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Music Composers Unite!

I think music is way more about wisdom (as in dealing with the ambiguous) and judgment (as a sense, a sense that is in aligment with reality, that being any reality at all, our own included). So, while we compose we may have a goal (we kinda wish our music to do stuff, I do, I want it to be alive!) and we have our ways (as how we actualy make it happen, that being a concept that can even be ambiguos in it's development and may or may not be recursive of another methods). Well in all of these our philosophy dictates how we proceed.

Just for ilustration: say we want to create something. That can't be done out of the blue. We need basic ideas, we need a mean to translate it to another people and we need a way to actualy do it.

Let's start with the ideas. I'll apresent my philosophy and hope you guys to help me to improve it. We can work with more than one idea. We just need to know what are the elements of each one of them we want and that can be translated to our means. So we first ask each of the ideas our questions, we know more about them, as all the knowledge about them are not readly avaliable in our minds, at lest not in mine. We can follow Aristoteles routine to quintescence, that's a nice one. After that, it's time to select. What am I in all those questions and definitions? What does my will itself choose?

And then we work on our intent, translating on parts and whole the new idea (that has a litlle about you) in the mean.

Well, you guys can add at any point of this discution, be it the philosophy, or your already formed personal aesthetics on anything. Why would I want to know that? You may ask. Well I believe that we grow on sharing and add to ourselves as shock with another people's worlds. You can add pieces as examples, that would be ideal.

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There's no question about if it's acceptable. Just try things out. If the results please you then it was worth the experiment. However, it's important to be self-critical. If you started out with an idea, how close is it to that idea? Is there anything that doesn't sound quite right; does what you've done improve on your idea? You speak of untrained ear. It's these things that help train your ear. You can have all the academic stuff in the world but that won't necessarily give you a good, trained musical ear. You get that by listening and finding out how it was done (following scores). 

The music is fine, short and to the point. 


Well I think you've made the point right there! If it's pleasing to your ears then that's what you should be getting out there, the whole aim of musical composition is precisely to show how you hear things. If we all heard similarly then music would be pretty bland and homogeneous... Show the world how you hear and feel music, show us what you have and want to say!

PS: that's pretty fast counterpoint... ;)

Lucas Oliveira Krumenaur said:



OK! back on track! rsrsrs

Recently I've been trying new things on music, but It's very hard to know for my untrained ears If it is musicaly acceptable to try these ideas out, that is, to my ears they are kinda pleasing, but I may be fooling myself. The idea is to use pulses of out of range pitches (too high or too low for the range we are expecting) to create disparity on rythm. Why would I want to do that? Well, I'm writing music about stuff my father taught me and one of those things is to watch my growing up. We, as most things in nature don't, do not follow a rytmh as we grow. So I tried to make it more descriptive on this way. I may be taking a wrong turn on aesthetics and that's why I want you guys help. I'll post it here.


"esoteric philosophical/spiritual"

Listening to music might not fall into this category. Listening can be done on very shallow levels. But writing music? That's very different. Lucas is experimenting with those deeper levels.

Just so we won't be hanging in our chat: I learned while reading a book by a famous pyschologist and scientist, Antonio Damasio, that emotion (as all qualification and quantification of our sentiments) is invariably connected to the 'self' and this one is responsible to our perspective of ourselves (that is nerologycal and clinical data). That being, if you express yourself, you have a sense of self, even if you're not aware. Do not frigth! As you read this response, as you process it on your mind, your mind alters itself, in a way (as that is how learnig and memory happens), but you are stil you. What I understood from the text is that the basics of "self" is a response to changes and that it happens all te time, even if you are tipsy. I realy like that book, by the way rsrsrsrs.

About our souls, thats's waaay deeper thatn what I can pry into, so I'll just leave it be. This question grows in many ways, even at the perspective used for professionals of biological areas, as the machanist (that treat humans as machines that react) model inspired some views in psychiatry.

I have come to understand that I try to write music with deliberate intent. I also take the philosophy of teleology as the main focus on my method of composition. Every note, every idea, and every gesture has to have a purpose or meaning. This meaning or purpose can be explicit or implicit but there should be a meaning. Under this framework, I have a direction for every idea that I incorporate into my work. I hope it comes across in my music and that my audience can understand it.

Just noticed this old thread, hope I can pop in and say something without being accused of a necropost...

In my music too, everything must have a purpose, every note, every gesture, must relate somehow to the larger whole. A very important element in the music I've written so far is Flow - the music must flow naturally from one place to the next. I have not relied much on sudden contrasts - though there is one place in the piece I'm currently working on where there is a pause, and then an episode that totally contrasts with what has gone before. The effect is intended to be ironic. But this is an exception. Nearly everywhere, new ideas must be prepared and everything must follow organically from what has gone on before. And my music seems to be always active, always moving, always changing, with few static passages or longueurs.

Much has been made, by authors such as Robert Simpson, of the dichotomy between the objective vs. the subjective in music. I don't think I have a strong view on this, but my observation is that so far, my work tends toward the objective - at least, I don't feel myself expressing subjective emotions, for the most part, but rather trying to follow the structural, linear, harmonic, and rhythmic logic of the music itself. Though again, in my current piece, there is a turning point where sadness and despair gradually give way to solace and hope, a development not dictated by musical logic but by my own personal expressive intentions.

So it seems there are general features about my approach to composition, but not hard and fast rules - there can be exceptions to anything.

It’s a good thread Liz, worth reviving. I think the greatest quote I have ever read about art comes from William Goldman, and he said it about film, but it applies to music too. He said, of the ending of a film, that it must be both “surprising and Inevitable.” I think that subsumes a lot the points you raise about developing a logic that leads somewhere, as well as your points about contrasts. Plus it keeps the audience awake! Plus plus it’s really hard to do!

Thanks for the reply Gav. Well, I like that quote but I am not so sure that the ending of my current piece is going to be surprising - but I'm doing my best to make it inevitable. However, one feature in the coda that might be surprising is how much dissonance there is in it - suspensions and dissonant passing notes have always been present in the piece, but here they really come into their own. The effect should be bracing and uplifting rather than minatory, but that will be for listeners to judge.

And I'm very surprised by how difficult writing this coda is proving to be... I expected that it would be a sprint to the finish once I was in it, since all of the ideas have been presented already and the different possibilities of combining them fully explored, and the general shape of the coda was clear in my mind. But it involves a lot of harmonic shifts and modulations that have to ultimately end up in the right key... and it's (mostly) 4-part intricate counterpoint. A lot harder to write than anything else in the piece.

I hope to have it done soon though... sometime this month if everything works out.

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