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#2136171 - 08/20/13 05:45 PM Student composer over 55. Many more of us out there?
Peter C D Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/15/13
Posts: 14
Loc: Powell River B.C Canada
I,m at the tale end of 61 and only started taking serious composition lessons when I was 57. Just weekly sessions with a jazz musician who is all so the the music director at the academy here in town. Many, many years ago I played guitar, mainly by ear and fake book. But life got in the way and i sort of lost touch with the musician in me.
I have always had my own music playing in my head and when the notation programs available got decent and easier to use I decided it was time to get serious about learning composition. In four years I have 11 compositions actually finished and ready to publish. Eight of them are piano solos of which I seem to enjoyed writing the most. I have also taken up the piano seriously and am struggling with that also.
So, are there any more out there like me who started composing late in life and enjoying the rush a completed piece of your own music gives you?

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#2136232 - 08/20/13 08:03 PM Re: Student composer over 55. Many more of us out there? [Re: Peter C D]
rada Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/06
Posts: 1124
Loc: pagosa springs,co
I didn't really begin until later in life as well [ I was 52]....I always played and people would often ask for an original piece....I remember thinking there was so much good music to play and learn ,why on earth would I need to write my own? Then we moved to a small time, I had a studio and I spent my days there. I believe the music started pouring out and with the opportunity of the internet I figured why not. This year I might actually break 5 figures....wow....that might pay some expenses.....but I wouldn't change a thing.

Have fun and send me your piano pieces. I'd love to hear your ideas.

rada

btw the way...I love hearing that a successful author [ who just passed away] had 19 books and he began writing @ 60.

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#2136240 - 08/20/13 08:25 PM Re: Student composer over 55. Many more of us out there? [Re: Peter C D]
stalefleas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/16/13
Posts: 249
I am still in my twenties but I am glad to hear you have picked up the craft. I'm interested to hear some of what you've written.

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#2136246 - 08/20/13 08:53 PM Re: Student composer over 55. Many more of us out there? [Re: Peter C D]
Mark Polishook Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 753
Loc: Leicester, UK
Peter, I've had the good fortune to teach a fair number of composers and pianists who began later in life. What I've seen over and over again is experience brings knowledge and understanding of how to learn. It's not when you start that matters but how much you enjoy learning. If learning and doing is fun and if you feel like you're moving ahead then, really, anything is possible and as the saying goes age is just a number.

That feeling you mention when you complete something you've been writing - where finishing a piece inspires you to begin work on the next one. That's a very good indication that you're a composer and you've got the composing bug!

You might ask around in your area to see if there's a regional composers group or forum that meets regularly or even just from time to time. The nature of composing and practicing is there's a lot of work done on your own. Being part of a group where you can share what you're working on and what you're learning can be an inspiring part of the process and a lot of fun.

Stay on the path!
_________________________
PolishookPiano

mark@polishookpiano.com

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#2136357 - 08/21/13 02:05 AM Re: Student composer over 55. Many more of us out there? [Re: Peter C D]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5429
Loc: Europe
rada: I'm the exact opposite (which goes to show how my mind works). There's so much rubbish out there, so how can I NOT compose? (This is coming from someone who was forced into Czerny for several years... grin).

Peter, I don't qualify, since I've been composing pretty much from the age of 10, or 12 or something like that. But my official studies in composition (at a postgraduate level) started around the age of 26... So rather old for normal studying, but pretty normal for composition studying.

It's never too late, so have a blast and share what you do with us!

Oh... and welcome aboard!
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#2137116 - 08/22/13 11:59 AM Re: Student composer over 55. Many more of us out there? [Re: Peter C D]
Peter C D Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/15/13
Posts: 14
Loc: Powell River B.C Canada
Thanks everyone, for the warm welcome. One thing I have learned is that life is a continuous learning experience and have been a full time student to every new experience that comes my way.
I always have the next composition started in my head before the present one is half done, so composing for me is a continuous process.

I would post some of my music but have no idea how to do this. Any hints? My music computer has Windows XP, so I don"t go online with it anymore. My notation program is Sibelius 6.I don't have my own website as yet, maybe this winter I'll try to set something up. In the mean time, is there any way I could post a PDF of my scores?

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#2137128 - 08/22/13 12:18 PM Re: Student composer over 55. Many more of us out there? [Re: Peter C D]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5429
Loc: Europe
PDF: Go here and download primopdf: http://www.primopdf.com/

It's one of the choices. There are a number of choices, for such software, but this is what I use...

Install it on your music computer and then try to print the document from Sibelius. One of your choices in printers will be primopdf. This will NOT print in paper, but instead create a pdf file of your score.

Sharing it: Try to make a FREE account in here: https://www.box.com/ . It's one of the places that many use. There you can use the free webspace provided to upload (put on the internet that is) your files (including your PDF files, or even your recordings) and share the link here.

Hope this helps a little...
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#2137237 - 08/22/13 02:34 PM Re: Student composer over 55. Many more of us out there? [Re: Peter C D]
stumbler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/22/10
Posts: 300
Loc: Toronto
Peter C D,

Welcome to the forum. I'm getting close to that age range and started writing simple pieces a little over a year ago. I'm more of a viewer than a poster on this forum (maybe I'll have something I can share soon.)

Originally Posted By: Peter C D

I would post some of my music but have no idea how to do this. Any hints? My music computer has Windows XP, so I don"t go online with it anymore. My notation program is Sibelius 6.I don't have my own website as yet, maybe this winter I'll try to set something up. In the mean time, is there any way I could post a PDF of my scores?


