Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Piano Forums & Piano World
What's Hot!!
Posting Pictures on the Forums
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Piano Tuning
How to Tune Pianos
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Spring 2017
4th Finger Enigma Resolved!
Schumann's 4th Finger Enigma Resolved!
Who's Online Now
45 registered members (Beemer, alfredo capurso, AZNpiano, Agent88, ando, 6 invisible), 1,765 guests, and 1 spider.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#1151665 - 02/22/07 12:59 PM Does creativity get better with age?  
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 25
absent-minded professor Offline
Full Member
absent-minded professor  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 25
By this I mean musical creativity in composition, improvisation, making arrangements, depth of interpretation, etc.

Personally, I think so. I'm just starting to tap into my creative potential and I'm in my mid 30s. I heard the other day Brahms was 43 when he wrote his first symphony. Mozart on the other end of the spectrum, was 8, so perhaps everyone develops at different rates.

Imagination is more powerful than knowledge.
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#1151666 - 02/22/07 02:50 PM Re: Does creativity get better with age?  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,291
Steve Chandler Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Steve Chandler  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,291
Urbandale, Iowa
Hi absent,

You've asked a great question, one that I'm going to use to touch on lots of aspects of what being a composer means. So fasten your seatbelts boys and girls I'm gonna RANT!

First let me respond to your question. I don't think the issue is one of creativity increasing with age. Any parent will tell you that kids can be amazingly creative. The issue is one of what satisfies. We get a lot of posts regarding "my first composition" or "my latest effort." Generally these are by students and they are nice little pieces (if stunningly unspectacular). These young people have fallen in love with the fruit of their creation because they haven't been composing long enough to develop perspective. Generally folks are supportive. I personally hesitate to be too positive because frankly I have higher standards and I strongly believe the impetus to compose should come from within and not be a way to garner external validation.

Here's what I consider the starting point for beginning to compose seriously. Complete familiarity with tonal theory, including study of formal structure and history. If you're a student who's wrestling with 4 part harmony exercises and the terms augmented sixth and secondary dominant are foreign to you I don't believe you're ready to compose seriously. That doesn't mean don't write at all, just don't expect others to be "wowed" by your work. Beyond that studying composition generally means becoming familiar and experimenting with extended harmonic techniques. I'm not suggesting everyone write atonal music, heck I don't compose atonal music, but familiarity with these and other "modern" harmonic techniques means you'll have more colors on your palette.

So what does all this mean with regard to absent's question. Composing takes a lot of learning and then a lot of doing (practice) to get to the point where you've developed your own unique voice. At that point you're just getting started, everything before was training, at that point you're at the starting line of the race of compositional life.

I mentioned earlier the concept of falling in love with the fruit of your creation. This is easy even for experienced composers. It's important to become your own worst critic. On this forum I have suggested (on a number of occasions) that practice composing variations is a very useful exercise. I haven't explained my concept as fully as I should so let me do so now.

It's easy to write 5 or 6 variations, these are the obvious ones (walking bass, embellished melody). Now think about Beethoven's Diabelli Variations. Beethoven took a mundane theme and wrote some variations, then wrote some more, and more. It may have seemed like he couldn't stop. He finished the piece with 32 variations. It isn't until you get past the obvious variations that you start to force yourself to go farther afield, then even farther afield. This is when you're starting to really be creative. One of my favorite pieces of my own music was a fairly youthful effort at variations, I wrote 20. When I listen to that piece I skip past the first 5 or so, they're boring, but then it gets good, then better, then magical. Just the doing of that exercise (and that's what it was) set my personal sights so much higher in terms of what degree of creativity I would accept for a work composed by me. My music was transformed from that time on and that was the starting line of my compositional race.

#1151667 - 02/22/07 04:32 PM Re: Does creativity get better with age?  
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 1,591
Ted Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Ted  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 1,591
Auckland, New Zealand
With me, it was more a case of acquiring the confidence, regrettably not until my middle age, to simply make the sounds I enjoy and ignore "rights", "wrongs", "ought tos", theories, structures, traditions, what teachers say, what "experts" and famous people say, what's popular and what's not, the Western strait-jacket of musical notation ...... everything, just let it all go, it's all nonsense. The sound and its effect on my own brain is all that matters any more.

That's what happened to me. Whether or not it implies an increase in "creativity", whatever that word really means, I don't know. Not a very acceptable answer, I dare say, but it's the truth. Then again, I don't much like written composition, I'm a pretty rough pianist and almost certainly not a musician by any normal definition.

"It is inadvisable to decline a dinner invitation from a plump woman." - Fred Hollows
#1151668 - 02/22/07 05:33 PM Re: Does creativity get better with age?  
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 308
Harmosis Offline
Full Member
Harmosis  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 308
If "age" means experience and practice, then, in general, I'd say yes (without strictly defining "creativity"). I would also agree with Mr. Chandler that composing variations is a good exercise.

Moderated by  Piano World 

Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World)
our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, Digital Piano Dolly, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.

Free Shipping* on Jansen Artist Piano Benches, Cocoweb Piano Lamps, Hidrau Hydraulic Piano Benches
(*free shipping within contiguous U.S. only)
Pearl River & Ritmuller
Pearl River Pianos
PianoTeq 6 Out now
Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restorations and sales
Pierce Piano Atlas

New Topics - Multiple Forums
Can I Run Roland RD700nx Through Stereo Speakers?
by ClsscLib. 10/20/17 09:19 PM
Improve your sight reading series
by Scottswald. 10/20/17 06:34 PM
Piano with a harpsichord lever?
by Upex. 10/20/17 06:26 PM
Forum Statistics
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Check It Out!
There's a lot more to Piano World than just the forums.
Click Here to
Explore The Rest of Piano World!!
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |

copyright 1997 - 2017 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0