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#1148828 - 12/28/05 06:02 PM The REAL Question...Why Do We Compose?
Jeanne W Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/04
Posts: 1240
Loc: New England
This may have been discussed here before... But this is THE BIG Question with a Capital Q...

WHY do you compose?

Anyone???

Jeanne W
_________________________
Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
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#1148829 - 12/28/05 06:11 PM Re: The REAL Question...Why Do We Compose?
LloydW Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/18/04
Posts: 15
Because it's way more fun than Decomposing!!--Just Kidding
_________________________
Member of the 11 post club, also a Tin Foil Member since Jeanne contributed our money under her name

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#1148830 - 12/28/05 09:31 PM Re: The REAL Question...Why Do We Compose?
hanna2222 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 78
Loc: Northeast Ohio
Why do I compose?
I think its the same as why do I write
a poem, paint a picture, decorate a room,
or create a good meal...its a way to express
that "overflowing" emotion that won't be
contained another minute more...
Its a way of sharing my core...my heart, my
sadness, my ....fill in the blanks.
Composing is selfish in my case. Its way too
much about me, about letting things out. But it
starts in a special place within me, I think..
from my unconscious place...the same place my
dreams evolve from. So it seems to have a lot
of mystery and a kind of "life of its own"...
I can compose in response to others situations too. I wrote a song for my husband for our wedding. I wrote a song about 9/11 around
Christmastime. I've written music for children's
plays because they needed to be written to fit
the story line of the play itself..(when I do
children's plays I do it all..the script, the
music, the costumes, the direction, the set.
Its one of my greatest kicks!)
My inner child is out in full abandon and
I feel fantastic with the process.
For the record, I've not made a dime on my
compositions or things related, but so far
it hasn't mattered a whit.
Its sheer joy.
_________________________
The truest insights into a person's
character are two things:
1. How he treats people who cannot help him.
2. How he treats those who cannot
fight back.

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#1148831 - 12/28/05 11:39 PM Re: The REAL Question...Why Do We Compose?
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5279
Loc: Philadelphia
1. Asked and answered at least twice on the front page of the Composer's Lounge.

2. I'm going to go with the same answer again:

"I hear things that nobody else composed and I want to play them." ;\)
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#1148832 - 12/29/05 08:11 AM Re: The REAL Question...Why Do We Compose?
sarabande Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 1597
Loc: Mo.
Mostly to provoke emotion in the listener. I'm usually thinking of the audience or listener when I write - what emotion I want to express or portray that would bring something out from within others. For example, something relaxing to relieve someone's stress. -Something happy-go-lucky just for fun. -Something sad and somber to provoke reflection. -Something happy to make others "feel" good about themselves. -Something funny to make others laugh.

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#1148833 - 12/29/05 12:12 PM Re: The REAL Question...Why Do We Compose?
LloydW Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/18/04
Posts: 15
DISCLAIMER: It is I - JEANNE W, NOT Lloyd W. My Hubby signed on and didn't sign off so it looks like this post is from HIM, but this post is really from ME, Jeanne W. OH, GOOD GRIEF. \:\(

It's clear we compose for different reasons. I identify most closely with you, hanna2222. It's a way of expressing oneself. You say:

"Composing is selfish in my case. Its way too
much about me, about letting things out. But it
starts in a special place within me, I think..
from my unconscious place...the same place my
dreams evolve from. So it seems to have a lot
of mystery and a kind of "life of its own"..."

It certainly is about "oneself", isn't it? At least, that's how I feel about it.

And the mystery of it... I once sat down playing around with the notes and something Chinese sounding came out. You just NEVER KNOW what's going to emerge.

Sarabande: I don't ever think about wanting to affect other people's emotions. At least, that's never been a main goal of mine. Hmmm... Something that's never really occured to me. I'm thinking more about the music itself.

Derelux: I LOVE your answer!! \:D

Don't know if there will be many more replies here, since this has already been asked. But I'd love to hear what the rest of you have to say!

