Hey guys ! 

I would like to discuss with you about some of your approaches of composing on a specific angle, which i don't think has been discussed on this forum before. Please, correct me if i'm wrong, and forgive my spelling mistakes. As a french guy, i consider discussing with you a great way to improve my english and musical skills haha

As most of you are composers, amateurs and professionals, I'm trying to gather your philosophies of composing. A first step would be to know how you consider inspiration. I started writing (amateur) music only when inspiration would come, and I could stay several months without writing anything. Obviously it did not lead me to create a lot of songs. As a consequence i decided to take another approach : i would sit down with a guitar and my software and try new ideas for the next two hours. Something would come out of the session. It did work pretty well for me.

How do you consider these approaches ? Does "forcing" yourself or setting up a discipline such as allocating x hours a day only for composing, seem to be a positive and efficient approach for composing or would you say forcing yourself is killing the inner desire / passion and cannot lead to a great composition ? Would it lead to artificiality ?

Again, my question is more philosophy driven than just to get some tips because i do think this method works to write music and improve on this. But does art need to come out of you on its own or is it acceptable theoretically to "extract it from you" ? 

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  • Joseph and Paul,

    Welcome to CF and long may you both reside here.

    I agree with Bob Porter's thoughts about Fred's and Scapegoat's approaches to debate about anything...both can be rather too acerbic and this is bound to be hurtful to those who come under fire...but they certainly enliven the debate (however, there is no excuse for being gratuitously ill-mannered and sometimes offensive).

    Bob's comment: Fred has won a few contests here. But his music is no more original than anyone else's. isn't too pleasant either....it's completely off base in my view to disparage anything that someone has put their heart and soul into creating. The old adage that everyone's' Grandparent comes out with viz: 'If you can't think of something nice to say then say nothing' might seem a little twee in this day and age but my personal philosophy is to give encouragement at all times (this could be peppered with a little bit of formal advice on how, in my view at least, something might possibly be improved upon).

    I have never agreed with Gav's philosophy that 'classical musical traditions are dead' and that music should always strive for innovation...that all seems rather too negative and closed-minded. In literature there are myriad ways of saying what in essence is the same thing - but excellent prose will always be more appealing than garbled syntax and ugly grammar. Beauty in my eyes (and ears) will always have near perfect form.

    Live and let live folks!

    Joseph Harry said:

    Paul- You and I are relatively new members here so it is hard to tell whether what happened in this thread today may be a new low for this forum or is just business as usual. I admit I hadn't taken the time to listen to Peter Brown's music (and now don't know where to find it) but that is BESIDE THE POINT. Fredrick's post was like you wrote "not excusable" and "it can never of course be justified".

    I read what Peter wrote before he left and deleted all of his posts-- and I thought he was being completely reasonable and in fact responded with some grace (as much as could be expected under the circumstances) to Fredrick's bullying.

    And what are we to make of the other members reactions here? No reaction.Peter Brown left the forum and an entire collection of observers (Socrates, Roger, Dexter, Stephen, Scapegoat, Bob, and Piere-Louis) just carry on as if nothing happened. You Paul as a new member were the only person to condemn Fredrick. Shame on all the rest. Unbelievable!

    The admins don't notice anything unless someone writes in large pink font- considered highly reprehensible.

    I observe that in the past month 3 people who believe that the work of the artist is more than a skillful craft and the composer's role in society should go beyond pleasing the ear and merely being "innovative", have left the forum. And I note that several other like minded people have gone silent.

    We're left with the forum's "back issues" to read as far as I'm concerned. Fortunately those will last me a while longer.



    Paul Ritchings said:

    I can't find the music you are referring to here.  Neither can I find Peter Brown's profile so presumably he's left.  I can't find any of your music either so your superior tone is not excusable.  It can never of course be justified.

    Now put up or shut up.  Post some of your music.

    Fredrick zinos said:

    Well, how very generous of you peter. I've listened to a few of your tacks, referenced above. May I ask, have you ever written anything original? Or is all of your compositional work-product the same kitchy mix of tired formulas and wheezing 19th century harmonies notable only for there predictability?

  • Thanks Stephen for your encouraging response. 

    I still think arrogance cannot be justified.  I disagree with Bob too on this.  The fact that we are spending this much time discussing this issue is in itself a problem and it's created by the original rudeness.  We should be discussing music and in particular here the question of "waiting for inspiration" vs continued and diligent practice of a craft. 

    Fred is like a clever but disruptive student or, worse, a teacher who thinks humiliation and mockery are valid approaches to teaching.  Perhaps that's the way he was taught.  If so he has my sympathy.  It was wrong then and it's wrong now.

