The Art of Composing Music
This post is going to be the first in a series of post that will cover how to compose music. Having a personal process of composing music can be just as important to composing well, as knowing music theory. If your process is disjointed, or even worse, you don’t have a process, then you probably won’t get into the right frame of mind for creativity.
So we will start off this series by first talking about the composing mindset.
The Composing Mindset
Composing music is a joyful act of creation. But sometimes it turns out to be a frustrating act of wasted time. Why is this? Is it because you don’t have that special “spark” that the greats had? No. It is simply because of your mindset approaching the composition.
Start Off With A Beginner’s Mind
The first step in learning to compose music is to approach each composition with a beginner’s mind. This can be easier said than done sometimes, but remember, if you expect to come out sounding like Mahler or Beethoven, or the Beatles for that matter, chances are you will become frustrated.
Beginner’s mind is basically approaching the process of composing without an expectation of being great. By just doing this, you will find that you probably come up with better, more flowing melodies and harmonies, as well as enjoying them more. It’s taking away the instantaneous self-criticism that prevents out true inner musical genius from coming out.
There Will Be Plenty of Time for Self-Criticism Later
Trust me, you will have all the time you want down to road to re-look your compositions and determine whether they are good or bad. But you have to have the composition first before you can make that decision.
Be a Prolific Composer
Just look at the examples below to see how you match up. You have to just write a lot of music to find the really good stuff.
- Mozart – Well of 600 Compositions including over 40 Symphonies.
- Bach – Over 1100 Compositions.
- Beethoven – 345 Catalogued Compositions, actually over 400.
I am sure there is a lot of Beethoven, that people really won’t listen to much, as well as Mozart and Bach.
I was obliged to be industrious. Whoever is equally industrious will succeed equally well.
Johann Sebastian Bach
So Go Compose Music
So go, right now, and compose something. It doesn’t matter if it’s going to change the world or not, that is not really why you are doing it. And approach it with a beginner’s mind.
As usual, let me know what you think.