Jeanne W

P.S. Lloyd W's "decomposing" reply - that's my Husband for you. \:\)
_________________________
Member of the 11 post club, also a Tin Foil Member since Jeanne contributed our money under her name

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#1148834 - 12/30/05 01:59 AM Re: The REAL Question...Why Do We Compose?
PianoBeast10489 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/17/04
Posts: 830
Loc: Virginia Beach,VA
"People compose for many reasons: to become immortal; because the pianoforte happens to be open; because they want to become a millionaire; because of the praise of friends; because they have looked into a pair of beautiful eyes; for no reason whatsoever."

- Robert Schumann


I am the last one.

I hear music, want to write it down. I don't compose to say I compose, and I don't compose for any other reason, but my love for music, and that it makes me happy!

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#1148835 - 12/31/05 12:03 PM Re: The REAL Question...Why Do We Compose?
iNBi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 220
Loc: Switzerland
for me, beautiful melodies simply exist. Where? i dont know, but they just exist, they're just there waiting to be heard by a musician who's tickling his imagination. My goal as a composer would be to spot them and put them to practice. So that the rest of the globe could be exposed to them. The special thing is that it was in YOUR ear that those melodies were found, so they're are clearly emerged from your personal emotions.

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#1148836 - 01/01/06 04:18 PM Re: The REAL Question...Why Do We Compose?
cccyyy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/09/05
Posts: 22
Loc: Canada
i'm imprisoned in a jail of creative expression!
No but seriously,
I guess it could be compared to the digestive system of the human body.
food goes in and comes out and your body benefits from the delicious mineral and vitamins
With composing, inspiration comes in from the world and there's all that built up energy that MUST be released. (Regardless of what time of day it is!!! which is why all musicians are crazy:))
That's probably also why creativity comes in waves, We need time to build up the inspiration and then we use it all up!

Carolyn (cyip086)

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#1148837 - 01/04/06 11:04 PM Re: The REAL Question...Why Do We Compose?
MahlerAdagio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/05
Posts: 510
The question as to why do we compose has the same answer as to why do we have sex. What are the reasons that spur us to want to make love?

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#1148838 - 01/04/06 11:38 PM Re: The REAL Question...Why Do We Compose?
hanna2222 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 78
Loc: Northeast Ohio
I've heard that we eat because of emptiness
and have sex because of "overfullness"..
and creating music is more like sex than
hunger...it seems.
_________________________
The truest insights into a person's
character are two things:
1. How he treats people who cannot help him.
2. How he treats those who cannot
fight back.

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#1148839 - 01/06/06 05:38 AM Re: The REAL Question...Why Do We Compose?
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5279
Loc: Philadelphia
Well, I think it is a bit like both, at least for me. We have this overbearing emptiness, this void to fill with music, and so we do it (in our heads). Then we are glut with music and have a desire to express it, so we write it down. ;\)

Anybody else feel that way? Or am I alone? :p
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#1148840 - 01/07/06 05:03 AM Re: The REAL Question...Why Do We Compose?
Ted2 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/04/02
Posts: 790
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
Like sex and food ? No resemblance to either for me. It's a yoga, particularly improvisation. Yes, that's the right word - a yoga. A yoga whose ultimate end is a compact synthesis of complete serenity - like the end of Eliot's "Little Gidding".

"...the fire and the rose are one."
_________________________
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

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#1148841 - 01/24/06 10:56 AM Re: The REAL Question...Why Do We Compose?
Johnny-Boy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 661
Loc: PA
It's a unique way to express emotions. After composing I feel refreshed and fulfilled.

John
_________________________
Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

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#1148842 - 01/24/06 01:06 PM Re: The REAL Question...Why Do We Compose?
mary808 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/20/06
Posts: 16
Loc: Dallas TX
I compose because there is just so much *bad* music out there, and I want to have a hand in contributing something worthwhile.

