Composing Music Inspiration and Creativity by primusboy


									Composing Music - Inspiration and Creativity
Starting a composition is a difficult task. Getting your inspirations,
thinking creatively, applying your creative thoughts to your music and
supplementing your ideas with additional composition are all diffic ult
tasks to accomplish.
For starters, your current state of mind will greatly affect the music
you right – whether you feel angry, joyful or sad chances are your
musical composition will in some way reflect this mood.
Different times of day and different seasons affect your composing as
well as current affairs and any stress’s you might have.
The variety of factors that can influence your composition periods are
immense and hopefully these few pointers will demonstrate some methods of
breaking out of the psychological restraints placed on you.
• Colours – If you are looking to compose a piece of music based around a
certain mood find a relevant colour that matches for instance orange
gives the impression of energy and drive. Eventually you will learn to
bias your mood to suit the composition you are aiming for.
• Character – it is well known for actors to really get inside the
character they are portraying through their acting. Understanding key
emotions and various behaviours help the actors 'live' as their proposed
character. If you are creating a theme for a character (think darth
vaders theme tune) you need to be demonstrating and describing that
character through sound. If you follow the same process as an actor would
you will eventually unravel hidden details that will help refine your
composition, make it more realist and detailed and allow for it to be
much more creative and expressive.
• Nature – a lot of creativity and inspiration can be got by observing
nature. From birds communicating through a song like speech to the rustle
of leaves in a summer breeze. Trying to emulate nature is an excellent
way to begin a sound-scope – or incorporating nature into a character
theme for example to express an angelic quality, singing like the birds
(fast trills on piccolo or glissandos on the violin).
• Memories – another great source to tap into is your memories. A lot of
emotion will go into compositions that are personal in some way to
yourself. Spend a few minutes reflecting on your past – try to imagine
the memory in great detail – sounds, smells, colours the weather –
anything that will give you a good image and story to compose about.
These are just a few sources for inspiration – use your imagination – it
has never ending possibilities!
With so many possibilities to compose about and now that your creativity
is running, the next area to discuss is music theory.
The last thing that you want to happen is to have all these wonderfully
creative ideas for your composition but being held back by the lack of
musical knowledge.
A rugby player could develop his passing techniques and his scrum
techniques but if he doesn’t know the rules of the game he won’t be able
to perform during a game.
Although music composition and as a whole is not bound by any rules you
still need the knowledge of writing music – in the same way as a poet
needs a knowledge of his language to write a poem.
Some of the key areas you should know about and be constantly revising
• The Staff, Bar Lines, Clefs, Time Signatures
• Note Values, Rests, Phrasing, Rhythm
• Articulation, Instrument Specific Techniques (pizz, con sord)
• Key Signatures, Circle of Fifths, Accidentals, Cadences
• Major, Minor, Diminished, Pentatonic, Diatonic Scales
• Modes
• Chords, Extensions, Inversions, Sequences, Arpeggios
• Instrument Ranges, Timbres of Each Instrument, Difficult Areas of an
Instrument (The break on clarinet for instance or seventh position for
Of course it is not absolutely essential you know about all of this but
it will mean that your creativity is weakened due to lack of a means to
fully communicate.
Use music theory books – go through them and notate comments on the
pages, take notes on to blank flash cards to memorize scales and extended
chords, use past music theory exam papers to test and analyze your
knowledge and then act on your weak areas, purchase a aural perception CD
to recognize different cadences and the general sounds achieved from
different combinations of notes and chords – there are many ways to learn
all of this but find the way that you are comfortable with and stick to
Finally the last piece of advice in this article is to keep your
composing active.
Aim to compose a short piece of music each day, maybe before you go to
bed you can reflect on your day through a composition. Mix it up –
compose for different orchestrations and different abilities.
Composing is challenging but by keeping active like this will greatly
benefit you and your compositions – and you never know – you may
accidentally stumble upon your masterpiece!
This article is free for reproduction providing it is left in its
original form and an active link to is
Edward Droscher is the founder of Real Music Production and works to
develop music education systems privately and in schools. For more
information or details on music instruction please visit or email

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