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Some anecdotes about famous musicians. The position of the composer today, vastly different from his position in the days of church and court patronage, and in the days of the great romantic movement of the 1800s. An examination of how the composer has changed through the centuries in his typical character, and how the present-day musician compares in temperament and social grace with his forerunners. The conditions under which the composer generally works. Patronage. Madrigal singing. Merry music-making in the Commonwealth period in England. Music at Oxford and Cambridge. Catch and glee clubs of the eighteenth century. The Catch Club founded in 1761: a typical meeting. The great mass of music created during the 17th and 18th centuries when the aristocratic patron paid the piper and therefore called the tune. The composer socially of no account at that time. The remarkable conditions under which the great school of German symphonic writers developed. The change in the character of the composer in the 19th century. Effects of the French Revolution. The romantic movement in all the arts, with the musician bound to become a man of exaggerated tastes and passions and a romantic view of life and art. Hector Berlioz and Liszt as examples. The early years of the 20th century. The European festivals. Seeing more the value of a sense of humour and of a regular, rational mode of life. The spread of musical education through the schools and the invention of radio and recording creating a larger audience for the musician than ever before. The growing importance of the entertainment industry, and hence music. The need for composers now to come down from their ivory towers. Now emerging from a period of over-cleverness and complexity in music. The need for music, if it is to have value and if it is to survive, to express the heart and soul of man, and the composer to search for a kind of simplicity where there will be no barrier between himself and his listener. The faith of a composer in his music. Interpreting that faith. Expressing the inarticulate hopes of man.