Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Things to Consider when Composing (1 of 9)

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

I.   Originality and Quality of initial musical ideas
     Everyone who has ever played a musical instrument or sung has probably come up with their own musical ideas (a melody or melody fragment, chord progression, rhythm, etc.)
at some point. Sometimes, this gives rise to the impulse to create a complete musical composition, but I have had many people tell me the did not follow through on this impulse because they felt their initial musical idea was 'not good enough,' or 'unoriginal.'
f this has ever happened to you, I would like to suggest two possibly radical concepts to consider:

The quality of these ideas may not matter very much in determining the quality of the complete composition that might emerge from them; and

The degree to which these ideas are original may not matter very much.

While it would
probably be a better plan to start with a high quality, original idea, a good composition can start with an uninspired, not-particularly-original idea!

     •Consider 1 & 2; can you think of any examples?

     If true, what the above statements suggest is:

The way in which your musical ideas are extended and developed into complete compositions matters more than the quality/originality of the ideas themselves.


Composition is a craft. The harder you work at developing your craft, the better your ability to compose the kind of music you'd like to hear.

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