Melodies don't "exist"; People invent them, and that ingenuity and creativity is what drives me. I want to make/do/represent something that has never been done before.

I don't feel that composing is like food. It's not necessary in order to exist. I will say that it is closer to sex, just because, dang, it's fun to do.
_________________________
Mary

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#1148843 - 01/24/06 01:24 PM Re: The REAL Question...Why Do We Compose?
Johnny-Boy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 661
Loc: PA
I agree Mary. There's a lack of great melodies in music today.

I remember reading in Recording Magazine a short while ago where they had a contest in film music. The top ten finalists were given kudos for their wonderful arranging and production.

Then one critique spoke out "sounds great, but where's the melody?

The quality of the production/recording of music has never been better. However great, memorable melodies are hard to find.

I center all my composing on the melody. It's the most important element in music (in my opinion).

John
_________________________
Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

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#1148844 - 01/25/06 06:13 PM Re: The REAL Question...Why Do We Compose?
iNBi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 220
Loc: Switzerland
but at the same time, all the great melodies have already been taken in one form or another in the evolution of music

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#1148845 - 01/25/06 07:02 PM Re: The REAL Question...Why Do We Compose?
Johnny-Boy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 661
Loc: PA
 Quote:
Originally posted by iNBi:
but at the same time, all the great melodies have already been taken in one form or another in the evolution of music [/b]
I beg to differ iNBi. If I believed that Id stop composing.

If they're melodies composed within the six closest related chord structure it's difficult, but not impossible. Thats were the bulk of melodies already composed reside in.

But being bold with the chord structure can find some new and exciting melodies. Weve only scratched the surface of the melodic spectrum.

Best, John
_________________________
Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

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#1148846 - 01/25/06 08:26 PM Re: The REAL Question...Why Do We Compose?
signa Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 8482
Loc: Ohio, USA
if ever you go to some today's concerts and heard the new compositions - concerti or orchestra pieces etc, you'd know how disconnected/unrelated those pieces sound. in many modern music, it's totally not about melodies (which if you do use in your composition you're considered not that good a composer or not a professional composer) but about sound/harmonic/disonance painting, where the genius of modern composing techniques lay. i sat through some of those compositions played in concerts, and couldn't remember a thing after my ears being tortured with the sound. so, why do they compose something like that, i had no clue, and still don't!

i don't think there's a reason for why we are composing. as long as you want to do it, then take it as a reason. if that's what brings you the creative enjoyment, then so be it...

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#1148847 - 01/25/06 09:53 PM Re: The REAL Question...Why Do We Compose?
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5279
Loc: Philadelphia
 Quote:
(which if you do use in your composition you're considered not that good a composer or not a professional composer) but about sound/harmonic/disonance painting, where the genius of modern composing techniques lay.
And yet, it is the intangibility of such compositions that isolates it from the general population of the world. So, it comes down to the question, "Who's right? The few people who enjoy this sort of thing, or the masses at large who reject it?" (And, of course, there is no right or wrong answer.) ;\)
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#1148848 - 01/25/06 10:04 PM Re: The REAL Question...Why Do We Compose?
Jeanne W Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/28/04
Posts: 1240
Loc: New England
Hi, Everyone:

I'm enjoying reading all of your thoughts and comments.

The reason - or one of the reasons - I compose, is I'm always looking for that beautiful turn of phrase, harmony, something that catches the ear.

I'm "in search of the lost chord", so to speak...

(Moody Blues fans might appreciate what I just said. \:\) )

My music, BTW, runs in many different directions. The bulk of it is either classically influenced or new age, with other pieces that seem to emerge unwittingly from *wherever* i.e. a few that sounds like show tunes, a Chinese sounding piece of music, etc. etc. One I just finished my husband thinks sounds Spanish! Some have a melody, others are "mood pieces" sans any real melody.

