Friday, October 22, 2021

My first principle of music composition philosophy

I am the George W. Bush of music composition. I am embarking on it (as he did with painting) in earnest at the age of 55 mostly for my own enjoyment. But here's a first principle of my composition philosophy:

Don't confuse the listener.

Surprise them.
Frustrate them.
Tease them.
Guide them.
Manipulate them (and yourself), with great wisdom and love, of course.
Reward them.
But don't confuse them.

These are the things I want to learn to do well.

More about this later: introductions, form, foreshadowing, delayed resolution.

And here is a reflection by the way on language and time:

I could not have written this 20 years ago using as I have so freely the word "them" as an ambiguous singular reference to the noun "listener".

1 comment:

Jacob Hofeling said...

Well put. I think a lot of composition is walking the line between dissonance and consonance. When we understand what sounds good, and why, we can give it the proper treatment by surrounding it with contrast. Best of luck!