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When And How Do You Decide A Piece Is Finished, And No Longer Work On It (Or Revise It)?

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I think that many a piece of mine could have benefited from further revision had I not decided too soon that it was finished. Now I am becoming more careful before declaring a piece finished. So how and when do you know (or decide) that a piece you are working on is finished?

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1. You've closed your piece as you planned (also the other parts layed out 'properly' according to your plans)

2. After listening it hundred of times (or more) you feel that cant improve it any more without diminishing its value

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None of my music is ever finished. Anything I perform is "close enough"; however changes and revisions may happen at any time. I'm constantly evolving as a musician and as a person, why shouldn't my music do the same?

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^^WOW!

If you are a disciplined composer, it is finished when you have developed you ideas as fas as you can take it. (general consensus)

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1) When its finished.

2) When the performers need it for rehearsals.

3) The hour of the deadline.

Personally, I hate revising pieces after the fact simply because I'm a better composer after the fact than when I wrote it. Its far easier to write a new work with the better composer in you than to mix the better and poorer composers in you.

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I agree with the idea that, you're a better composer, just write something new. However, if your writing deals with variations, why not just have variations of entire works, and keep them all? Unless, you listen to it enough that you realize it could use minor improvements, here and there, rather than restructuring, or adding parts all together. If your piece wasn't very cohesive or things like that, just consider yourself better and move on, and rework parts you deem worthy into new works as a whole. Consider your older stuff well thought out sketches :P

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When my composition is performed, I stop revising it forever. I am later, after becoming "smarter" and more experienced, observing some weak moments I wasn't aware of when composing (clumsiness in instrumentation, poor form, etc.) but I keep reserving this experiences for new work.

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