Monday, July 27, 2009

Blog Index — Organized by Topic (® 2009-Jul)

Below is an index of most of the 2008-09 blogs posted (and is an update to an earlier blog index). I omitted entries that I didn't think would be very interesting or relevant, mostly because they contained composition class business, such as reminders of deadlines, concert congratulations, order of class presentation, etc.

Feel free to browse these — you may find some that give you ideas about composition techniques, or that contain useful things to think about when composing. They are loosely organized by topic.

Originality and Art
Is Originality a Detriment in Art?
How Important is Originality in Art?
Originality — Does it have Any Role in Art?
Kandinsky's Theories on Art
Kandinsky's Theories (1)
Kandinsky's Theories (2)
Kandinsky's Theories (3)

Random Musings on Composition
Express yourself?
Creative Angst... Welcome to the club!
Running into a Brick Wall
Why Atonal Music?
Atonal — Even the Word Sounds Unpleasant!
Atonality = Noise?
Writing a Play; an Analogy to Composition
Keep? Discard?
Notation Software Woes

Thematic Growth
Thematic Growth (1)
Thematic Growth (2; Simon's Guest Blog)
Thematic Growth (3)
Nuts and Bolts; Musical Details, etc.
On musical detail (1)
On musical detail (2)
On musical detail (3)
Group Composition Lessons; Pros and Cons
Class Blog and Student Blogs Explained
New Year, New Blogs!
Adding Multiple Ossia Bars in Finale

Composition Projects
Project 1 - Atonal Theme and Variations
Project 1 - More Details
Project 2: Using Musical Clichés in Creating Art Music
Project 2: Using a musical style or gesture as a point of departure
Project 2: Recontextualizing and atonality
Project 3: Fun With Scales and Modes
Project 4: Composition for Wind Band

Newfound Music Festivals
Newfound Music Festival 2009 - Thursday Daytime Events
Festival Feedback, Please

Composition Issues (9-part series)

1. Originality and Quality of Initial Musical Ideas
1.1. The quality of ideas may not matter very much in determining the quality of the complete composition that emerges from them; and
1.2. The degree to which these ideas are original may not matter very much.

2. How do you Develop Compositional Craft?
2.1. Study the music of others.
2.2. Compose as much as you can.
2.3. Invite criticism from others.

3.1. Live with it for a while.
3.2. What's it about?
3.3. Does it change character?
3.4. What is its function within the context of the piece?
3.5. Structural Analysis.
3.6. Harmonic (or Pitch, Scale, etc.) Analysis.

7.1. Less is more, vs. More is more.
7.2. Always leave them wanting more, vs. Give them what they want.
7.3. Don't treat the listener like an idiot, vs. There's a sucker born every minute.
7.4. There can be 'too much of a good thing,' vs. If you have a good idea, then stick with it!
7.5. The George Costanza approach.

8.1. The three models for composers' roles.
8.2. Mastery or Mystery?
8.3. The value of a plan.
8.4. Getting stuck, and possible workarounds.
8.5. Don't obsess!
8.6. Challenges = Opportunities for inspired solutions!

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