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!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
What's Hot!!
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(ad)
Piano Tuning
How to Tune Pianos
(125ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Spring 2017
(ad)
4th Finger Enigma Resolved!
Schumann's 4th Finger Enigma Resolved!
Who's Online Now
122 registered members (anotherscott, agent8698, Agent88, 36251, ando, Allan Wind, 30 invisible), 1,994 guests, and 1 spider.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
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
#1995767 - 12/07/12 05:37 AM writing easy music  
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 254
TrueMusic Offline
Full Member
TrueMusic  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 254
San Diego, California
So I have this problem. I never seem to be able to write something simple. Even when I set out with something simple in mind, I end up with an idea to make it better...which results in a difficult piece.

For example, I just finished a piano duo piece. The goal was to write something that wouldn't be particularly difficult for the performers. What came out was something, that while not virtuosic, certainly requires two good players to pull it off. Lots of cross rhythms, syncopation, extended chords and ranges, and a few 32nd runs to spice things up.

I guess since I know what the piano can do, I find it REALLY hard to write something simple.
Generally my writing for other instrument is a bit simpler since I don't truly know what they can do, so I write easy.

Anyone else have a similar problem? How do you keep yourself to something simple if that's what you want?


Piano/Composition major.

Proud owner of a beautiful Yamaha C7.

Polish:
Liszt Petrarch Sonnet 104
Bach WTC book 1 no. 6.
Dello Joio Sonata no. 3

New:
Chopin op. 23
Bach WTC book 2 no. 20
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#1995770 - 12/07/12 05:46 AM Re: writing easy music [Re: TrueMusic]  
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,508
Nikolas Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Nikolas  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,508
UK
Hmmm...

It's not easy to write easy music actually (pun intended of course... grin).

I think that part of the main hurdle is that if you're a composer, you are usually NOT a teacher. Thus you're not exactly aware of the difficulties younger pianists face. The opposite is much more a problem: Teachers publishing scores after scores, methods after methods, which although they capture the technical parts of learning the piano for the younger(est) they fail to capture the musical part most of the times...

Out of the composers here, I think that Ben Crosland has done a great job with his jazz series and my sketch music is also not too shabby either. But both of us are piano teachers AND composers and as such we do know (a tiny bit anyhow) what's going on.

_______________

The other reason why things usually end up more complicated than we want them to, is quite simple: Our ego. As composers we are the kings and the performers should serve us. Composing more complicated stuff makes us (in our head) look and feel better... And when the performers complain about something, we get to explain how it works. So we go back and compose something else equally difficult. And the loop continues...

My advice? Get in touch with performers and young children and THEN go after composing simple!

#1995836 - 12/07/12 09:24 AM Re: writing easy music [Re: TrueMusic]  
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 7
Sean Montgomery Offline
Junior Member
Sean Montgomery  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 7
Monmouthshire, UK
I agree. You write what you want to write - what sounds good to you. I also find that I write within my technical abilities - I have a large hand span and trained as an organist so finger substitution comes naturally. I have a friend who can play but is at a beginner stage. I will very often complete the melody and then sketch just a few bars of what the accompaniment will look like and send it over for feedback. I will keep sending rough drafts through out the composing process until I know that it is within their grasp.

Sean

#1995891 - 12/07/12 11:37 AM Re: writing easy music [Re: TrueMusic]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,124
rada Offline
1000 Post Club Member
rada  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,124
pagosa springs,co
What about using a piece as a template....any piece that you like that you consider to be easy.

Yesterday I was listening to some classical/baroque music and I found it a bit boring because it sounded easy....simple to figure out.



rada

#2000085 - 12/16/12 02:05 AM Re: writing easy music [Re: TrueMusic]  
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,304
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member
LoPresti  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,304
New York
Originally Posted by TrueMusic
So I have this problem. I never seem to be able to write something simple. Even when I set out with something simple in mind, I end up with an idea to make it better...which results in a difficult piece. . . . . . How do you keep yourself to something simple if that's what you want?

For me, there were two "forces" working against writing pieces that were inherently simple.

The first and most obvious was that the work itself, once started, dictated mostly where it went, and how it developed. I continually "asked" questions of the piece on which I was working, and then mainly served what it answered. Typically, the answers I received were not simple ones.

The second factor working against simplicity is this: Most things that are quite simple and obvious have already been written. So, if a composer wants to say something new, s/he needs to avoid the really simple, obvious, predictable, hackneyed, stereotyped, canned, tried-and-true, over-done, non-original fare. Beethoven could create significant color and tension by interjecting a chord that was not closely related to the current key. In the twenty-first century, we need to work a little hander to achieve surprise.

