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#1149766 - 01/02/06 07:00 AM How hard is it for you to be original in your compositions?  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 78
hanna2222 Offline
Full Member
hanna2222  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 78
Northeast Ohio
I find I fall into a lot of musical cliches
when I write stuff...
I think this is where those of you with
better technique, stronger musical backgrounds
may have the advantage.
But it could be lazy thinking on my part too.
Any thoughts on this?


The truest insights into a person's
character are two things:
1. How he treats people who cannot help him.
2. How he treats those who cannot
fight back.
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#1149767 - 01/02/06 04:55 PM Re: How hard is it for you to be original in your compositions?  
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 985
kcoul058 Offline
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kcoul058  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 985
Very hard at first... but you can't worry about that at first... alot of people agree that you kind of have to imitate other composers, songwriters, and the cliches that come from them, until your own voice emerges. One should never worry about this during their "student" period. IMO, the only thing one should worry about at first, is to avoid being "cheesy", shallow, or superficial in their music, unless they are trying to write background music of some kind, in which case it doesn't matter.

#1149768 - 01/02/06 06:17 PM Re: How hard is it for you to be original in your compositions?  
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 790
Ted2 Offline
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Ted2  Offline
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Posts: 790
Auckland, New Zealand
It is very easy for me, but I do not think it a good idea to worry about how original you are. For instance, if something comes out sounding a lot like Chopin or Waller or somebody else then just let it. Your own voices have to evolve naturally. Indeed, in many people they do not emerge until quite late in life. I cannot see any sense in striving for originality per se. But neither ought we to adoringly emulate the masters or rope in our creations with theories based on what they did.


"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley
#1149769 - 01/02/06 06:41 PM Re: How hard is it for you to be original in your compositions?  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 303
matthewpiano Offline
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matthewpiano  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 303
North West United Kingdom
I think the key thing is experience. Experience of life and experience of music.

Alongside my classical piano studies, I have always written songs in a more popular/rock music style but it is only now, at the age of 27 (with about 50 years of life crammed in) that I am starting to feel confident about my product. Life experience informs interesting and original creativity better than anything.

I think my 'sponge' repsonse to a huge range of music has helped as well. I soak up everything I can. As an illustration the list of performers I have seen includes, Alfred Brendel; Kissin; John Lill; several operas (La Traviata, Tosca, Ascanio in Alba, Carmen etc.); several musicals (Les Mis; Phantom; Evita; Guys & Dolls; JCS etc.); most of the great British orchestras; Fleetwood Mac; Elton John; Battlefield BAnd; Ralph McTell; Phats & Small; Animals; Steeleye Span; BJH; Acoustic Strawbs; Maddy Prior & The Carnival Band; Julian Bream; BBC Big BAnd; Jethro Tull; the Lindsay Quartet.

In addition to the classical, rock/pop, folk, theatre etc. I also love jazz and have particular affection for Louis Armstrong, Herbie Hancock, John Coltrane and Miles Davis.

I have performed (as pianist, singer or clarinettist) in classical music (including Rach 2, Grieg A Minor, and Beethoven 'Emperor'); theatre music; jazz (including solo and Big Band); opera (as repetiteur); choral (Bach B Minor Mass and St. Matt Passion as repetiteur) etc. etc.

I live and breathe music and this is what is slowly developing my compositional skills. I believe its the only way.


Classical and jazz pianist, singer, songwriter, and avid listener and concert-goer. SCHIMMEL and BLUTHNER fan and avidly AGAINST the dumbing down of quality music.
#1149770 - 01/03/06 01:24 AM Re: How hard is it for you to be original in your compositions?  
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,597
sarabande Offline
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sarabande  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,597
Mo.
The saying comes to mind,

"There's nothing new under the sun."

But along the same lines as matthewpiano listening to a huge variety of styles, I think, keeps the creative juices flowing.

Maybe the key is to not try so hard or make such a conscious effort to be original. I've never put too much thought into purposely setting out to be original nor do I go around purposely trying to duplicate what I hear in music. I just go with whatever idea comes out. To me it all seems original because if I made up something I hadn't heard elsewhere before, it's original.

I do get stuck in one "form" mostly though - question/answer type phrases with song-like tunes. I attribute that to absorbing like a sponge listening as a kid to so much children's and folk songs and other little song tunes that style just naturally comes out whenever I write almost like writing rhyming poetry. For me the music almost has to "rhyme" and I am not original from the standpoint of trying to break out of that style.

#1149771 - 01/03/06 06:34 AM Re: How hard is it for you to be original in your compositions?  
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,446
Derulux Offline
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Derulux  Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,446
Philadelphia
Quote
Originally posted by kcoul058:
Very hard at first... but you can't worry about that at first... alot of people agree that you kind of have to imitate other composers, songwriters, and the cliches that come from them, until your own voice emerges. One should never worry about this during their "student" period. IMO, the only thing one should worry about at first, is to avoid being "cheesy", shallow, or superficial in their music, unless they are trying to write background music of some kind, in which case it doesn't matter.
I have to agree with everything except the "cheesy" line. wink The best student learns to immediately imitate their teacher. After all, it is the quickest way to learn anything. "Do what I do." And after the student learns what the teacher has to teach, the student can progress and further the art itself, but not until the student has learned a substantial amount can this actually take place. wink


Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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