Gav brought this up in his ballad thread. I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on this, and expand it beyond his piece.

A few ground rules.

1. I'm kind of tired of my topics going to the "Useless Drivel" pile. A few of you that are still here think you know why that happened, but you are dead wrong. If things go south, I'll pull the plug myself, and file a major complaint.

2. If you think this question is too broad, too bad. 

3. I know everyone has interesting things to say about this, so feel free to speak your mind, about this topic, that is. I have no problem with spirited back and forth. But please, put on your Big Boy pants.

I'm actually more interested in what other people have to say about this than sharing my own views, but I'll start things off, anyway.

We are all here for different reasons, and we have vastly different interests and skill levels. A million years ago I studied music ed and composition. I never used either one in real life. I bought Sibelius in 2007, and picked up composing, again, but this time just for the fun of it. And it is fun. Even when this forum tries to rob me of it.

Just because I compose for fun and have no plans to make any money from it, doesn't mean I don't take it very seriously. 

I think it is hard to write any music, fast or slow. That's not a cop out. That's a fact. If you thinks it's hard to write slow music, I think it has more to do with the fact you may just like fast music better. Maybe that's what you listen to most, so that's what makes sense to you. Maybe you think slow music is boring, so of course you might not think you have the tools to work with it.

Maybe you prefer a good chorale. There's just too many notes going by in a presto.

For me, the quality of a piece has nothing to do with the tempo, except that the music has to be crafted for that tempo. Good music is about putting down a note in what ever medium you choose, and then following it with not just any note, but a note that gives the first note meaning, and makes it interesting. The second note must breath life into the first note, and prepare the way for the third note. This is not easy at any tempo. I don't believe that you can just plop a note down an expect the listener to become engaged. The listener wants to listen to your music, but you can't rely on that alone. You have to caress the listener, convince them that they want to hear your whole piece. You can't let down for an eight-note, or semiquaver(...no wait.. that's a sixtee...no....oh never mind).

Personally I tend to prefer something that starts out soft and slow, then builds in volume or tempo or both. Music that has a goal, and we know when it gets there.

What do you think?

Good luck.

You need to be a member of Composers' Forum to add comments!

Join Composers' Forum

Email me when people reply –

Replies

  • That movie was before my time.  I must have been about 5 when it came out.
     
    Bob Porter said:

    Lawrence,

    I love Chase, though I never knew what happened to them.

    I also enjoy fast music. One of my favorite pieces of film music is Salome's Dance from King of Kings. Starts out slow and builds to a fever pitch tempo.

    Is it harder to write fast music, or slow music?
    Gav brought this up in his ballad thread. I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on this, and expand it beyond his piece. A few ground rules. 1. I'm ki…

  • The  choice we make removes the subsequent events from the realm natural occurrence.  The choice eliminates all the other possibilities.  Creativity is the antithesis of randomness.  By creating we alter the natural occurring forces of the universe.   The result is something new, and different which signifies design and premeditation.  Man and God are the only beings we know of, capable of altering the course of nature.
    roger stancill said:

     .  As for the notion that 'nothing in the universe happens by chance'... I must disagree.

    The next piece of music you write will be written in a key that you chose, of your own free will. It is not 'destined' and you

    could just as easily chose to go bowling instead of composing. What are the chances of that? 
     
     

    Is it harder to write fast music, or slow music?
    Gav brought this up in his ballad thread. I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on this, and expand it beyond his piece. A few ground rules. 1. I'm ki…
  • L.A.,       If this is true

                  and choice is Time's glue

                  then how would you

                  Explain Deja  Vu
     
    Lawrence Aurich said:


    The  choice we make removes the subsequent events from the realm natural occurrence.  The choice eliminates all the other possibilities.  Creativity is the antithesis of randomness.  By creating we alter the natural occurring forces of the universe.   The result is something new, and different which signifies design and premeditation.  Man and God are the only beings we know of, capable of altering the course of nature.
    roger stancill said:

     .  As for the notion that 'nothing in the universe happens by chance'... I must disagree.

    The next piece of music you write will be written in a key that you chose, of your own free will. It is not 'destined' and you

    could just as easily chose to go bowling instead of composing. What are the chances of that? 
     
