Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Things to Consider when Composing (4 of 9)

[From a 9-part handout for my introductory composition class.]

IV. The pros and cons of development
(pro) Do not abandon your babies!
     •Think of your musical ideas as your children (or, if that is too mind-boggling, your pets!). It is your job to help them grow and develop; be a responsible parent/custodian/pet-owner!
(con) Don't let ideas overstay their welcome!
     •Not all musical ideas need to be developed to their maximum potential. There needs to be a balance between the familiar and unfamiliar. (See below for more on this:)
     •Growth is of fundamental importance to the European classical music tradition. It is essential to extend, develop, or otherwise 'grow' your musical ideas thoughout the course of a composition.     •Is growth of equal importance to other musical traditions? Could a person write a good, extended composition that totally disregards the growth principle?
     •How to grow: After you have identified musical ideas you have created (label them idea 1, idea 2, (2.1, 2.2 for variants) etc.), try to extend them. There are many, many ways to do this (see next entry), but the starting point is to want your ideas to grow. Yes, just like the 'How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb?'joke…
     •(i) Composers all limit the growth of any idea, probably because to do otherwise would make compositions sound like academic exercises. (ii) Consider Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. Is it a model of economy of means? If not, is it 'bad'? What about M's Pno. Cto. #21?

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home