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Composing Music


“In order to compose, all you need to do is remember a tune that nobody else has thought of” 

Robert Schumann

Rainbow PianoOver the past few years, I’ve often wondered how many people there are who have an urge to express themselves creatively – whether through painting, poetry, music or dance – but feel they lack the skills or training needed and so end up abandoning their artistic urges.  If you have already seen the webpage outlining the events that led to me writing music, you will have seen that I was well aware of the limits of my musical training as I embarked upon my first attempts to compose orchestral music, aided by my intuition (or ‘inner tuition’) rather than training courses or books on musical harmony and orchestration.  Fortunately I had people around me who gave me a lot of encouragement and helped me to resist the urge to adopt more conventional training methods.

I quickly came to realise that there are two distinct but very different aspects involved in composing music. There is the artistic aspect which involves creating the melody and possibly a musical arrangement.  This creative process is essentially the same for a simple 5 second ‘jingle’, a three minute song or a symphony for a large orchestra; the main difference is the number of notes involved.  In the words of Robert Schumann, “.. all you need to do is remember a tune that nobody else has thought of”!   

The second element is a technical aspect which involves using some level of musical or technical ability to reproduce the music that has been created.  In years gone by, composers had to be able to write musical notation in order to do this but that’s no longer the case. Someone without any musical training can record a tune by simply singing or humming into a basic sound recorder, such as a cassette recorder, dictaphone or a suitable smartphone app.

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Having never tried to compose music before, I expected that it would take a lot of time and effort to develop both my artistic and my technical abilities to a level that would enable me to write orchestral music, especially having chosen to do so without any formal training.   As it turned out, this proved to be easier than I had imagined and I’ve put together a couple of webpages which outline my learning experience:

  • The Channelling page covers the methods that I was taught to use in order to improve my artistic creativity and to help the flow of new musical themes and ideas whenever I’m writing a piece of music.  These techniques certainly worked for me and I’m convinced that they will also help anyone who is involved in creative or performing arts, whether with music, dance, drama, poetry, theatre or visual arts. 
  • If you have a specific interest in the technical process of creating music, then you might also wish to visit Technology page which covers the equipment and software that I use for turning the musical ideas into pieces of music.

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