Ed


In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.
#2006891 - 12/31/12 07:41 AM Re: writing easy music [Re: TrueMusic]  
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 389
Allazart Offline
Full Member
Allazart  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 389
I feel I could do simple...

For me, aiming for simplicity is often freeing. I find it paralyzing to put too much pressure on everything I write. Granted, I'm not getting paid, graded, or performed but since I love music, I have personal goals I usually shoot for. Anyway, sometimes I'll pick an idea that I'm not over-the-moon about and take it somewhere. Some ideas seem to demand a grand treatment whereas others you can have fun with. In fact I have at least one example of something I wrote because I was not ready to complete something else (which I still haven't gone back to after several years...lol). Now that I remember it I'll probably post it in the December compositions thread (last day!).


#2009596 - 01/05/13 07:08 PM Re: writing easy music [Re: TrueMusic]  
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 6,527
peterws Offline
6000 Post Club Member
peterws  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 6,527
Northern England.
You start out with a coupla simple chords, and things change. Interesting stuff works it`s evil way into your `ed and, when you add flesh to the bones, you get a not so simple tune. And a complex melody.

On a good day. I wish I had more good days!


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

"[Linked Image]"
#2010312 - 01/07/13 12:21 AM Re: writing easy music [Re: TrueMusic]  
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Kreisler Offline
Kreisler  Offline


Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Iowa City, IA
I write a lot of easy music. The trick is to give yourself very specific restrictions. No 32nd notes, no rapid double-note passages, favor passage work that uses standard fingerings, make sure difficult or awkward moments are isolated and prepared, and most of all...

Edit, edit, edit. Always ask yourself "could I achieve this musical effect in a simpler way?" Force yourself to write 3 or 4 versions of everything that looks difficult.

Also, write for a specific kind of pianist. Don't write for yourself. Or model your piece on something written by a major composer at the level you're trying to achieve. If you're going for late intermediate or early advanced, look at lots of Grieg, Heller, Mendelssohn, Kabalevsky, Prokofiev Op. 12, 22, or 65. Tchaikovsky Album for the Young or the Seasons.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed
#2012518 - 01/10/13 11:31 PM Re: writing easy music [Re: TrueMusic]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,124
rada Offline
1000 Post Club Member
rada  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,124
pagosa springs,co
Hmmmm, that edit. edit, edit caught my attention and I think of pieces that were written in the moment that probably were not edited and I think therein lies their beauty. Too much thinking can get complicated.


rada

#2013083 - 01/11/13 10:00 PM Re: writing easy music [Re: TrueMusic]  
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 56
Sandra M Offline
Full Member
Sandra M  Offline
Full Member

Joined: May 2011
Posts: 56
Hello, Jim Brickman, pianist of inspirational music, New Age etc. I suggest listening to his style before you compose to inspire you. Maybe you have heard and played mostly complex selections and this would level you out a bit? Sandra M

Last edited by Sandra M; 01/11/13 10:00 PM.
#2013179 - 01/12/13 02:50 AM Re: writing easy music [Re: Sandra M]  
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,304
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member
LoPresti  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,304
New York
Originally Posted by Sandra M
Jim Brickman, pianist of inspirational music, New Age etc. I suggest listening to his style before you compose to inspire you.

Sandra,

Thanks for the suggestion. I was not familiar with Jim Brickman, but after listening to a couple of his compositions, it appears that he writes music very similar to the works of my granddaughter. I guess I need to start listening to HER pieces for inspiration, although I had not thought of that possibility before.

Ed


In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.
#2013272 - 01/12/13 09:10 AM Re: writing easy music [Re: TrueMusic]  
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 56
Sandra M Offline
Full Member
Sandra M  Offline
Full Member

Joined: May 2011
Posts: 56
Thank you Ed for your response I was beginning to not feel welcome in this forum. What inspires you to write music? Keep a journal and note if there are patterns. If you just decide to write and you are not inspired maybe this is your answer. Writing too complex is usally a sign of what we know and not what we feel. Do events inspire you, emotions, visuals etc? Learn about yourself and why you want to write music. First work from your heart then your head is a thought for you too. I suspect you are working from you head only now. Sometimes if we know too much it gets in the way of our creative process as we become too technical. When composing be creative first and then edit later. Have you heard this one that was said to come out of Nashville," Do you read music?" The answer? " Not enough to get in the way of my playing." Sincerely, Sandra M...

