Friday, June 05, 2009

Four Years of Blogging: A Personal Retrospective

I recently realized that I have been keeping this blog for more than four years. I started this blog under the influence of my husband Michael Leddy, who seemed to have found real happiness in his place in the world of blogging, and his varied interests make his blog really stimulating, often surprising, and quite entertaining.

I started my blog as a place to put articles about music that had been sitting around for a while without a "home." This small collection of essays, profiles of people in the musical world I once knew, and quotations from books I was reading, eventually became a set of reflections on practicing, and my experience learning a new instrument as an adult. Sensing that I had an audience of (perhaps) like-minded people who found what I was writing about interesting, I started posting more often.

As more musicians started keeping blogs, there were a lot of discussions across the blogosphere that I found engaging. I felt the beginnings of a blogging community, though, as with all communities, hierarchies started to appear, and some of the people who had made interesting contributions to the musical blog-scape stopped writing, or only write occasionally. It is through the blogs on the sidebar that I learn about much of the current musical world.

There have been a lot of speculative posts about the future of classical music and the audience for classical music during the past four years. Now that we are in that future, it does not seem that (at least during the past four years) much has changed in the worlds of classical music, though the economy, the whole face of American politics, and the dynamics concerning international politics have. The size and power of the internet has changed though, as have the various devices and servers people use to access it.

At some point in 2006 I realized that keeping my published music in a thematic catalog blog (including some that I had simply forgotten about) would be a very easy way keep it sorted and organized, as well as make it available to people who were interested, and In 2007 I started a class blog. I "borrowed" the idea from Michael, who kept a blog filled with resource material for students in his classes. I made a blog for my community college students filled with YouTube videos, portraits of composers, links to concerts in the area, and articles of interest.

When I have time (and when I have ideas) I make several blog posts a week. This blog has allowed me to feel that I can participate in discussions in the larger world of music (albeit discussions in "parallel play," since very few people make comments), even though I live far away from the major centers of musical activity; and it has often become a kind of ladder of escape from a local musical culture that has grown in directions that do not necessarily involve me or my interests.

I want to thank those of you who read this blog from time to time, and for those stopping by for the first time, I bid you a hearty welcome.


your daughter Rachel said...



Hi Elaine,

I read pretty much everything your write here and really enjoy your contributions to the blogosphere. I think you have a unique and important voice. It is sad that commenting isn't more common in the classical blogosphere, but I think that's both a numbers and a a time thing. There are so many blogs and not enough time to comment on all - for me, that often devolves into not commeting anywhere.

Even now, I thought about making this comment and almost didn't because I figured I didn't have time to craft something that said exactly what I want to say.

The one thing I'll say for Twitter (which is far from perfect) is that it really does enable back-and-forth conversation - even with RSS feeds, blog comments tend to have too much time from comment to comment to get real discussion going, unless there's a really big readership; of course, in a more patient world, that shouldn't be an issue. But it's not a patient world.

Stephen Hough's blog has the best regular commenting I've seen, but it surely helps that he's a celebrity - and it really helps that he almost always responds to every comment.

So, keep up the good work!

T. said...

Congratulations on four years that have surely made the blogosphere a better place!

Michael Leddy said...

The New York Times has a recent article suggesting that only 5% of blogs are updated with any regularity. You, you have regularity. Keep on trucking.