Ep 39-Alf Bishai on Writing Music People Love

Ep 39-Alf Bishai on Writing Music People Love

Alf Bishai is a composer/music director in New York City. He has taught classical theory and ear training at NYU since 2001. During his masters degree, Alf experienced the standard existential crisis many young composers face. He dove into film and church music as a career while trying to crack the code on classical composition. He eventually wrote a book on the paradigms of classical music culture. He is the founder of a composition venture called The Ear, which launches in October.


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In this episode Alf discusses the importance of writing music that lots of people love, and more!

Other topics discussed in this episode:

  • Cracking the code of classical music composition
  • The evolution of classical music
  • Music for music’s sake vs. music for people’s sake
  • Making a living writing music
  • The importance of selling records
  • Monetizing music
  • How people want new music
  • There is an audience in place
  • Building a fan culture
  • The need for curators in new music
  • Pandering to the audience


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  1. Rain Worthington November 8, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    Thanks for this CoF Episode. I have been wanting to hear more about Alf Bishai’s project, “The Ear”, and this is a really engaging back and forth between you and Alf, touching on a lot of interesting issues.

    • admin November 9, 2015 at 1:11 pm

      You’re welcome, Rain! I think Alf is doing some interesting work and it’s a great idea. 🙂

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