It's incredible how boring after a while it is to continously find the same old story about rules or inspiration.
It's due to the fact that every sensible and spontaneous human who likes music, one day finally ask:
- how do people make music?
The answers are not possible, are not simple, are a lot and all equally valid.
So pragmatic people will answer:
- take this book, try the following link etc. etc. It's providing rules and training.
And ALWAYS, some dreamer will answer:
- forget the rules, just follow your inspiration, great composers were all breaking rules...
Finally some savant people will add a trial of synthesys of the antithetic statements:
- learn the rules before, then when you are mastering it, don't hesitate breaking all the rules to be as great as the great composers breaking rules....
This play is more or less what we are doing all the time. It's unbelievable because all the answers are simply FAKE!
This is only the way to frustration:
- follow rules, and you wont make any good music. Only predictable and boring school homeworks.
- breake rules and you wont make any good music. Only roughly done, bad sounding imitation of some model. And only bad models will be well imitated...
Nobody answers in the simple and correct way: to make music you simply need to became a musician.
- If you like academic and educated music, you need a long study of the educated music. You will know about rules and about inspiration, and you will know how to mix it up to make your ideas sounding as great as the composers do.
- If you like ethnic or pop music, start playing and singing every kind of instruments and songs your favorite style is based on, and you will learn about style and sound, rythm and melody. Finally you will be able of creating your own songs and solos as the great players do.
If you like both, just start with the easiest or favorite: it will be easier later to understand counterpoint if you write good ballads. It will be easier later to play jazz harmony, if you know counterpoint!
No shortcuts to good music unfortunately exist, this is the bitter true that we never want accept. Only time and severe practice will drive people to the magic world were no more rules and no more dreams, but real good music-crafting is the result of the daily musical experience of a musical mind.
That's all folks.