Jump to content
Mystic Water

How do you compose?

Recommended Posts

Composing by hand is the BEST!

For you, maybe.... for others maybe not...

Like a guy said in other thread (I don't remember exactly, but something like this) "I can not write if I don't hear it" .... is the paper going to sound for him ? ... mmmm nop...

Then we discussed the possible damage that softwares like Sibelius, Finale would create in the composition abilities or young starters....

I can write both, but in Sibelius is faster, easier and less tired for me (except being watching the screen, ... not good for my eyes are already bad):(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will sit at my computer for hours on end until my piece(s) are finished. During the summer, when not at school, I can get a lot accomplished. If I don't have a computer on hand, I use manuscript paper to get what's in my head OUT...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also think I answered this question in another thread! Anyway...

I can do it a number of ways: sitting on my porch with a guitar and hoping I remember what I've come up with until I get back to a tape recorder; on paper with rolling ball and white out; at the piano; on the back of a camel, and so on.

When I use Logic Studio to compose, I sit at my computer for hours and even days depending on the deadline I'm facing. I often improvise a phrase and see where it leads me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aha! I found my original answer in the 'How Do You COmpose Your Music thread.

"It sure is different for me for different songs/compositions. I've written with paper and pen, improvising on piano, guitar, bass and even ukelele, with music software and sequencers whirring, on the back of a camel in the Sahara, while driving and singing into a hand held recorder, sitting on a front porch with friends...I love to hear about other peoples' methods as they often open up new approaches for me.

My latest work, currently slipping into obscurity on the Major Works forum, is 28 minutes long, but for the most part I composed each movement in the order it eventually appears. I just did this by playing into my sequencer, finishing a movement and then trying to intuit what should come next. I only changed my mind once, ultimately reversing the order of the 1st and second movements."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes I get inspiration while bathing or showering. Try to let it flow in the bath. I once wrote a "Bagatelle in the Bath" for recorder!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For you, maybe.... for others maybe not...

I'd love to do some granular synthesis on paper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@JimiBrady: Pffh, wooden pencils are much too tedious to work with. Requiring constant sharpening, and for my taste much too light and thin to work with for longer stretches of time. A good weighted mechanical pencil beats that any timeā€¦

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
@JimiBrady: Pffh, wooden pencils are much too tedious to work with. Requiring constant sharpening, and for my taste much too light and thin to work with for longer stretches of time. A good weighted mechanical pencil beats that any time

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've merged about 4 threads into one. I blame vBulletin's poor search function as to the reason why so many people are not finding the correct on topic threads. Let's continue the "how do you compose" discussion here :)

And I compose music through the computer using Personal Composer. I wouldn't have it any other way, it saves me so much time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
@JimiBrady: Pffh, wooden pencils are much too tedious to work with. Requiring constant sharpening, and for my taste much too light and thin to work with for longer stretches of time. A good weighted mechanical pencil beats that any time

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Must chime in on the topic of the Moleskine notebooks: I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a paper-and-pencil kind of composer. But (courtesy of Nico) I have one of these little miracle notebooks, and I have to admit that it's been very very useful for keeping track of themes and sketches and notes for my latest project. Must find a Canadian supplier now...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all I'm 20 and I've been composing for 5 years now and I took lessons (theory and piano) when I was 18 for the first time.

So that means that 3 years I have been composing without known any music theory, it's really funny when I rememberd cause I didn't knew to create not even a triad chord the music wasn't very good as you can imagine but this helps me a lot to understand many things in music that there are not teaching in schools and the ideas are very interesting when I'm hearing now because I was no ''closed'' to anything.

So now to the question, I think when you compose you must free yourself from any commitments like ''what I know'' and ''why I am do this'' I have written things that I didn't knew how are explained on music language but sounds good to me and then I was asking my teacher ''what have I done here''???

When I write music I don't mind what I write but when I finish I want to know what I have just written.

What is the best helpful skill you should have to compose music?

When I compose I just write the music and the music go on from itself.

When you are stuck somewhere ask yourself what I WANT to hear next (not should) and with some efford and practise you''ll see that you will find what's next.

