Hey, short version: I don't know what to do while composing because I like very different kinds of music ways to listen to music. long version: When I was young, I've listened to pop on the radio. I still love that. Then I became a metalhead who composed and performend some songs. I still love that. Then, out of curiosity, I've studied modern and classical composition and music theory in a German conservatory. I had to learn to listen to classical music from scratch, because it's so different and complex compared to what I was used to. Over the years, I've written modern pieces as well as pieces in the style of Josquin, Palestrina, Bach, Mozart, Debussy, Mendelssohn, Schönberg, and so on. I've graduated recently and had a real kickstart as a lecturer on German conservatories, which is a really nice job. So that's a big part of my musical world as well, and I love that. So I've disgested popular and classical music and I can't say that I like one more than the other (or that one is better than the other!). That's my biggest problem, because I can't say things like "composing with a rich harmonic language leads to better music than composing with a simple one" or "composing music that's so powerful it hits you in the face is the best thing you can do". That's a big problem, because it robs you of direction when composing. You just don't know what's best, so you don't know what to do when composing. It freaks me out. While studying classical composition, you had a clear goal: stylistic similarity to a classical composer (with all the implications like how complex the music should be and how your classical audience would listen to it). It would get you good grades and lots of appreciation from your fellow musicians. But as I've graduated, the musical life in the conservatory became a bubble, an ivory tower in which most musicians honestly think that they are dealing with the best music possible (classical music). I'm happy that there are people who keep classical music alive with passion! But I also think that they are naive, because they call themself professionals while they lack the ability to appreciate different kinds of music (like the rich world of popular music). To me, classical and popular music are so vastly different! So what's the problem, why can't I mix these styles to create something new? Because some main differences between classical and popular music aren't so much in the music (which you could manipulate as a composer), but in the way you listen to the music (sociological things): a) When listening to classical music, you can focus on it without getting bored, because it is so complex. You don't want a drum beat, because it would simplify the meter too much and because it reminds you of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16QxP1lrx_U. When you perform it in classical music concert, everything's fine. But in a popular music concert, the audience typically gets irritated and bored. "It's too much doodling and not powerful enough. Where are the drums? Where's the chorus?" b) When listening to popular music, you don't have a problem with too little material if you are able to "fill the gaps" with daydreaming along the lyrics for example (which is a beautiful thing!). You don't have a problem with durm beats, because you are used to that and because it creates a powerful sound. When you perform it in a popular music concert, everything's fine. But it in classical music concert, the audience typically gets irritated and bored. "That music's so simple! Is the composer so bad he can't create something better?" So whenever I hear something that some people would title as "bad music", I see the problem not in the music but in my ability to appreciate it. How can you take decisions while composing with that mindset? (The problem is clear, but not limited to classical vs. popular music, it's there when you listen to classical music only. "Don't like repetitions too much? That's your problem, 'cause you can't enjoy this one:" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM4gNMXESVk ) Any hints would be very appreciated!