Composers' Forum

Music Composers Unite!

The main requirements towards producing interesting music in any genre!

We can argue for days, weeks or eternity about, good or bad genre of music. Personal taste seldom alters although taste can and does change with age and experience but imho, there are a couple of things truly critical when creating music as a listening experience regardless of genre.

1. Dynamic range (as wide a variation as possible).
2. Timbre (changing over time).
3. ?

What do you think? Have you listened to performances of others that you 'should' be using as reference when producing your own work?
It's not just about the form and theory as that necessitates the listener imagining the same sound you're hearing in your head. If you start with a score then put every mark in there needed to tell the performer be they human or software application exactly what your intentions are. I really do not enjoy telling anyone their piece sounds crap just to get the reply 'but this is only a rough guide and I hope to have real players use it'. No it isn't because you've published it for the world to listen. It is an example of your lack of skill.

Yes I know, I'm BAD but please give us all your thoughts.

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someone who just posts a score should mark it as completely as possible.

Quite right Bob. If for no other reason than to get accurate feedback. A lazy lack of detail can misdirect any critique into focusing on details that the poster may already know. It is also a waste of the reviewers' time....


Fair enough if the situation has changed, Bob. But I think that most serious academic institutions still differentiate and provide courses in separate disciplines as "music composition", "music technology" etc.

If the question is on marking well a score, I agree. It should be marked as meticulously as possible-I said the same thing above with plenty of instruction to the performers as to one's intentions.


Ray, In the case of the two particular composers that I mentioned above, Bach has hardly any dynamic markings, and I would say that Boulez (in integral serialist pieces) goes over the top. But neither attitude deducts from the qualitative value of their music, imo.

I would like to add (since I cannot edit my own previous posts in this forum outside a ridiculous 15 minute limit), that the old computer adage "shit in = shit out" is still in force as far as music goes, despite the suburb and very professional quality that some recordings of some pieces have. Commercial pop culture recordings  are testifying to this fact, for example. So, what are you after here?

It isn't their music being posted here for critique.
I do not put myself up as an expert in audio mockups and in fact because I know so many musicians who I consider better than I am in producing them it is my driving force to improving my efforts. They are my REFERENCE.
I do not consider myself a composer because I also know so many others producing better composition. They are my REFERENCE.
My failings drive me forward even at 66 years old.
Is this a forum of peers at differing levels of ability and/or experience or is it a classroom?.
The main reason I tend to comment on audio representation rather than composition is because for better or worse the composer is responsible for the composition and he/she shouldn't be looking for others to write it for them.

Ray said:

Is this a forum of peers at differing levels of ability and/or experience or is it a classroom?.
I would hope it is more of the first, but sometimes it seems to be both :-)
The main reason I tend to comment on audio representation rather than composition is because for better or worse the composer is responsible for the composition and he/she shouldn't be looking for others to write it for them.
Seeking advice, appreciassion, commentary, constructive critisism, all these things are not the same as asking that others should write our music. But tips help. I see nothing wrong in learning from each other.

Ray, i guess (your long winded point) is that you would prefer mock-ups to be better presented.  Got it.  and agree.  Now why not go and write something?

yes, I know, that line between helpful tips and collaboration is very hazy. All I'm saying is, there are plenty points of reference available these days before and at the time of writing. Don't take this personally but, spending years studying music is a great grounding for teaching others what one's learned and/or being a musicologist but................not necessarily a composer.

Since I've been here, i haven't seen "anyone write it for them'.. straw man's argument.  If you don't even think tips should be forthcoming, the criticism threads would no longer apply.. Also I think these are the most  visited.

Perhaps we're looking at the problem from the completely wrong direction. It would seem that for the majority of modern composers represented here, VSTs are indeed the most prevalent and utilized instruments, much more so than those antiquated acoustic ones.

It would therefore follow that the modern producer should rather be striving to simulate, from these lush, spacious acoustic recordings, the tinny, flat and flaccid sounds of "real", current instruments, ie, modern VSTs.

My gosh Ray, you're working to thwart the natural progress and evolution of music with these Luddite notions!

There have indeed been a few folks that have posted some snippet and asked where they should go from there.

As for Bach scores? Musicians of the time all knew how to play Baroque music. So much so that some Baroque scores have come down to us as a solo line over a figured bass. Musicians filled in all the parts on the fly. But today, musicians need to know how to play in a baroque style, and a pop style and everything in between. Hence, we really need scores marked.

Ray, of course you are not going to teach someone 'creativity'.

But, say someone hits a block. You can at least share your

experience with overcoming that block without being a

collaborator. If some of the threads are 'beneath you, then just

exit... stage left .... sans comment

I don't quite understand your point. Why can't this forum be  'all

things to all composers?'

And BTW, please clear the haze and give us your definition of

who qualifies as a composer. Where exactly do YOU set the bar?

I mean that sincerely. What qualifications do I have to meet to

get my Eagle Scout merit badge for composition?

Th old world of fierce competiton and capitalism is somewhat

fading, partially due to the interent, and a more open and free sharing

attitude is evolving in many fields.

If this leads to better writing and better music, then maybe Bach was ahead

of his time by tagging his works with the expression,  to the glory of God.     RS

The majority of any type of composer here doesn't post anything at all. So that leaves a few active members and half of them hide behind some false facade. At the moment there is a particular avatar being used by someone presenting a pretty strange excuse for being here. Well avatars come and go but hey, I've been around here a long long time ;-)
On the question of Luddites. I've spent the afternoon listening to Mass in D major and I'm not even religious.

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