Jeanne W
_________________________
Music is about the heart and so should a piano be about the heart. - Pique

1920 Steinway A3
My Piano Delivery Thread:
http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/8776.html#000000

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#1148849 - 01/25/06 11:22 PM Re: The REAL Question...Why Do We Compose?
Johnny-Boy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 661
Loc: PA
"And yet, it is the intangibility of such compositions that isolates it from the general population of the world. So, it comes down to the question, "Who's right? The few people who enjoy this sort of thing, or the masses at large who reject it?" (And, of course, there is no right or wrong answer" - Derulux

I totally agree with Derulux.

Music is subjective, good or bad its in the "ears" of the listener.

I don't even think we can come up with a definition for a "great melody". Could we say a great melody is one that's memorable and appealing to the masses? I know what a great melody is to me - but I can't define it. It's just one that captures and stuns me one that makes me say Wow!

Another thing; which is a greater piece of music - a simple tune like "Greensleeves" or a Beethoven Sonata? I would bet "Greensleeves" would come up with a "thumbs up" by a much larger percent of the masses.

Is complex better than simple? Is a great piece of music one that holds up through the test of time and remembered by more people? Im sure more people could hum Greensleeves than even a small section of a Beethoven Sonata.

Music is a strange phenomenon. What a dull World it would be without it.
_________________________
Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

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#1148850 - 01/25/06 11:32 PM Re: The REAL Question...Why Do We Compose?
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5279
Loc: Philadelphia
 Quote:
Im sure more people could hum Greensleeves than even a small section of a Beethoven Sonata.
I think you're forgetting the "Moonlight". ;\)

To continue the discussion, I find it rather pointless to decide what's "better" than something else. That is a quest for power, for superiority...to be on the "ultimate side of 'right'"...basically, to "stand by God." Everyone wants to be that person...the one the answers, the one who knows everything about something, the one who can do something better than everyone else...because society has preconditioned us to want to excel at one thing. It has become our meaning of life (which is, by the way, whatever we define it to be).

I think, using this principle, we can formulate a question that is answerable through the question, "What do we want classical music to become?" That is a goal...a tangible future effect of some cause we must begin in the present. If we want classical music to become popular again, then we can reasonably expect that its current path of "melodical haze" is the wrong path, because it will not get us to our goal. If, however, we do not care whether or not classical music moves into obscurity, then this "musical soup" we're being spoon fed can continue.

So, I think a more answerable question, "Where do you want classical music to go?" is the first question that should be asked. (Nearly invariably, I've heard the answer, "I want it to be popular again." But then, the same people who answer this are unwilling to accept what it means to move back into the mainstream, and so I sincerely doubt it will ever get there but by a radical change in listenership that will isolate and remove the previous listenership from the community.)
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#1148851 - 01/25/06 11:56 PM Re: The REAL Question...Why Do We Compose?
Johnny-Boy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 661
Loc: PA
Even the "Moonlight". Not much of a melody without the accompaniment. There lies another thought on melodies. Is a great melody one that can stand alone and be memorable without the accompaniment? Most people can't hum in harmony.

Maybe we shouldn't label music at all. Let each piece of music stand on its on merit.

Heres a piece of music I composed many years ago when I was a Classical music snob (in manuscript). Im glad I evolved past my limited appreciation of music. I do notice even back then I was melody conscious though.

I never get tired of sharing my music. Without an audience music dies a slow death.

Best, John

Romance -Page 1:[/b]
http://www.artistcollaboration.com/~johnny-boy/Romancepg1.pdf
Romance -Page 2:[/b]
http://www.artistcollaboration.com/~johnny-boy/Romancepg2.pdf
_________________________
Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

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#1148852 - 01/26/06 12:51 AM Re: The REAL Question...Why Do We Compose?
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
 Quote:
hanna2222 wrote,
Its way too much about me, about letting things out. But it starts in a special place within me, I think..from my unconscious place...the same place my dreams evolve from. So it seems to have a lot of mystery and a kind of "life of its own"...
I usually say that you have to be driven, to write. But I like very much your way of expressing that thought.

