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Topic: mr. Boring composer

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  1. #1

    Angry mr. Boring composer

    I was sitting in my room composing as I always do, when my mother (yes, I'm 16 years old and I live with my parents, laugh all you want ) came and wanted to see my work take form. She was chocked to see how strictly music was organized, with harmonies and general structures etc. She called me "mr. Boring composer" simply because I was using the standard rules of composing.

    She's wrong.
    right?
    Regards Danial Zainali
    ___
    Reinvent powdered wigs!

  2. #2

    Re: mr. Boring composer

    Yes she is, I'm afraid.

    The whole myth about inspiration and great ideas and huge talents, is exactly that: a myth (99.9% except Mozart maybe). Every composer takes huge amounts of time and hard work to come up with the magnificent results they come up with. Beethoven took months (even years) to finish his big works, Tchaikovsky as well. They had plans, drafts, notes, etc.

    I also use drafts, plans, chord maps, and whatever else I find.

    No need to worry.

    Although following the "rules" to closely (and btw, there are no rules in composition, but there are various techniques of composition) seems a bit too much in the plain eye.

    Nikolas

  3. #3
    Senior Member Leaf's Avatar
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    Re: mr. Boring composer

    Digging a giant hole in the earth and pouring concrete shafts is probably pretty boring compared to erecting a modern office tower, or an auditorium, or an art museum, but it is best that they have a sturdy foundation under them.

    So in my opinion there is nothing wrong with going the extra mile in making sure the foundation is the best it can be.

    Moms, although they are the best people on earth, are human so she could have made a mistake, but she may also know very well what she is doing here and think you are ready to start on the first floor.

    ... or she may be just wanting to open her presents on Christmas eve rather than waiting one more day. Sometimes waiting a little longer is hard, because you know they are going to be special and want to see what they look like.

  4. #4

    Re: mr. Boring composer

    Composing, solitary profession that it is, is boring to watch. So is the rehearsal of a magic trick or the writing of a novel. People have asked to come to my studio and "watch me compose" because they think someting exciting is going on - like in a painter's studio or a sculptor's. When I tell them that it is amazingly boring, not to mention that they would be a distraction to me, they are puzzled and disappointed. The end result and its presentation is what I'm aiming at.

    It's like sausage. You can really enjoy it on your plate, but you really don't want to see how it is made!
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

    http://reberclark.blogspot.com http://reberclark.bandcamp.com http://www.youtube.com/reberclark

  5. #5

    Re: mr. Boring composer

    Awwww, Mom!

    The great pianist Paderewski, when the critics began calling him a genius, responded: "Before I was a genius, I was a drudge."

    I applaud you for learning the forms and techniques used to compose great music in the past. You will know what's been proven effective already, and you will "stand on the shoulders of giants" as you create your own works in the future.

    And you will remember this moment and roll your eyes when, after your world premier, your proud Mom introduces you as "My son, the genius!"

  6. #6

    Re: mr. Boring composer

    Quote Originally Posted by reberclark
    It's like sausage. You can really enjoy it on your plate, but you really don't want to see how it is made!
    great metaphor!
    Regards Danial Zainali
    ___
    Reinvent powdered wigs!

  7. #7

    Re: mr. Boring composer

    All wrong.
    Rule 1: Mothers always are right.
    Rule 2: Never critize your mom.

    Next time, you post anything like this, I will tell your mother, for sure.....
    Greetings to her, and she has my support (says an older father, who thinks that children always should listen to their parents.......)

    Raymond - LOL

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Re: mr. Boring composer

    Quote Originally Posted by nikolas
    The whole myth about inspiration and great ideas and huge talents, is exactly that: a myth (99.9% except Mozart maybe). Every composer takes huge amounts of time and hard work to come up with the magnificent results they come up with. Beethoven took months (even years) to finish his big works, Tchaikovsky as well. They had plans, drafts, notes, etc.
    I agree that for most of us it's very hard work, but I have seen on a rare occasion, someone being given the gift of true inspiration, where they were almost taking dictation of what they were seeing/hearing in their mind's eye.

    I've never experienced it, but witnessing it is a special treat.

    JT

  9. #9

    Re: mr. Boring composer

    Someone once said that for most people, music is the thing in this life that gives the greatest impression of "ecstasy and infinity." When someone who is well-disposed hears a very well written song, it affects them in indescribable ways. Because music fills listeners with huge degrees of varied emotions, many of them naturally assume that it was composed that way too.

    I think everyone, musician and non-musician, tends to think this way at least occasionally. I know that when I hear Tchaikovsky's 6th or Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique or some other "highly personal" work with a great story, I tend to forget that those magnificent effects that so tug at the heartstrings were achieved only through a great deal of painstaking and extremely tedious work. Berlioz was scribbling on staff paper when he wrote the horrific climax of "Scene Au Champs," but it's more fun to imagine him doing what the music is meant to depict - stabbing a beautiful actress to death in the middle of a field during a thunderstorm while tripping on opium.

    Of course, there are some musicians who can just bang ferociously on a piano and then remember what they did long enough to write it down (by some accounts, this is how Stravinsky came up with part of Le Sacre Du Printemps), but that's an exception.

    And there are others who compose music in spite of their ignorance of "harmonies and general structures, etc." and nonetheless produce work of value. But that's an extreme exception. Usually such individuals just churn out really dull and idiosyncratic music. Yours truly is a perfect example of this.

    Err.... so to bring it back to the topic of this post, many composers lead rather interesting lives, and their biographical quirks usually find a way into the music somehow... but the process of individual composition will always remain as dull as laying bricks.

    -Chris
    There is the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Therefore there must be a God. You either get this one or you don't - Kreeft & Tacelli
    The will to achieve is not sufficient. Some things should not be achieved. - Rimsky-Korsakov
    Musicians are just these guys that want to make music. Okay, they want to have a wonderful lifestyle, but the majority just want to make really great music. - Jon Anderson


  10. #10

    Re: mr. Boring composer

    Your anecdote is actually the opposite of what I would have expected. It's usually the young composer who wants to immediately produce masterpieces based on emotion and intuition alone. The parent (to the extent that they get involved at all) usually wants them to get a good education and learn the basics.

    Otherwise, I agree with all that has been said. Learn everything you can about how other composers achieved their results. Later, you'll have the skills and experience to do whatever you want.

    re; living with your parents. At 16, you'd be NUTS to be living on your own (if you have a choice). Having your independence is great, but working and paying bills loses its charm real quick.
    "An artist is someone who produces things that people don't need to have, but that he - for some reason - thinks it would be a good idea to give them."

    - Andy Warhol

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