     

    Is it harder to write fast music, or slow music?
    Gav brought this up in his ballad thread. I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on this, and expand it beyond his piece. A few ground rules. 1. I'm ki…
  • L.A.,       If this is true

                  and choice is Time's glue

                  then how would you

                  Explain Deja  Vu

  • chuckle X 2    
     
    Mike Hewer said:

    L.A.,       If this is true

                  and choice is Time's glue

                  then how would you

                  Explain Deja  Vu

    Is it harder to write fast music, or slow music?
    Gav brought this up in his ballad thread. I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on this, and expand it beyond his piece. A few ground rules. 1. I'm ki…
  • Just to follow up on Mike's point.  I think this is an especial concern for composing at the computer.  Because of the easy, unlimited playback, as I work through a piece, I often find that my brain has conceived a much greater stretch of time has passed in the composition than the reality.  I come back to the music after a break and realize that there isn't nearly enough development (or even exposition) of the ideas.  This is especially so for "fast" music because of the greater discrepancy in "composition time" vs "performance time".

    Also, working on this opera, this is the first time in my life I've been working directly for full orchestra (without an interim piano or short score sketching step).  However, in writing the most recent section (end of Act 2), I realized I simply had to sketch it out in a piano score first.  Part of that is the complication of the dramatic action, but also the speed at which it all progresses.  The end of it is quite fast (for an extended period) and I needed to get the proportions (structure) nailed down before I tackled the full orchestration.

    Mike Hewer said:

    I'm with Rodney on this. Although I will say that sometimes I find faster music can be tricky if I don't keep an eye on the long line. I can work on maybe 10 bars or so of fast music for a time frame that is disproportionate to the time it takes to actually play the music. This can potentially skew my conception of the bigger picture unless I have future markers mapped out to preserve a sense of balance and form (for fast and slow, actually)....always good to know where your headed no matter how fast you are travelling I find.

    In essence though, whether slow or fast, I find the same processes at work along with the same concerns.

    Is it harder to write fast music, or slow music?
    Gav brought this up in his ballad thread. I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on this, and expand it beyond his piece. A few ground rules. 1. I'm ki…
  • We often make the wrong choice over and over, and must repeat until we get it right.  Haven't you seen Ground Hog Day?
     
    roger stancill said:

    L.A.,       If this is true

                  and choice is Time's glue

                  then how would you

                  Explain Deja  Vu
     
    Lawrence Aurich said:


    The  choice we make removes the subsequent events from the realm natural occurrence.  The choice eliminates all the other possibilities.  Creativity is the antithesis of randomness.  By creating we alter the natural occurring forces of the universe.   The result is something new, and different which signifies design and premeditation.  Man and God are the only beings we know of, capable of altering the course of nature.
    roger stancill said:

     .  As for the notion that 'nothing in the universe happens by chance'... I must disagree.

    The next piece of music you write will be written in a key that you chose, of your own free will. It is not 'destined' and you

    could just as easily chose to go bowling instead of composing. What are the chances of that? 
     
     

    Is it harder to write fast music, or slow music?
    Gav brought this up in his ballad thread. I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on this, and expand it beyond his piece. A few ground rules. 1. I'm ki…
  • It's Deja Vu all over again.
     
    roger stancill said:

    chuckle X 2    
     
    Mike Hewer said:

    L.A.,       If this is true

                  and choice is Time's glue

                  then how would you

                  Explain Deja  Vu

    Is it harder to write fast music, or slow music?
    Gav brought this up in his ballad thread. I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on this, and expand it beyond his piece. A few ground rules. 1. I'm ki…
  • John,

    As I don't play piano, it is pointless for me to sketch out music on a piano score first. Besides, I want things to happen using particular instruments, so I do my sketching in the full score using the basic sounds I want. Then I go back and fill out the score. I use a mouse to input notes, a very slow process,indeed. 

    Before I started writing using a computer, I did write at the piano. I found it very limiting and required extra steps. 

    One of the many weaknesses of my music is that I don't always do a lot of development. Isay some things, and then move on. I try to keep things related, but not always developed. 

  • I used to map everything out on paper in the B.C. era (before computer), but now it is so easy to add or subtract, which makes composing a more free flowing process.  Whatever I've composed for the day, I add to the previous, make an audio file and play it over and over so I can hear what needs to be elongated, truncated or scrapped.  You can add 4 or 8 measures to develop a theme or subtract as many if it is overwrought or repetitive.  I tend to edit more by feel than by plan.  You can feel if a crescendo needs to be longer or a climax elongated or shortened.  We have a tremendous advantage over composers of the past in that we have immediate replay.

This reply was deleted.