Share this Page URL

Chapter 3. Finding and developing ideas - Pg. 76

76 Chapter 3. Finding and developing ideas So far we have talked about and sequenced other people's music ­ well mine actually, apart from the classical stuff ­ and I'm sure you are itching to put some of the topics covered into practice by composing music of your own. Before you can start doing this, you will need ideas. No doubt some of you will have dozens of ideas already. Many people though, find it difficult to be inventive and will either stare blankly at the screen or doodle for hours with nothing to show for it at the end. `I can't think of anything,' they say. The old saying, `Composing is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent hard work,' is exactly right. Beethoven for example ­ a creative genius if ever there was one ­ would tortuously rework a fragment of melody over and over until he considered it perfect. From that one tiny idea a symphony would develop. One percent eureka, ninety-nine percent hard work. So it is for the rest of us in most cases. Finding new ideas So how do we get ideas for compositions in the first place? Can we use Logic? Will Logic give us ideas? Well it might. It's not my favorite way to start but it undoubtedly works for some. If you are constructing loop based techno or dance music, then using sample CDs with prerecorded material is the obvious way to go. However, this will not work very well if you've been given a specific brief for a commercial project and you are being paid for it. Other people's licks are not guaranteed to fit the bill. Even if the style of music requires loops and grooves it may well be quicker to invent and record your own. The result is going to be far more original for a start. At the computer? A tentative yes. Keep control. A computer running Logic is a very powerful tool ­ and a tool is all that it is. It will not, as some mistakenly believe, compose or arrange your music for you. Does a carpenter tell his tools to build him a beautiful piece of furniture, sit back, open a six pack and watch? He'd have a long wait. There are special random generator programs available that will turn small ideas into complete compositions of a sort. These are great for experimental music, but I'm sure even the authors of such software would be the first to admit that they are not intended for producing commercial music. You could import MIDI files into Logic, chop up the material and reuse it for your own compositions. Not really a good idea though. You could end up in court for breach of copyright! What about importing classical music MIDI files, chopping those up and reworking them? After all, the composers are mostly long dead and the tunes are out of copyright. Well you can I suppose ­ I can think of one wellknown composer who does just that or something similar ­ but it will not help much if you've been asked to supply a heavy metal background to a motor racing video clip! No, I'm sorry. Ideas are what we need and where is the best place to get them?