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Is there really such a thing as "inspiration" in composition ?

Do you think that there is such a thing as musical inspiration ?

Is it possible to hear inspiration in a piece of music, and which ones in particular ?

Have you ever felt that a piece of yours has developed more as a result of inspiration rather than conscious decision-making ?

Do you really think that inspiration comes from "up there" somewhere, or is it just neurological trick that our brains play with us from time to time ?

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ah shucks, I never knew it was getting this heavy, man !
Its the nature of forums that are built on communities of intelligent yet disparate people who often arrive at creating music through personal turmoil and need for strong ego. I have no ill will towards anyone, I only hope folks are getting what I post, at least a little bit, rather than diving further into the shields that we have built and finding cause for offense rather than growth.

Anyone that has known me for longer than a day or two, knows this of me, and that I have never ever deleted a post that was topically on and was not needed to be deleted in defense of CF members or with our forum policy. I have actually not deleted any post on the forum since Jan Civil had a post with her piece then she deleted the piece from the post (leaving nothing for music content in the dissection forum). That was mid of last year.

I urge both Thomas and Adam to consider the content of your statements please, and how they are perceived to the forum community. And while I urge you all to keep posting with strong opinions, the stronger your opinion is, the more you are leaving yourself open to be challenged. Post! But if you post harshly, expect harsh critique ;-)

Adrian Allan said:
ah shucks, I never knew it was getting this heavy, man !
Hi all,
I haven’t been following this discussion, just sort of stumbled across it, and it’s a great topic that certainly has me thinking.
I spent many years in an improvisatory trio called the Nth Degree. At the heart of our material was a bunch of songs, or instrumentals, where we had a basic chord sequence, melody, sometimes lyrics. Each time we went out we just allowed ourselves to reinterpret this stuff, the only preconception was our familiarity with the material, however it chose to arrive, initially. Where ever it took off to, was down to many factors; the mind set of players, the acoustics of the room, i.e its ability to support dynamic playing, the emotional placement or performance of a single chord, a keyboard sound, ideas flowed from polyrhythmic interaction, shared cultural musical knowledge… whatever. But flow, and reach outwards to reinvent itself constantly it did.
I became so emotionally engrossed with the sheer beauty of this process that I came to the conclusion that I as a mere mortal, was merely a conduit for something much greater than myself, and that for me (or my ego) to claim ownership of any of my contribution, was a some kind of cosmic joke. And before I get bombarded by copyright arguments, I’m perfectly respectful of the need to sell music through ownership, though I wish we didn’t have to. All I’m saying is, that at that time I needed to be humble within my own personal musical Nirvana. And indeed I still feel that way today.
I personally think that the source of my inspiration, is the same evolutionary process that creates this beautiful universe around me. An intelligence capable of such profound beauty that see’s a gap and attempts to fill it with the Crab Nebula, a Butterfly or a Dung Beetle to see if will survive, interact and succeed. I am merely a tiny part of this whole, and a filter for this process, and thank heaven it plugs me in chooses me from time to time, and allows me to make whatever mess I can of it.
Michael J Lawrence said some very succinct things in his reply of the 21 January, and I empathise with his thoughts totally.
“There is, somewhere, an intrinsic statement that is trying to get out. It's not so much about creating as discovering”.
“Composition is the only voice I have that ever said what I actually mean. And what I have to say is in response to all the intangible glory and fury of this universe. If not so, then what's the point?”
The DAW itself allows me to reach an honest place within my artistic life, too, and to communicate my ideas to others. I can only celebrate the inspiration that that idea, in itself, gives to me.
And finally, I’m grateful for the mystery that surrounds the source. That mystery for me, is the source. I don’t try to understand it or comprehend it’s mechanics, I don’t want to.

Anne Goodwin said:
Yes, there's the old saying that success is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration! :) However, we cannot really do the perspiring until the inspirational 'flash' has occurred, can we? :)

Thomas Green said:
I can't begin to explain how this happens, but I guess it may be the brain re-organising all the tunes in its subconscious into something new that makes sense."

Don't get me wrong, I know what you're talking about here. Knowing how to let go and let it flow is very important. I just wonder if this is a fairly normal thing. In a sense, this happens multiple times during the course of writing. You could say that every phrase, or every few notes just pop into your head, fairly unannounced. How they get there? Who knows. Maybe neurologists or something. I still maintain that the conscious, relatively deliberate work which happens after this is at least equally important, and in many cases makes or breaks the thing. But how much emphasis is on one or the other process no doubt depends on the individual.

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