    Whether I stay or not will depend on how much energy I find myself devoting to usefully discussing music and how much responding to the kind of "rudeness" which cannot really be ignored.


    Stephen Lines said:

    Joseph and Paul,

    Welcome to CF and long may you both reside here.

    I agree with Bob Porter's thoughts about Fred's and Scapegoat's approaches to debate about anything...both can be rather too acerbic and this is bound to be hurtful to those who come under fire...but they certainly enliven the debate (however, there is no excuse for being gratuitously ill-mannered and sometimes offensive).

    Bob's comment: Fred has won a few contests here. But his music is no more original than anyone else's. isn't too pleasant either....it's completely off base in my view to disparage anything that someone has put their heart and soul into creating. The old adage that everyone's' Grandparent comes out with viz: 'If you can't think of something nice to say then say nothing' might seem a little twee in this day and age but my personal philosophy is to give encouragement at all times (this could be peppered with a little bit of formal advice on how, in my view at least, something might possibly be improved upon).

    I have never agreed with Gav's philosophy that 'classical musical traditions are dead' and that music should always strive for innovation...that all seems rather too negative and closed-minded. In literature there are myriad ways of saying what in essence is the same thing - but excellent prose will always be more appealing than garbled syntax and ugly grammar. Beauty in my eyes (and ears) will always have near perfect form.

    Live and let live folks!

    Joseph Harry said:

    Paul- You and I are relatively new members here so it is hard to tell whether what happened in this thread today may be a new low for this forum or is just business as usual. I admit I hadn't taken the time to listen to Peter Brown's music (and now don't know where to find it) but that is BESIDE THE POINT. Fredrick's post was like you wrote "not excusable" and "it can never of course be justified".

    I read what Peter wrote before he left and deleted all of his posts-- and I thought he was being completely reasonable and in fact responded with some grace (as much as could be expected under the circumstances) to Fredrick's bullying.

    And what are we to make of the other members reactions here? No reaction.Peter Brown left the forum and an entire collection of observers (Socrates, Roger, Dexter, Stephen, Scapegoat, Bob, and Piere-Louis) just carry on as if nothing happened. You Paul as a new member were the only person to condemn Fredrick. Shame on all the rest. Unbelievable!

    The admins don't notice anything unless someone writes in large pink font- considered highly reprehensible.

    I observe that in the past month 3 people who believe that the work of the artist is more than a skillful craft and the composer's role in society should go beyond pleasing the ear and merely being "innovative", have left the forum. And I note that several other like minded people have gone silent.

    We're left with the forum's "back issues" to read as far as I'm concerned. Fortunately those will last me a while longer.



    Paul Ritchings said:

    I can't find the music you are referring to here.  Neither can I find Peter Brown's profile so presumably he's left.  I can't find any of your music either so your superior tone is not excusable.  It can never of course be justified.

    Now put up or shut up.  Post some of your music.

    Fredrick zinos said:

    Well, how very generous of you peter. I've listened to a few of your tacks, referenced above. May I ask, have you ever written anything original? Or is all of your compositional work-product the same kitchy mix of tired formulas and wheezing 19th century harmonies notable only for there predictability?

    The philosophy of composing
    Hey guys !  I would like to discuss with you about some of your approaches of composing on a specific angle, which i don't think has been discussed…
  • I tracked down Peter Brown's music. This is the page he had mentioned here - go listen to his tracks:

    http://trakhause.net/trak-list

    NOT ONE OF HIS TRACKS can be even remotely described as 19th cenntury music.

    Fredrick, you didn't listen to Peter's music, did you? And Peter must have known that immediately so he left not because he felt touche' but more likely because of disgust. What is the point of "surviving" in a forum like this?

    Your characterization of his music as 19th century in style devoid of originality was a deliberate PERSONAL ATTACK, wasn't it?

    Don't duck out of this one. Come back here and explain why you made a personal attack desguised as a musical commentary.

    Why?

    Explain why. EXPLAIN YOUR MOTIVATION.

  • That's what Greg and Fred suggested in the first place... (as for spirituality there are those of us who get it only from raki, brandy, etc. What that has to do with music that we compose, or with gods for that matter?)

    Bob Porter said:

    That's why I suggested we move on.

  • If I had just clicked into this discussion and read the OP and then looked at

    the hit counter (now 1368) I would think... wow this is a popular topic.

    This happens a lot here at the ole Composers Forum.

    If you read thru the posts you will find- what 12 to 15 folks posting? lots of onlookers.

