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Gustav Mahler

I Am Very Confused

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Hello everyone, 

Musical ideas keep popping up in my head all the time, and  i write most of them down. But after that i am getting really confused and i dont know where to start. I want to write a complete piece of course, and not many short sketches. should i take some themes or theme that i like and then to develop it or maybe i should wait for other ideas that may fit into the same piece? I really really want to be organized and to know what to do.  i know it is not science, but some direction could help me. I learn conducting and composition but the teachers dont really explain how the process is done.  Thanks!

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should i take some themes or theme that i like and then to develop it

Yes, development is what you need to learn, try to think in what can be next to that theme, or how could be a variation of it, move a bit in your harmony, then go back, start thinking in your overall form, what kind of composition you think you can do with it, if it's short, it's ok, how short ? how many sections could it have ? perhaps you can use a 2nd theme as secondary, practice harmony and rapidly move your theme to other keys, you can try to modulate into a higher key as final section, build a cadenza, don't overwork in the same project, try to finish it, no need to create a masterpiece yet, if you're not totally satisfied with it, it's ok, you'll get better, but finish it.

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Ah welcome to composing!

 

Yes develop one idea. How?  Here are a few "games" to get you going:

 

1) Try it in duple (eg 4/4, 2/4) , triple (3/4, 6/8), or a mixture (5/8, 7/4) pattern

2) Write the backwards version of it, you r end note is your start note. Invert the intervals or melodic interval. So if you melody jumps up a fifth, create another that inverts the jump down a 4th. When you do that try the inverted idea backward.

3) Create a round, eg something like Row Row Your Boat is a common canon. It might not work at first but as you work out the round you might end up with a nice short piece.

4) Take one of your ideas and ask does this seem as it is posing a question or providing an answer, or both? Usually ideas do one or the other rather than both. Provide an answer to your question and vice a versa.

 

Hope these ideas help.

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