Last edited by Sandra M; 01/12/13 10:56 AM.
#2013312 - 01/12/13 10:42 AM Re: writing easy music [Re: Nikolas]  
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 56
Sandra M Offline
Full Member
Sandra M  Offline
Full Member

Joined: May 2011
Posts: 56
Excellent suggestion and thank you for posting. When taught the basics of composition my students ages 5 to 11 wrote wonderful little compositions. Some were very good. They go with feelings and keep it simple as you stated. Sincerely, Sandy M

#2013421 - 01/12/13 01:50 PM Re: writing easy music [Re: TrueMusic]  
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 56
Sandra M Offline
Full Member
Sandra M  Offline
Full Member

Joined: May 2011
Posts: 56
Hello Ed, Quote:
Rachmaninoff about his contemporaries:
"The new kind of music seems to create not from the heart but from the
head. Its composers think rather than feel. They have not the capacity
to make their works exalt – they meditate, protest, analyze, reason,
calculate and brood, but they do not exalt."

Ed this is so much better than I could write so decided to change and replace my thoughts with a great man's thoughts as above...Sandra M




Last edited by Sandra M; 01/12/13 03:36 PM.
#2013756 - 01/13/13 02:53 AM Re: writing easy music [Re: Sandra M]  
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,304
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member
LoPresti  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,304
New York
Originally Posted by Sandra M
Hello Ed, Quote:
Rachmaninoff about his contemporaries:
"The new kind of music seems to create not from the heart but from the
head. Its composers think rather than feel. They have not the capacity
to make their works exalt – they meditate, protest, analyze, reason,
calculate and brood, but they do not exalt."

Hi Sandra,

I wonder if Old Serge was referring to his fellow countrymen Dimitri and Igor? I can not recall if they exalted in any of their "new kind of music" works . . .


In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.
#2013757 - 01/13/13 02:59 AM Re: writing easy music [Re: TrueMusic]  
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,508
Nikolas Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Nikolas  Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,508
UK
He could very well be talking about Schoenberg et al! wink

Sandra: Do not feel discouraged by the lack of replies... I don't care for new age music, and as such I didn't feel inclined to check out the name you mentioned. But this thread is already at page 2 and going, so there certainly is some activity going on!

#2014048 - 01/13/13 08:01 PM Re: writing easy music [Re: Nikolas]  
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 56
Sandra M Offline
Full Member
Sandra M  Offline
Full Member

Joined: May 2011
Posts: 56
Nikolas, Thank you for your kind words. I am enjoying your post as I will be reading and hearing the compositions of those of you who post them etc. I am honored to be welcomed here as I hear much talent when I am listening to your music. I love being with creative people. Sandra M

Last edited by Sandra M; 01/13/13 08:02 PM.
#2026126 - 02/03/13 01:55 AM Re: writing easy music [Re: TrueMusic]  
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 373
Schubertslieder Offline
Full Member
Schubertslieder  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 373
Michigan, USA
Hello,

I like to start with two simple phrases, 4 measures of question and 4 measures of answer. This will be done with simple chord progression in the circle of fifths to put the frame in place. Accompaniment will give the foundation, and various inversions will give the ease of flow. Melody will be put in place with all the rules followed.

Finding a motive and/or sequence will be a big task as I think motive will need to make a statement.



Charles Peck (American)--Metropolitan
Debussy--various pieces
Grieg--various pieces
#2026129 - 02/03/13 02:02 AM Re: writing easy music [Re: TrueMusic]  
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 373
Schubertslieder Offline
Full Member
Schubertslieder  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 373
Michigan, USA
Whether you choose rhythmic motive or melodic motive, it should make a statement in my view.


Charles Peck (American)--Metropolitan
Debussy--various pieces
Grieg--various pieces
#2032269 - 02/13/13 05:31 AM Re: writing easy music [Re: TrueMusic]  
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 27
Manolito Mystiq Offline
Full Member
Manolito Mystiq  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 27
Have some fixed variables: tempo up to x, y syncopation(s) max, z chords, etc.

#2032653 - 02/13/13 08:21 PM Re: writing easy music [Re: Manolito Mystiq]  
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,304
LoPresti Offline
1000 Post Club Member
LoPresti  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,304
New York
Originally Posted by Manolito Mystiq
Have some fixed variables:

Pondering this. Pondering . . .


In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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)
(ad)
Pearl River & Ritmuller
Pearl River Pianos
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq 6 Out now
(ad)
Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restorations and sales
ad
Pierce Piano Atlas


New Topics - Multiple Forums
HOW SOON TO VOICE
by MICHAEL122. 10/22/17 05:39 PM
black box issue
by f4tune81. 10/22/17 05:11 PM
Yamaha YUS5 & Bosendorfer 130
by PaulieGB. 10/22/17 04:48 PM
The Art of Developing a Solo -the Music of Lyle Mays
by Dfrankjazz. 10/22/17 04:11 PM
Any sheet music computer software programs...?
by Pologuy. 10/22/17 04:02 PM
Forum Statistics
Forums44
Topics182,428
Posts2,666,481
Members89,024
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
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