Ever felt like a piece "wrote itself"

Posted by: TrueMusic

Ever felt like a piece "wrote itself" - 11/01/12 02:02 PM

So, I'm working on a Wind Quintet for school right now. I spent an hour or so in a Panera last week with a sandwich and soup and my manuscript paper and wrote out a few motives and some other simple patterns to use. Once I got going and started to develop the themes, the piece almost just wrote itself. I suddenly found myself with 136 measures and about 5 minutes of music. I mean, the music definitely still needs some editing and it's not in final form yet [nor have I even written the finale!] but it's just interesting. Once I got my motives and themes down, the rest just seemed to "come". I really didn't even have to think about it, and it sounds pretty nice! I was experimenting with octatonic scales and I like it.

Who else here has experienced this? I've had some other pieces that I had to painstakingly compose and it seemed like none of the notes wanted to work...but this piece just fell together!
Posted by: Exalted Wombat

Re: Ever felt like a piece "wrote itself" - 11/01/12 02:09 PM

Are you complaining?

Don't worry, the next one won't :-)
Posted by: rada

Re: Ever felt like a piece "wrote itself" - 11/01/12 02:54 PM

I think I know what you mean. I would imagine many of the Beatle's songs spun out very quickly. I think that's part of why they are so appealing....good melody, easy to listen to lyrics and not much difficulty in terms of music theory. Sometimes we try to hard maybe?


ps...hey I'm in SDiego too...
Posted by: TrueMusic

Re: Ever felt like a piece "wrote itself" - 11/01/12 03:19 PM

Well I wasn't complaining necessarily, I was mostly just surprised!

It looks like I'm gonna have to re-write parts of it though. I just showed it to my orchestration prof and he said that the horn and bassoon parts would be pretty difficult to play well, requiring professional players. Sadly that means I'm going to have to adjust my main theme. smirk. Freaking instrumentalists not being able to play everything I write, :P.
Posted by: Sand Tiger

Re: Ever felt like a piece "wrote itself" - 11/02/12 12:01 AM

Yes. A good piece of music can flow out like water from a spigot. That part is half the answer though. That kind of flow only started to happen to me, after I had committed some serious time to working on original music. I spent hours upon hours of working on lyrics, melodies and now harmonies, churning out a lot of what could be politely termed "garbage."

All that time, got me ready for moments of seemingly pure inspiration. There have also been some pieces that required dedicated labor, though to my mind those pieces tend not to be as good.

Someone mentioned the Beatles. Their early rule was if they couldn't remember the words and melody without writing anything down, that song probably wasn't catchy enough to be a hit. Lennon and McCartney also put their noses to the grindstone, spending a lot of time writing music, much more than most of their contemporaries.
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: Ever felt like a piece "wrote itself" - 11/02/12 02:53 AM

Yes, that's happened to me a lot... Especially since I compose A LOT of music, I'm forced to use my inner instincts and allow it to happen.

Still for academic work I forced it out of my system (for a total of 4 years) and this was good, since it taught me to work without a muse backing me up!

So, the result is that I can compose pretty much any time (proof required.. *ahem*... Someone may get what I mean by this) but I need, AT LEAST, time in my hands to do it. Not a huge amount of time, but at least a reasonable amount in order to finish what I need to.
Posted by: Steve Chandler

Re: Ever felt like a piece "wrote itself" - 11/02/12 02:02 PM

Some pieces are easy, some not. What makes the difference is if you are challenging yourself to write something at the limits of your ability. I sometimes write pop music but I don't invest a lot into it other than composing lyrics (that's still hard for me). When I compose a piece of piano music or something classical oriented then the degree of effort increases significantly because I written all my easy pieces (okay most of them). The pieces I compose now usually have a concept that takes thought and effort to bring to realize. However, one of my most recent pieces was also easy to compose because the concept was easy, write the saddest piano song ever. The piece was easy to write but it's hard to play.
Posted by: peterws

Re: Ever felt like a piece "wrote itself" - 11/09/12 02:31 PM

Beer drinking might well have played a part; followed by drugs. There seems to have been a lot of good drug induced nusic . . .I`m too old to start that ha ha