Monday, January 07, 2008

Making A Start In Composing

Many students who begin to compose for the first time experience frustration. That's understandable. We all want to get our ideas down as quickly and easily as possible.

But many times, the music does not want to come. At this point you have two choices. You can force the music and complete whatever it is you're working on. Or you can notate what you have and come back at a later date.

As far as working principles go, I choose path #2. I choose not to force the music. I prefer instead to simply write down the music that comes to me freely and which I know is truly inspired and come back at a later time. Then what I'll do is play what I've got again and listen for the next section of music.

Sometimes there is no next section so the piece sits or I simply put an ending to it and finish it then and there.

The good news is that most composers don't finish complete pieces of music in one sitting. The working method for most is to just notate as you go. And who's to say when a piece of music is finished anyway. It really is up to the pianist/composer and here he or she must rely on intuition too.

By making a start and notating a few bars of your idea, you can always come back later and see what else comes.

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