Inspiration - Where does it come from?

As I grew up, I always thought inspiration, whether in music or literature, always came from above, like something divine was involved.

Now that I compose music more regularly, I have a slightly different view on that. I now tend to think it comes from within, like the cummulative product of all subconsceous experiences, engrained in our brain by countless life events. These get twisted by daily external events, moods, etc and the combined outcome is the "Inspiration" we use for creativity.

In a way, we are basically creativity factories, continuously recycling and churning out new ideas from the exiting baggage of building blocks we carry through our life.

Perhaps, I am being too philosophical here. It would be interesting to hear what everyone else thinks.

Wherever it comes from, I am having tons of inspiration right now and in a great mood to compose while the creative juices are flowing!
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  • I agree Zinos and Schletty, it is mostly hard work. But music should convey a feeling or a mood. And the initial idea should come from somewhere, then you start developing it. Even while delveloping, teh melodic phrases start falling into place, you just feel this should follow that and so on..these musical phrases come from somewhere...there is always some music going on in my point is that we carry them all along, being the cummulative of all out musical listening experience, molded by life experiences/moods/feelings.
  • I agree with Zinos. 90% toil. 15% inspiration. The math doesn't quite work out because inspiration is a flagellating enigma. Just do it and don't worry about catching a flyer. If it doesn't come, you probably should be doing something else - like weeding the lawn or taking out the garbage.
  • Oddly I’ve found that my mood doesn’t affect the type of music I write or my ability to write. My main inspirations have tended to be having enough time to compose, literally if given enough time staring at a piano keyboard I’ll find something eventually. A solid dead line is also helpful. More recently, mathematical sequences and systems have really helped.
  • There is, however, upon your definition, several other levels of inspiration that can make, lets say, somebody from group 1, to compose things that only group 2 does and vice-versa. Is true that life and experiences are a start point, but cannot be taken always as the only point, nor pivot of a composition - I think.
    Best Regards,
  • Yes, exactly. I tend to think Inspiration comes from within and is directly correlated with oen's life's experiences. If that is true, then somone who has lived a great childhood and a happy life, would generally compose positive uplifting music or at leasr find it easier to do so. While someone who had a misfortunate childhood and a tought life, would compose dark sad music, in general, or would feel more at home composing that, cause his inspiration is rooted in his life experience.
  • @ Jean Paul Zoghbi; magnificent definition.
    Not much to add, maybe that with the years, what you called to be from above was originally within.
    Best Regards,
  • I was in Russia a couple of times, and studied/performed there. Their expression to explain it was this:
    "Inspiration is born out of pain." Cheers, Paul
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