxed atmosphere at the concerts.

  4. bronwyn says

    Greg, I’ve probably referred about 7 or 8 people to your blog – people who care about music, people who work in orchestras, people who work in arts venues. Most of the time I say “See – it’s not just me banging on about the need to change!”

  5. John Montanari says

    Greg, I’ve occasionally mentioned your blog on my classical radio program to illustrate some point about an upcoming piece, often linking a relevant post of yours to our on-line playlist. I also do this for other critics and bloggers, as well as link to artists’ or composers’ websites and other resources, for listeners wanting to dig a little deeper.

  6. Pierre Medard says

    Suggest you read the last Norman Lebrecht story about how, what and why critics write the way they do today.

  7. Robert Berger says

    I’ve mentioned your comments several times at my blog The Horn at, a website with blogs and forums on a wide variety of topics, for which I cover any and every aspect of classical music, most recently in my post

    on Tuesday, Dec. 8.

    I have disagreed with strongly your assertions on these posts, but have always been polite about it and avoided saying anything nasty about you.

    My URL is :

    Or you can access it from links at these sites:

  8. says

    I’ve used your online book for reference when I wrote a paper for class during my master’s. I found your blog when I was searching for things on the future of classical music, and there you were!

    There’s definitely a movement happening, I’ve noticed a lot of young people getting out of their practice rooms to start things that try to do something new or non-traditional. I write a little bit about it here, if you’re interested: Something like the Transitionist movement in art/design discussed in Theme Magazine.

  9. Ana Mateo says

    I am an Executive Director of a Symphony Orchestra in the North of Spain. I read you quite often and have quoted you in some lectures. I have also given some articles for discussion with the students of Culture Management at University in Oviedo, as well as in the ESMUC in Barcelona. But this said, I do not know to what extent this has surpassed their interest. I do not know how good their English is and if they even know what classical music is about. I sometimes have the feeling that they look at me like, as a French would say, la vâche qui regarde passer les trains. At least some of the musicians of the orchestra are interested on what you write and willing to explore new ways of offering classical music without perverting it, which is a great help for my work.

  10. Deanna Boychuck says

    I wrote a paper last April for one of my classes about the changes Gelb was making to the Met and the future of opera. I quoted you from Where We Stand: The Classical Music World Today.