Although I consider myself a musician since the age of five, due to conflicting interests/talents I never really pursued a formal music education - I majored in art in college with a smattering of music courses. Although I have good instincts and can handle short-form composition (songs) I have always wanted to tackle something larger scale. And now, of course, with GPO I have an orchestra just begging me to write something - truly a first!
Since finances and schedule preclude my being able to go back to school, I wondered if anyone had any thoughts as to texts or self-study in the art of large scale composition, something to guide me as I look to developing musical work longer than three or four minutes. I love using GPO for songs of course, but often as I find myself "GPO'ing" a piece by Ravel or Debussy for fun I find myself wishing it was music of my own creation instead.
I know there is nothing that can truly take the place of a concentrated course of study with a living, breathing composer one admires, but that is not possible for me at the moment and the only composers I've ever met are now long gone. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.