Music is there the role of composer is just to write it down.

Hope I helped.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it depends on the person . Some people have the so much talked about ,Talent and the compose music by heart and and ear. Of Course people like this that make masterpieces are very rare I guess and to become a good student you need to study a lot , music theory , harmonization etc. The topic is so relative because everyone has different techniques and strategies of composing which are learnt by books or gained by experimenting. You can choose your way or Keep experimenting and keep learning Strategies

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

laziness is quickly solved by the projects you get called for. if you have a deadline, you better deliver, since your career is at the stake here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
laziness is quickly solved by the projects you get called for. if you have a deadline, you better deliver, since your career is at the stake here.

If you're writing incidental music, definitely. But if you're writing "concert music" (at least here in Europe), in some contexts there's almost an expectation that "the composer won't hand in the piece until a month after the deadline anyways". It's kind of a sad state of affairs really, but I've been guilty of it several times too (well, rarely a month, but still).

But of course that doesn't mean that there aren't deadlines that you'd better keep if you want to get more commissions! And it really doesn't hurt your collaboration with the performers if you keep all deadlines :P

But yes: Deadlines help a lot for getting over laziness. A majority of my pieces are probably only ever finished for that single reason.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I usually dont use the piano or any thing that can help. I now what I want to write and its so easy anyway (even if I write for orchestra). The hard thing is to set everything in Sibelius to EWQL sound perfect..it needs a lot of time...but to write and orchestrate its not a hard thing for me.

The hardest thing for me to compose for solo instrument. But for orchestra its very easy. If you have a melody and you know what key is in it you have to add the chord's notes for the parts (eg. for C major: C, E, G.)

For example:

You have a melody in C

Lets see the brass accompaniment (only example): THE NOTES ARE IN CONCERT PITCH...

F Horn I + II: C', G (um-pa-um-pa)

F Horn III + IV: E, C (um-pa-um-pa)

Bb Trumpet I + II: E' + C' <--] Maybe use open chords...

Bb Trumpet III: G (or E) <--]

Trombone I + II: a2(unisono): C (in bass clef)

Trombone III: G

Bass Tromb: C (bass clef, octave lover than 1st trombone)

Tuba: C (bass clef)

I didnt write the rhythm you can use any rhythm you want. Of course you can vary the notes' order as you want. For trombones for example you can use open chords...you can use staccatto or tenuto or any mode of accompaniment...but the point is that you will use if the melody is in Cmajor: C, E, G...its that easy...if the melody goes to G then: G, B, D...and so on.

Of course its the most primitive way to write accompaniment, but I hope see the point.

First you have to decide what kind of style you want to write in:

Jazz, Swing, Classical, Film music, March-like-Polkaish...and so on...

Than the mood...Than the notes and the ideas just come :)

I can highly suggest for all that usually dont have ideas to try to improvise at the piano. That really helped me too. Now the ideas just come, even I dont want to hehe: in the bus, when I get out of bed, the most of the day theres something music in my head..and it so great when I write these ideas down :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I typically get the ideas in my head (100%) before I play it on the piano, and then write it out on the computer or by hand if I don't have the computer, then copy it in. Sometimes I just get the idea, write it out (hand or computer) and finish it that way. I always get inspired by nature or a scene, and then everything comes together

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For example:

You have a melody in C

Lets see the brass accompaniment (only example): THE NOTES ARE IN CONCERT PITCH...

F Horn I + II: C', G (um-pa-um-pa)

F Horn III + IV: E, C (um-pa-um-pa)

Bb Trumpet I + II: E' + C'

Bb Trumpet III: G (or E)

Trombone I + II: a2(unisono): C (in bass clef)

Trombone III: G

Bass Tromb: C (bass clef, octave lover than 1st trombone)

Tuba: C (bass clef)

Just a side note, that really isn't good orchestration. The a 2 C and low C in the Bass Trombone will drown out the horn's E's. Also, why would you use open chords in the trumpets? That won't sound good and you'll have notes sticking out all over the place. Blend is key in accompaniment right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...