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1) Why composing Music?

[Post #1] This is my first post about musical composition. Sometimes I'll talk about theory, sometimes about practice, showing some sequences and standard chord progressions, the accompaniments of the left hand, techniques to create a melody and so on. I'll start with small general information up to the composition of a song.

Everything begins with a general concept.

Some musicians ask themselves "why composing music?". This question hides emotional embarrassment, a psychological block, maybe shame ("and if you do not like the piece?") or excessive modesty ("the song is not really that good", "I am not good enough", etc...)
We should ask ourselves instead: why NOT composing music?

We grow in an educational system that teaches everyone (or almost everyone) to read and write from the first years of life. But only the few have the chance (or the privilege) to learn music. Although music surrounds and accompanies every moment of our life, its teaching is not offered or guaranteed to all.

Generalizing a bit, we can say that if we look us around, almost everyone wrote a "poem" or (if we do not want to exaggerate) a "poetic message". We did it and our friends did it too. Perhaps it was dedicated to our first love, was written to describe a mood, to comment an happy event or for any reason that gave us the chance to experience particular emotions. Anyone who can read and write is theoretically able to write a "poem" (the quotes are a must, it is an example and I am expressly exaggerating).

Music is simply a language through which you can express something. To compose music can be then an alternative to write a poem. You simply must know the music. Musicians from this point of view have no reason NOT to compose music.
The young poet, or the young composer, just use a different language but having the same purpose: to communicate something to themselves or to the others.

So here we are back to the question with which I began this post, why composing music?

One reason would be: to survive (but not in the sense of "if I do not compose this song I would feel like dying!"). In this case we would be professional songwriters. Presenting new compositions is therefore our main source of income.
Those who think that this scenario relates only to rock bands or singers etc. are wrong. A few centuries ago classical musicians had the need to compose, they had to bring their new works to the publisher. This was for them a livelihood, along with music lessons for example.
However, we are Sunday composers, we just started writing "jingles" not masterpieces. To earn some money could not initially be a good reason for us to compose music.

Here maybe a better reason, that I already mentioned before. We compose to communicate.
Those who know the language of music, if they wish, can communicate something with this medium, just as the young lover, knowing the writing, can communicate something to his girlfriend. It is only about using a different language, notes instead of words, staffs rather than letters.

To communicate something to other people may not be interesting for us, many musicians not even care about composition, for example, they prefer to express their art through the interpretation of songs written by other artists.
However we may decide to write a song just to remember it. We can not be sure that in 10 years we will still be able to play in the same way that sequence of notes, that tune we played many years ago as an expression of something felt at that time.
In this case, a written composition has the function of preserving our creations over time, the function of making us live again those feelings that we felt then. In this case, the composition is communication, memory, expression of emotions to themselves and not to other people.

In short, we can say that there are no strong reasons to prevent the musician to compose music. What is important is to know the language (technically to play an instrument, even though this is sometimes not necessary). Even personal issues (shame, modesty) can not hide the desire to remember or to communicate something in the future even only to ourselves.

To compose to:
- survive
- communicate

- remember and live again

We are not geniuses involved in the creative effort to create a masterpiece, we are ordinary people who live and feel emotions. Sometimes there's nothing better than to share them.

In the next post I will discuss another basic concept: what is a musical composition.



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Learn To Compose And Notate Music - Beginning LevelLook InsideLearn To Compose And Notate Music - Beginning Level (By Lee Evans and Martha Baker). Evans Piano Education. 24 pages. Published by Hal Leonard (HL.9072)
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Complete IdiotLook InsideComplete Idiot"s Guide to Music Composition For composers. Reference Textbooks; Textbook - General. Complete Idiot"s Guide. Instructional and Composition. Instructional book. 264 pages. Published by Alfred Music Publishing (AP.74-1592574033)
...more info
1) Why composing Music? Reviewed by Satin Beaus on Sunday, February 06, 2011 Rating: 5

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