I am just wondering. How do you compose? - Do you flinker with your instruments and write in on paper? - Or do you record the process whilst you are doing it... - Do you use any cool software to manage your songs... -...??

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  • Sometimes I just sit at the computer, and put down whatever come to mind. Other times I write the theme on staff paper after humming it, or fiddling around on my viola. Then I put that in the computer, and write the rest from there.

    Simon - Great idea carrying around a notebook, I'll have to start doing that!
  • i find making an outline on paper writing the time and key changes with what instruments im using . then i go directly to staff paper. never been much of a person for playing and writing at the same time.
  • I can guarantee that when my head hits the pillow at night, then a fully blown, symphonic orchestra will take the melody that i've been humming and run with it. It's then a mad dash up to my studio to get the bugger down before i forget.
  • I record the process whilst playing my instrument. I spend more time and efforts developing the instrument than playing it. Today I have about dozen 2-keyboard setups, which allow me playing simultaneously 5-6 or more instruments. Unfortunately, I have only 2 hands -:). Music is constantly in my head, day and night. Almost newer use paper and classic notation. A simple sequencer is enough for me, but the instruments I use are quite sophisticated (several pedals, knobs for chosing instruments, building the performance setups etc).
  • I had a film-scoring professor (Jack Smalley, wonderful veteran of the trade) who once gave me a great piece of advice: "the WORST way to begin a piece is by writing the first note."

    What he meant was that by the time the first notes are written, the composer should already have sharply limited and defined the piece. What's the instrumentation? Roughly how long are you envisioning the length? Is it part of a multi-movement work? Are there solos? What's the mood? If it's a film cue, what's the time in/time out? Etc., etc.

    The good thing about this way of working is that it gets you past the dreaded "blank piece of staff paper" paralysis. If you make all those decisions ahead of time, by the time you sit down writing, the piece is already beginning to develop in your mind. Makes the work much easier, at least for me.

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