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Repeat stuff

In the last few posts, I defined some relationships for a simple musical entity. Now what?


This is the question every composer asks after the initial idea presents itself. What do Ido with what I’ve got? We answered that question in the last post by adding articulation, dynamics, and instrumentation. But how do we make it longer?



Play it. Play it again. Play it one more time, but change it a bit. This technique has been around for quite awhile. The trick lies in how you make things repeat.


Make a list of how to do that. Here’s a start.


When you repeat an idea:


  1. Play it exactly
  2. Change one note
  3. Add one note
  4. Subtract one note
  5. Numbers 3 and 4 using two notes instead of one
  6. Change dynamics
  7. Change anything else
  8. Change one note while adding or subtracting one note
  9. Think of other combinations
  10. Think of completely different ideas

There’s so many things you could do. Don’t censor yourself as you generate ideas; change stuff after you’ve tried it.


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