Make Better Music 1: Why Do You Write Music?

make better music. Trebuchet magazine
make better music. Trebuchet magazine

It’s a question that most of us avoid. I’m not sure how to answer it, it seems there’s lot of different answers depending on which part of my brain is responding.

The intellectual bit would say (rather aloofly): “Because I have new ideas that deserve to be part of music history, to a greater or lesser extent”

The anxious part of me would say (with shaking voice): ” Because I feel more free communicating through music than words…it’s where I can be myself”

The wannabe rock star part of me would snarl: “To impress girls…actually, to impress everyone and get rich and famous and all that stuff”The self-reflective part of me would say: “What I write isn’t important, it’s just ego-wallowing really”

The realistic part of me would say (glumly) : “There’s millions of people who can do what I do, I won’t make it, I won’t get paid, I won’t even enjoy trying to be successful…I’m not even sure I want to be successful…”

And so on. I don’t know why I write music, especially considering the adverse conditions that I make it in.

I do know, however, that making music always represents hope and it represents continuation of existence, if not personally then at least species-wise. At it’s core it is a message to all who come after. Like hieroglyphs on an ancient Egyptian tablet, the message may not be understood exactly in the countless years to come, but the fact that there is message screams these words: ” I was here, I was alive, and I did this”.

I was here, I was alive, and I did this

Write music because one day you won’t be around to write it anymore. Today you can create a message that resonates through time forever.

Do not squander that opportunity. Think of the person who carved the hieroglyphs…they finished work and went home to their family, probably complaining about work and the boss. But the message traveled 3000 years to an unimaginable future…the message survived while nothing of the maker remains.

Write music because one day you won’t be around to write it anymore. Today you can create a message that resonates through time forever!

About Dave.
David Learnt composition (harmony, counterpoint and orchestration) to degree level through studying Schoenbergs Fundamentals of Musical Composition. He is a founder member of avant pop duo Cnut, and orchestral doombience outfit Regolith.

Make Better Music is updated every Tuesday.

Image: Francesco Marino / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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About Dave Graham 70 Articles
David Learnt composition (harmony, counterpoint and orchestration) to degree level through studying Schoenbergs Fundamentals of Musical Composition, the classic text on twentieth century harmony by Vincent Persichetti, Henry Mancini's Sounds and Scores, Rimsky-Korsakov's excellent books on orchestration as well as studying any scores that intrigued me. He is a founder member of two bands, avant pop duo Cnut, and orchestral doombience outfit Regolith, and have performed across Europe with them.

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