Inner Musings-Thoughts on why we composers do what we do

Nov. 20 2016

Why do we write the way we write?

The answer may not be explainable with one definite answer. Some believe that everything that we encounter in music has a subconscious effect on our own compositions, whether we realize it or not. Similarly, our own out of music experiences can impact our choice as to what we decide to write on the page or what ways we organize sound. Ego is thought to play a role in that there is an innately selfish desire to express oneself for payment or conversely, a desire to share the love of music through our own creations. It is no different from the intent of  a poet or a director who wishes to show the world (whichever one this may be, inner or outer) what they have to offer.

I believe that  music is the poetry of the soul through the medium of sound. It can also be an aural  document of our inner psychoses : a physical reflection and manifestation of our innermost desires. If one wishes for structure and control or to freely emote, it will surface in one way or another in the music. Composing is a result of the desire to express oneself through the medium of music and is a consequence  of an amalgamation of experiences, tragic or joyful, acquired information,and the desire for monetary or personal gain. In short, we write because we need to and can.

What shapes our musical voice?

Again, I credit experiences and exposure to different sounds. I believe that your musical voice as a composer will constantly evolve the more that you work at it. From personal experience, when I began writing, I would imitate the music that I was exposed to on a daily basis, most notably Nintendo soundtracks and Band music.I began to improvise new melodies around the songs, though I did not know that this was what I was doing at the time. When I got older, and a bit better at piano (though not much better at reading it), and learned what it felt like to experience the  emotions evoked by varieties of pain, making up  melodies became my escape and the flavor changed (albeit that these songs were elementary in nature as compared to the present). In high school,  I was exposed Classic and Progressive Rock and Jazz through jamming with my brother and the Rock Band I was a part of, which brought out a brief songwriter phase.

As I’ve grown as a person and musician, my style has become more sophisticated, though I have had several occasions where others have heard the video game music influence to this day. Also, my reasons for writing certain pieces have varied as well as I continue to try new approaches and styles in order find my  niche in the world of composition. Sometimes it is for a grade or specific commission and sometimes it’s because of an innate desire to spontaneously create and experiment with an idea.

First and foremost , I strive to write for the musicians that will play my pieces. I would like to share the same enjoyment that I have writing the music as I hope that they will playing it. Perhaps It is my own selfish desire to share the human condition and help the world become a better place through imposing my notes, and my hope to give the opportunity to the musician to be creative through their own interpretation of my melodies.

If you have any comments to add to this discussion, please reply below as I am curious as to what others’ thoughts are on this subject and am open to any viewpoint or related stories.

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