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?