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The single most challenging thing to me as a composer and what I hope to improve the most in my compositions is 'return.' Some of the best music I have heard begins and ends the same way, and often repeats initial themes throughout. Return coheses a piece like nothing else and seems to me to be a key element of  compositional mastery.

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Comment by Gav Brown on January 26, 2013 at 1:36pm

Yes, my favorite song has an initial verse. It begins with a pattern of 3 descending chords, which are played over and over again, getting more complex each time. The chords recur starting at about 2:58 and reintroduce the song. They also appear once more, at the end, where they start out at the level of complexity that they ended with at the intro, reducing that complexity until they have been stripped down to the simple opening, which ends the piece. Every other theme also recurs multiple times as well. It's excellent. About 5 minutes long if anyone wants a listen:

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