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#1151357 - 12/29/05 10:58 AM Do you have a particular compositional weakness and if so, how do you overcome it?  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 78
hanna2222 Offline
Full Member
hanna2222  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 78
Northeast Ohio
I took lessons in composition from a man in
San Francisco years ago..Paul Chiten. I saw his
credit on a TV movie recently and was excited he
had gone so far.
He said I was absolutely terrible in terms
of my rhythms... I was trying to write popular
music and it all came out like "easy listening"
or "classical. " He said I failed to have a core
rhythm thing going on...lacked "soul" in a sense.
He was absolutely right, of course.
I know its still weakness...but I'm much
more OK about my own style. I don't need to
be popular any more.
Back then, I wanted to be "rich and famous".
Now I just want to make music. Big difference.


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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#1151358 - 12/29/05 11:46 AM Re: Do you have a particular compositional weakness and if so, how do you overcome it?  
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 63
hugo Offline
Full Member
hugo  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 63
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
My weakness is writing for drums: rock, pop, and country. I realize almost everybody here is mostly into classical-based piano, but I thought I'd add a bit of flavor to the mix.

I just haven't been able to do drums. And I haven't overcome it.

#1151359 - 12/31/05 11:16 PM Re: Do you have a particular compositional weakness and if so, how do you overcome it?  
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,052
8ude Offline
2000 Post Club Member
8ude  Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,052
My weakness is in finding a good style to write in. I enjoy writing music in romantic and impressionist styles. But in college I was expected to write much more modern music. Now when I try to write romantic or impressionist music, I feel it needs more modern elements. But I don't want to go full bore into modernism. So I'm trying to find a middle ground...


What you are is an accident of birth. What I am, I am through my own efforts. There have been a thousand princes and there will be a thousand more. There is one Beethoven.
#1151360 - 01/01/06 05:31 PM Re: Do you have a particular compositional weakness and if so, how do you overcome it?  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 22
cccyyy Offline
Full Member
cccyyy  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 22
Canada
One of my weaknesses is always wanting to write everything in c-sharp minor!!!
man I love that key....
and it's obvious how to fix that problem (and not that difficult!)
smile

#1151361 - 01/01/06 06:21 PM Re: Do you have a particular compositional weakness and if so, how do you overcome it?  
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 790
Ted2 Offline
500 Post Club Member
Ted2  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2002
Posts: 790
Auckland, New Zealand
I hate with a vengeance the physical act of writing out music. I have been known to go months putting off writing out a piece completed in my head. In fact, in recent years I haven't written out much at all and have just recorded hundreds of improvisations. If they ever set the world on fire (unlikely) then somebody can transcribe them after I peg out.

Musically I am a walking mass of weaknesses. I would probably fail every test of musical ability you could contrive. You name it and I probably cannot do it.

Nonetheless, as Aleister Crowley says, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law." I therefore continue to create like a puffed up cream cake of arrogance as if my weaknesses did not exist.


"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley
#1151362 - 01/01/06 08:36 PM Re: Do you have a particular compositional weakness and if so, how do you overcome it?  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 78
hanna2222 Offline
Full Member
hanna2222  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 78
Northeast Ohio
Ted,
I've heard some of your music and I think
you're really underestimating your abilities.
You play marvelously and do some of the finest
chord structures this side of Gershwin!
Your pieces are unique and flowing and
rich. I agree, though, its really boring to
have to write a piece down note by note. Those
wonderful keyboard computer things can do it,
but the instrument isn't nearly as fun to compose on.
In any event, Happy New Year!


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.
#1151363 - 01/01/06 09:07 PM Re: Do you have a particular compositional weakness and if so, how do you overcome it?  
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,597
sarabande Offline
1000 Post Club Member
sarabande  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,597
Mo.
I think I just discovered one weakness when trying to write something for the collaberative comp. project on this forum. That is adding harmony for piano in the treble clef or r.h. part. In other words make the r.h. have more than a one line melody. I think this is because I think mostly in terms of vocal or pieces that can be sung or have a singable melody.

I used to and still do as others have said have trouble writing out what I hear in my head on paper but the last piece I just wrote seemed to come suprisingly easy. It's almost like it suddenly clicked or something. The only thing I can attribute this to is that I teach private piano and keep explaining all kinds of theoretical elements to the kids in the music they're playing, looking for chords in the music, and finding them on the keys and looking for chords in things they make up. I think all that time I've spent frequently explaining it to others has kept it fresh in my mind, etc.

What helped me also this last time is I discovered I could whistle the pitches I heard in my head a lot better than I could sing them so I whistled them and then tried to find that on the keys and it worked. -Sounds wierd but whatever works!

Another weakness and probably my main one isn't so much harmonizing but figuring out how to notate the rhythm correctly.

8ude, I know what you mean by college and Modern music. I grew to appreciate and even like some Modern music due to learning about it in college but I do think the focus was a little out of balance on it. Certainly the mainstream public enjoys the familiarity and comfort of simple, singable melodies and sounds in music. I wrote a paper in college once on how I think people gravitate toward "comfort" and simplicity in music in the midst of commonly stressful and complex lives vs. the sounds of Modern music. I don't think the prof. liked or agreed with my philosophy too much although I do also like the uniqueness, unusual, and dissonant sounds, etc. of Modern music some too.

#1151364 - 01/01/06 09:37 PM Re: Do you have a particular compositional weakness and if so, how do you overcome it?  
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 985
kcoul058 Offline
500 Post Club Member
kcoul058  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 985
I feel exactly the same way as you 8ude... in fact.. I think this exactly represents one of the serious problems that faces classical music. We have really dug ourselves into a corner with our modern expectations and we are losing touch with our means of true expression. I know because I am facing that exact same problem in college right now... but I think I may have a solution!

#1151365 - 01/02/06 02:35 AM Re: Do you have a particular compositional weakness and if so, how do you overcome it?  
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 790
Ted2 Offline
500 Post Club Member
Ted2  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2002
Posts: 790
Auckland, New Zealand
hanna2222:

You are too kind. Happy New Year to you too.


"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

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