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5 Big Misconceptions About Composing Music

Proper composing requires hard work, time, and commitment. Nonetheless, it is broadly misinterpreted by even the most talented musicians. Thus, today we wanted to share a great post that shines some light on what it really means (or doesn’t mean) to compose music.

May 13th, 2019

Misconception #1: You must know how to read and notate music for composing.

Sure, it helps to know the language. However, many famous songwriters such as Eddie Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix, and The Arctic Monkeys claim to not know music theory. You just need a keen ear, impeccable concentration, and good taste.

Misconception #2: You must be a masterful instrumentalist.

You shouldn’t discount the ability to play an instrument, but you don’t have to be a prodigy. It is far more critical to understand how an instrument relates to others. Again, many famous composers like Elliot Carter claim that they did not master an instrument.

Misconception #3: You will never make enough money.

Every job that requires practice or a specific skill to gain success suffers from this ideology: pro sports, acting, teaching… But this is just a silly thing to assume.

Misconception #4: All compositions are of the same monetary value.

Some jobs are quick and may only take a few hours and a computer to get them done. Others may require weeks and several outside resources. Thus, it all depends on the piece(s) you are working on and the amount of time you put into them.

Misconception #5: All popular music is diatonic and in 4/4.

This is perhaps harder to understand if you have little (or no) experience composing. However, it is one of the most harmful misconceptions of all! Experience shows that it is, in fact, the occasional non-diatonic colors that make Pop songs so tasty.
We are not suggesting that in consequence, everyone should go out and write a micro-tonal piece or create their tuning system. But, one or two borrowed chords or a seamless key change may be what a song needs to stand out.

This article is a re-post, with small modifications, of “5 Big Misconceptions About Composing Music” an article published on soundbridge.io

Click here to visit the original content.



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Mikey, age 12

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Both of my children love their music lessons with Marcos. They look forward to their music lessons each week and come home eager to practice their new pieces. I especially love that he teaches them to compose their own pieces and inspires their musical creativity. Marcos is always positive and encouraging with my children, and he has a knack for bringing out their best. I highly recommend 123 Rock to anyone looking for a music teacher!

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