If the issue is that your music computer isn't on-line, you might transfer files from your computer to an iPad, iPhone or Android device, then upload from there. Box.com, which Nikolas mentioned, has mobile apps for this purpose (haven't tried them myself).
_________________________
Roland RD-700NX


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#2137561 - 08/23/13 06:15 AM Re: Student composer over 55. Many more of us out there? [Re: Peter C D]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8026
I'm WAY past 55 and I keep trying to talk myself into doing a little composing on paper, but haven't succeeded. Yet. A lot of ideas for compositions do float in and out of my head.

I did some composing when I was a kid, a little in college as assignments in theory class, bits and dabs since then, but nothing in the recent past. Finding the motivation is difficult - for some reason, just playing with the ideas in my head seems sufficiently satisfying most of the time. I also tend to think that I'm probably the only person who likes my musical ideas, and am not particularly anxious to have that verified.

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#2138319 - 08/24/13 01:40 PM Re: Student composer over 55. Many more of us out there? [Re: Peter C D]
Peter C D Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/15/13
Posts: 14
Loc: Powell River B.C Canada
https://app.box.com/s/rozwh2uanroaewfeti8g

I hope I am doing this right. This should be a link to a PDF of a score. Please let me know if it works

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#2138330 - 08/24/13 02:07 PM Re: Student composer over 55. Many more of us out there? [Re: Peter C D]
Peter C D Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/15/13
Posts: 14
Loc: Powell River B.C Canada
https://app.box.com/s/b96oi4iofn8vf43s70ba

And hopefully this is a link to a wav file.

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#2138478 - 08/24/13 08:27 PM Re: Student composer over 55. Many more of us out there? [Re: Peter C D]
stumbler Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/22/10
Posts: 300
Loc: Toronto
Peter C D, both work for me. Personally, I would post an MP3 instead of a WAV due to size.

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#2138727 - 08/25/13 11:29 AM Re: Student composer over 55. Many more of us out there? [Re: Peter C D]
rada Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/07/06
Posts: 1124
Loc: pagosa springs,co
Hi Peter,

I didn't have any problem uploading both the score and the audio. That is quite an extensive piece. From the beginning you had my attention but for me although there are many variations the basic harmony is repeated far too often. Since I couldn't possibly know all the music written I would be interested in knowing how long some of the traditional theme and variations might be. Funny because when I began recording I recall the engineer mentioning to me that my pieces were short[ 2-3 minutes] and my response was that's how long the Beatle's songs were.

thanks for sharing,
rada

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#2138775 - 08/25/13 01:38 PM Re: Student composer over 55. Many more of us out there? [Re: Peter C D]
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2789
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
Peter C D,

I can't believe I listened to the whole thing. Actually the music was engaging. I was able to read the score but got lost a few times, probably due to the nature of the online score tool.

Your piece is very zen. It makes a lot out of a little. The pentatonic modal nature was a bit off putting at first, I generally like a richer harmonic lexicon. It's not really pentatonic, but it sounds that way, very oriental. There's a part of me that wants to say, kudos. It's a wide ranging piece that does so much with not much. There's a part of me that wanted to hear more wide ranging variation and richer harmonies. The fact that I'm conflicted would seem to indicate that you're on to something, but you haven't completely convinced me.

Still I must say for a student composer (of whatever age) this is an ambitious piece that accomplishes 90% of what it sets out to do. I'm not sure how I would suggest you proceed from here. Would you be better served my reworking this into a shorter more compositionally dense piece or by starting something new and seeing if you can find a way to write something richer or just say screw that guy, it's only one opinion.

For now I think my advice would be put this away and write some new (shorter) pieces, then come back to this in a year after you have more experience.

All in all a really good effort! It was well worth the investment of 15 minutes.


Edited by Steve Chandler (08/25/13 01:39 PM)

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#2138911 - 08/25/13 05:45 PM Re: Student composer over 55. Many more of us out there? [Re: Peter C D]
Peter C D Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/15/13
Posts: 14
Loc: Powell River B.C Canada
https://app.box.com/s/8exhrpdol3frku5i1e2t

Here's a link for an MP3 file instead of the previous wav. file

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#2138931 - 08/25/13 06:30 PM Re: Student composer over 55. Many more of us out there? [Re: Peter C D]
Peter C D Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/15/13
Posts: 14
Loc: Powell River B.C Canada
Steve Chandler
Thanks for the input. Living on the west coast has a deep influence on me, not just here where I live but the whole Pacific Rim. I seem to be influenced by the different cultures all around the Pacific and far east not to mention classical, folk and prog rock of the seventies. My instructor says he even hears gamelan touches in my compositions.
It is probably my liking of natural minor and modal keys that shape the style and sound of my compositions more than anything.
Rada
It's amazing how much baroque, classical, and even romantic music is very repetitive, with movements that can be fairly long. I guess it's all in the interpretation. Anyway, I'm still learning, so it will all come together eventually.

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#2140011 - 08/28/13 03:06 AM Re: Student composer over 55. Many more of us out there? [Re: Peter C D]
stalefleas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/16/13
Posts: 249
I didn't care too much for this song. It felt very repetitive and boring. I couldn't finish it.

I did like the explanation at the beginning of the piece. That was interesting and got me interested in hearing what it sounds like. There were definitely a couple parts that sounded joyous, despite being in a minor mode, so that is cool for sure.

I sort of interpreted this song as taking the main theme and transporting it through a myriad of different time periods and styles. I like this idea somewhat, some musicians and musical groups have done this in their writing quite well. It is good that you have ideas. Keep working at it. My issue with this piece might just be one of stylistic preference.

Hope this helps.

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