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Topic: Writing your music.

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Question Writing your music.

    How long does it typically take you to write your music? Are you one of those that can rip off a tune in just a few minutes or one that needs to take days, weeks, months to complete a piece?
    I guess I'm looking for a little comfort here as I have been working on a symphony for a month now. I have gone so far and now in a holding pattern for something new and exciting to add for the past two weeks. Once I have completed my work I will be submitting to a exceptional local orchestra for live performance.
    Well, thought I would inquire out of curiosity.
    Styxx

  2. #2

    Re: Writing your music.

    take your time, styxx
    a symphony, geez, that can take years if you want it to. I'm working on a big orchestra piece too, and i only have two months left to finish (contest deadline), and that's not nearly enough. i wish i could have started it 8 months ago, then i think i'd be in fine shape. and I write fast! i usually think and stress about the thing for about 70% of the time and then spend the last 30% on actual writing. now at least i'm in the final 30% of the time. If it weren't for deadlines, though, I'm sure I would never finish anything.
    good luck styxx and happy writing.

    greg

  3. #3

    Re: Writing your music.

    Well, the "Symphony in C" I posted here actually got its start 15 years ago as my first attempt at a symphony, so the thematic material was "pre-existing". However, the form it is in now is basically a completely new work. And that work took from late august through early december of 2005, working around 12-14 hours per day, 5-6 days a week.

    In that time, the music got composed, the score got cleaned up, the GPO realization got done (which was a breeze really with Finale.. I just said "here, Finale, play it").

    The only thing that isn't done is the individual parts... <shiver>
    I oh so dread doing the individual parts....

  4. #4

    Re: Writing your music.

    A good question... I often wondered this myself of those on this forum.

    .. takes me Forever to compose anything!..... But then I'm incapable of thinking musically, so I have to expect this.

    Don't feel bad...

    As the saying goes: If it were easy.. everyone would be doing it.

    ~Jeff

  5. #5

    Re: Writing your music.

    Sometimes it takes me forever... other times music can just roll out of my mind in a few hours... I don't know why. In the end, however, I am left with many more unfinished pieces than finished ones.
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Smile Re: Writing your music.

    Styxx:

    The replies thus far certainly address the fact that a large piece can take considerable time to finish.


    When I run into a block (which certainly happens) I get in the car and drive - seems to eliminate distraction and allow me to relax or something. Sometimes the music starts to flow then. I can sit and think for hours with no preogress then drive somewhere and problemns get solved somehow. I'm sure everyone has their own way of dealing with these situations.

    David M.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Re: Writing your music.

    Depends on how much time I have. With three kids in school I don't have a lot of free time so I have to squeeze my composing time in whenever the kids aren't on the computer IMing their friends or doing their homework. Also depends on what type of song I'm writing. Those marches I've been posting the past week were initially written 3 years ago but never finished till now. Of course, I'm never satisfied with my work so all my music is a work-in-progress and could take the rest of my lifetime to complete. So don't get down on yourself too much. Like the old saying goes "We will play no song before it's time".

    Pass the wine please.
    Writing music for the joy of it. (with Windows 7 64bit, Intel i7 processor, 12GB memory, LOTS of disk space, Finale 2014, Garritan GPO, JABB3, COMB, Steinway, World Instruments, & Soundiron Olympus Micro Choir. And if I ever figure out how to use Sonar X2...the sky's the limit)

  8. #8
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: Writing your music.

    Cool, all nice constructive and helpful replies. There is no time limit since the orchestra tells me I can submit when ready. It is nice to have Finale 6 and Overture 4 working as well on my ideas. For the first time I am able to see and hear the material before deciding blindly on the writing. I have a weird way of writing. First I start off with the initial theme in Cubase SE and then I write the part(s) out on manuscript disregarding the rules. However, now that I have the two notational programs my manuscript goes untouched. After, I check my work over and over again till it musically sounds logical. The best part of all is having GPO, GOS lite (less filling sounds great) JABB and SSV (although I am having quite the time using SSV due to K 2 problems).
    I am delighted to have shared this with all of you and looking forward to additional
    I have to admit the very idea of a live orchestra performing one of my works makes me way too eager!
    Styxx

  9. #9

    Re: Writing your music.

    I write really quickly and really slowly at the same time. I know this doesn't make sense.

    It generally takes me a long time to finish a piece. Sometimes months, sometimes years. But this isn't because I compose slowly, it's because I compose infrequently. Or rather, because I jump from project to project.

    I tend to compose in spurts. So a piece that takes me a year to finish might have actually only taken 24 hours to write. 6 hours one night in January, 12 hours spread out over an intense weekend in March, 2 hours one afternoon in June when I came up with an idea for a new section, 4 hours in December when I wanted to experiment with a new keyboard, etc.

    chris.

  10. #10

    Re: Writing your music.

    It depends on the piece for me. It's varied on mostly everything I've done, but I seem to be getting faster as I learn more and more about music and how I personally relate to.

    For my latest "opus" quality work, it took about 2 months to create an 11-minute chamber piece for four players.

    At the same time, about 3 months working off and on to compose a 3-movement harp suite at 3-4 mins per movement.

    Prior to that, it took me about 1 month to write a 5-minute string quartet movement.

    On the other hand, for a 6 minute digital piece using samples such as Corrigan's Wail, it took me about 2 days of composing, and 2 days of sequencing/mixing/mastering.

    For an 8 minute through-composed film score using all samples, it took about 5 days total of composing/sequencing/mixing/mastering.

    So basically, quick if it's digital, long if it's going to be interpreted by other players and performed live.

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