Happy New Year to all composers! A long ago I had less problems in thinking "within" the piece of music, and now (don't know why) I often get into more and more break-points. Is it because I've become less creative? Or because I'm living in a hurry? Do I need more motivation or to listen even bigger range of music to inspirate me? I often find myself in a dead-point, where I realize - what do I want? What's next? So the better question would be, how to get inside the music?

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  • What works for me is to actually play as much music as possible on an instrument (or more than one). The act of playing as many different styles as possible has far more influence than that of listening. I have shelves full of sheet music - these have been my influences and will continue to be.
  • To me, the motivation is being creative... Rarely do I achieve "good" results by forcing myself (similar to Anne Goodwin's feelings). If I know, that the result will be good from that moment to three hours later, then I am motivated. This state of mind bursts into my thoughts very spontaneously - Sometimes just a matter of a very formal idea like "chromaticism!".

    A person has told me too, that you shouldn't try to overstrain your creativity and leave it at about 2 hours a day. She mentioned, that it would cause a mental blockage, which in my eyes would be calling for a "creative break" (is that english?)...

    In such cases, I would try to put up a routine in writing, even if the productivity is not the same every day... Keep it at min. one hour, max. 3 hours. In this manner, you will most likey find a more business-like attitude to composing, and will not feel a too strong urge for abstract ideas like "getting into the music".
    (Having a better routine/practice in things, also speeds up your work, and you achieve more in less time!)

    If you really need more, then take some time correcting or just adding/editing the dynamics or moving notes and experimenting... The phase of higher productivity will probably be from 2nd hour to the "end" (which depends on your own endurance).

    Summary: Write music daily and you won't have such problems... Don't overstrain your creative "factory", so that you always have some energy left for composing.

    Greetz, Ario.

    P.s.: Great tip on the side... You might have the feeling, that your music doesn't sound as good as on other days... Don't throw those ideas away. Sometimes it's better to *let it be* and maybe continue writing the next day. Try to write more and delete less - If you're in the state of learning, then I'm sure two bars of a strange (since there is no wrong music) theme, won't be a great issue. In fact you can learn upon such "abnormalities"
  • Yes, one of you said that it's simply about state of mind. That's right. Actually for me, the best way to write is to wake up in the morning (that's very unusual, since I compose till late night) on Sunday (for example). I have to be at completely calm state of mind, that means to know that I have nothing to do and nowhere to go that day. And of course what's also imporant is to listen to as less music as I can during the composing.
    But the problem is that I'm living a little bit hectic life. Although my priorities are to compose kind of music which I love to do.
    Probably the better question would be, how to get out of that 'daily mess', how to start composing with a clear mind.
  • I think just as in creative writing play is very important. Noodle around on your instrument of choice and save interesting melodies for later use or give yourself a challenge (e.g., write 8 bars in Dorian mode, or take the structure of a favorite composition and change it in a way that makes it your own). I've been struggling with this issue of working consistently and daily, but it occurs to me that I go to my day job whether I want to or not, and I don't like that. So I should be able to write music when I don't "feel" like it. And I find that when I sit down and start doing it I suddenly start to "feel" like it.

    The other thing is that I get bored when I'm not learning and growing in any pursuit. So when I find that I'm not feeling like writing music I know it's time to learn something new (a new genre, new musical forms, composition using scales I don't typically use).

    Happy New Year to you as well.
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