And isn't it lovely how the subconscious sends us the information? And sometimes funny, too. Last week it sent a bridge that I needed. Apparently it was not satisfied with my rendering and three days later sent me a clarification;-)

The only disagreement I have is that it's *not* too much about you. What we call composing is just a formal recognition of a very basic human impulse: the joy of making music.

All the best.

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#1148853 - 01/26/06 07:25 PM Re: The REAL Question...Why Do We Compose?
DCshoesGIRL Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/13/05
Posts: 102
I usually compose my best pieces it seems when.....lol....im in an angry mood......for me, composing lets out my feelings. Whenever I compose, I have some sort of feelings deep inside, and thats what makes each and every peice different in its own way. Or I have some sad, yet soothing pieces.

Basically, being able to compose, for me is like being able to express my feelings, recording them, then being able to later play it over and over again.
_________________________
My music reflects me......and my mood.....[Monica]

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#1148854 - 01/26/06 08:01 PM Re: The REAL Question...Why Do We Compose?
Johnny-Boy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 661
Loc: PA
 Quote:
Originally posted by DCshoesGIRL:
I usually compose my best pieces it seems when.....lol....im in an angry mood......for me, composing lets out my feelings. Whenever I compose, I have some sort of feelings deep inside, and thats what makes each and every peice different in its own way. Or I have some sad, yet soothing pieces.

Basically, being able to compose, for me is like being able to express my feelings, recording them, then being able to later play it over and over again. [/b]
I hear you Monica!

I've been told that there's the element of tragedy in everything I compose.

Best, John
_________________________
Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

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#1148855 - 01/29/06 02:06 PM Re: The REAL Question...Why Do We Compose?
snap_apple Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/21/03
Posts: 710
 Quote:
Originally posted by Derulux:
[QUOTE]I think, using this principle, we can formulate a question that is answerable through the question, "What do we want classical music to become?" That is a goal...a tangible future effect of some cause we must begin in the present. If we want classical music to become popular again, then we can reasonably expect that its current path of "melodical haze" is the wrong path, because it will not get us to our goal. [/b]
If melody is nessary for popularity then how do explain the populartiy of rap music?

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#1148856 - 01/29/06 03:04 PM Re: The REAL Question...Why Do We Compose?
Johnny-Boy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 661
Loc: PA
 Quote:
Originally posted by snap_apple:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Derulux:
[QUOTE]I think, using this principle, we can formulate a question that is answerable through the question, "What do we want classical music to become?" That is a goal...a tangible future effect of some cause we must begin in the present. If we want classical music to become popular again, then we can reasonably expect that its current path of "melodical haze" is the wrong path, because it will not get us to our goal. [/b]
If melody is nessary for popularity then how do explain the populartiy of rap music? [/b]
The popularity of rap music is more a social movement (cult) and an attitude (for better or worse). It has little to do with music (there are a few exceptions though).

The message of rap music is what draws people to it (but I cant figure out why). Much of it is about urban gangs, violence, drug use, and the degradation of women a depressing message indeed.

Take the music out of rap (often it's just a primitive rhythm and a chord or two) and it would still be popular.

Best, John
_________________________
Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

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#1148857 - 01/29/06 03:57 PM Re: The REAL Question...Why Do We Compose?
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5279
Loc: Philadelphia
If melody is nessary for popularity then how do explain the populartiy of rap music?[/b]
*cough*lyrics*cough*

Though it is an entirely different genre with an entirely different set of musical "rules", even the most popular rap songs have "hummable melodies" (many of Eminem's #1 hits being good examples).

Also, let's not forget that when kids go to these concerts, they identify with the artists because of the raw emotion, energy, and 'electricity' of the performers. There is very little "show" at a classical concert, and, in fact, any attempt to do such garners a negative response from the community. (This would fall under the category of all the "excessive movements" people bash Lang Lang for....) It is a very "Victorian" environment, which is probably what helped to doom the genre into obscurity in the first place. But isn't this really an entirely different topic from the thread?
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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