Being a Re-writer!

Being a musician and composer for quite some time now, the most common question I’m often asked is; “where do the ideas for your compositions come from?” Followed by statements like, it must be nice to just be able to sit down and have the music pour through you.  I usually answer by saying something brief and to the point such as, “yeah it’s nice when the compositions sometime just seem to be there.”

What most people don’t realize is more often than not, the music doesn’t just “flow,”  you have to work to get each melody note, every harmony; including the proper form and arrangement….this is most often the case. The “flowing” music usually comes from having the discipline to sit down long enough and “work out” your ideas in a somewhat tangible form; and it’s through this “working out” process that the composition begins to take form and come alive. Don’t get me wrong on occasion the music does seem to almost “write itself” but those times are so rare that I can count them on one hand. I’ve talked to other composers about the writing “process” and they all seem to agree that writing is ten percent inspiration, and ninety percent perspiration. Without the composer having the self discipline to sit there and develop that idea and then rework it, ninety percent of all the music you here would never have been written.

Think about that the next time you hear your favorite piece of music. So as most of the world continues to think that we writers were born with such an “extraordinary” gift having all these “brilliant” ideas that just “flow”, we graciously smile, say “thank you” and head back into the studio for our sixty seventh rewrite……….or wait a minute was that sixty eight?

 

Until next time yours in health and healing,

Sam