Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
luderart

What Is The Origin And Source Of Compositional Ideas?

Recommended Posts

Where do you think do your inspirations have their origin and come from, the themes, the motives that occur to you and that you develop into your compositions?

 

I think that the source and origin of such motives and themes lies in the unconscious and comprises one's place in society, one's relationships, one's developmental level, and one's experiences. That is why you just can't decide to create a motive or a theme but must wait so that it occurs to you by itself and you "catch it" as it were. That is also why you must give time so that compositions develop by themselves. You can't decide to compose a concerto and do it immediately. You must wait for the proper ideas to occur to you. And then you must give time so that those ideas are shaped into the proper form, not just by you but by themselves, themselves suggesting their development.

Edited by luderart

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that a composition must follow its own natural course, but it's difficult to define what that is. An idea comes, but how does it develop? It seems to me that it has to develop through the composer having an idea of what the "right notes" are - in some way it's a question of working out what is "correct" for the style of composition. What matters is having an aesthetic sense which guides a critical review of the work: a composer must be willing to "listen" and be guided by a kind of intuition. It is through critical reflection that a work can be created which meets the required aesthetic standard. As for where the initial ideas come from, that is a different question: they may come from other works or from sounds heard in nature (or the sounds of machines, for example the rhythm of a railway carriage) or purely from "imagination" (i.e. just thinking of a "theme"). In essence, the initial ideas can come from anywhere, they are merely "to be heard", but they have to be evaluated and then worked into a coherent whole. Tradition may be a guide, certainly there is much to learn from existing works, but it cannot be everything - what is needed is the overarching aesthetic, and that is something which is hard to pin down: different people have different ideas on it, but we all have to follow our own instinct. For me, ideas come from all the sounds and all the music I have heard and enjoyed, though to explain how and why there is such enjoyment is impossible. Fundamentally, I choose to write music which in some sense pleases me, and that has to be a kind of intellectual satisfaction as well as a purely sensual experience: there should be not just pleasing harmony, pleasing melodic lines, but also a structure which can be perceived and, of itself, gives the sense of a work which has been well worked out.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An entertaining idea, but I actually found the output too random - I should add that, although composition does have elements of chance (the choice of the individual) I'm not an advocate of alleatoric composition... I find that there are certain elements from the musical tradition which still have a place today: stepwise motion, proper voice-leading, contrapuntal thinking - all these elements are important in creating the kind of structure I prefer, and for me, it's structure that is the real raison d'être of compositional works. It is perception of this structure which gives pleasure to the audience. Perhaps some of you will disagree, but I challenge you, even for a "tune" you like, what is it you like about it? I maintain that it's the structure (in this case the intervallic relationships) which pleases you.

 

In summary, I say it is not the source of the ideas which matters, rather it's what is done with them.

  • Like 2

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.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...