    Why?    because personality conflicts are like soap operas, and it seems

    people love a good drama. (Oh, did ya hear what he just said  lol)

    I've sparred with Fred a bit,(all in fun) and yes, I think he went a little extreme,

    and I was even a bit shocked... not knowing what he was reacting to.

    But so what. I just don't get you all with the sentiment of trying to keep

    the venue 'holy and pure'. People have personalities and those personalities

    are also a work in progress and process.... like the music we try to write.

    These pages are just words... not sticks and stones.

    If you don't like a particular thread, go comment and get involved in the

    ones that are 'strictly music' and don't follow these. You have the free choice.

    and they need and are seeking your comments and support.

    Socrates, It's a curious thing that some alcohol is referred as 'spirits'.

    Do you really believe that you are an island? Void of any 'higher'

    connection to all that is. I've read that human perception can only naturally

    account for about .005 percent of the entire wave frequency spectrum.

    Is it possible that human consciousness is capable of tuning in to, like

    a radio, for example,  other frequencies? If they exist, which even science

    says they do, then denial and a close minded attitude will only negate the possibility

    of discovery. I'm sure you have heard of the terms, spiritually alive and spiritually dead. ?

    There are so many hints that we are all connected on a 'higher level' than we naturally perceive.

    Empathy, telepathy, knowing what someone is about to say before they say it, for example.

    I know, I know, this is fodder for another thread, but sometimes... the spirit moves me to try to

    make a point. Higher consciousness is a level of perception that is real, and it exists above and

    beyond our natural senses. I state this with the knowledge that this is a fact, but you must find it

    and 'prove' it to yourself. It is a journey worth the price of admission.    Peace            RS 

  • It should be added, though everyone has the choice to choose what they comment on and what not to comment on we must all respect the original post. 

    Additionally, dont let the attraction of drama lead one to help de-rail a topic. It may be fun for you but its not fun for all. 

    roger stancill said:

    If I had just clicked into this discussion and read the OP and then looked at

    the hit counter (now 1368) I would think... wow this is a popular topic.

    This happens a lot here at the ole Composers Forum.

    If you read thru the posts you will find- what 12 to 15 folks posting? lots of onlookers.

    Why?    because personality conflicts are like soap operas, and it seems

    people love a good drama. (Oh, did ya hear what he just said  lol)

    I've sparred with Fred a bit,(all in fun) and yes, I think he went a little extreme,

    and I was even a bit shocked... not knowing what he was reacting to.

    But so what. I just don't get you all with the sentiment of trying to keep

    the venue 'holy and pure'. People have personalities and those personalities

    are also a work in progress and process.... like the music we try to write.

    These pages are just words... not sticks and stones.

    If you don't like a particular thread, go comment and get involved in the

    ones that are 'strictly music' and don't follow these. You have the free choice.

    and they need and are seeking your comments and support.

  • Tyler , I understand you're point. It is not so much for the sport of it, and I always try to respect the

    original topic, tho' side issues do arise , like a squirrel on the road. You veir , you react to the circumstances

    and then you hopefully head back down the road. (if you over-react you may just hit a tree off the road)

    I'm not suggesting that drama is the way to go, I'm saying that by observation, that it is the way things seem to go.

    Of course it would be better if all adopted a more 'student/ teacher- teacher/ student perspective', but then

    there is the element of competition. It seems we are all interested in the music, but the fact of the matter,

    by the numbers, is that a lot are interested in the 'personalities'.  

    I guess what I just don't seem to grasp is, where in fact is the real harm?  Are composer's egos so

    puny and fragile that they can't handle real life? Does someone really have to oversee things posted

    by people on the internet to protect them from 'words'? I find that quite sad.

    I say- let the free market shape itself. It should and will develope it's own checks and balances, without imposed

    overseers and well intended restrictions. Let people be people, and let people deal with people.

    Art is not a restricted medium. If it was, it would die.

    So I ask, 'what are you trying to protect'?    RS

  • As honest as Scapegoat and Fred's posts can seem I will tell you this, I am truly honored when either Scapegoat says something positive about my use of virtual instruments, and I am equally honored when Fred says something positive compositionally to me.
  • That goes without saying for me too, Rodney.

    Rodney Carlyle Money said:

    As honest as Scapegoat and Fred's posts can seem I will tell you this, I am truly honored when either Scapegoat says something positive about my use of virtual instruments, and I am equally honored when Fred says something positive compositionally to me.
    The philosophy of composing
    Hey guys !  I would like to discuss with you about some of your approaches of composing on a specific angle, which i don't think has been discussed…
  • Perhaps they usually stick to the "if you don't have anything nice to say, say nothing" rule, but sometimes just can't restrain themselves.

This reply was deleted.