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Creativity and Composition Archive

The Beatles's song, "You Won't See Me," teaches what is meant by active listening.

The Beatles & active listening; an early lesson from “You Won’t See Me”

The Beatles’s song, “You Won’t See Me,” teaches what is meant by active listening.

Borrowing from literature's hero myth has been a fruitful way for composing since Beethoven's time. Here are some different ways to think about it.

Using literature’s hero myth as a blueprint for music

Bor­row­ing from literature’s hero myth has been a fruit­ful way for com­pos­ing since Beethoven’s time. Here are some dif­fer­ent ways to think about it.

Rob Deemer, a com­poser and con­duc­tor, recently posed this ques­tion on New Music Box, “Why do you com­pose?” That’s a pointed way of ask­ing some ques­tions I’ve con­sid­ered for a...

Why Do You Compose?” a response to Rob Deemer

Rob Deemer, a com­poser and con­duc­tor, recently posed this ques­tion on New Music Box, “Why do you com­pose?” That’s a pointed way of ask­ing some ques­tions I’ve con­sid­ered for a…

Amer­i­can com­poser Lee Hoiby passed away in late March. Since I had pre­vi­ously posted a great quote by him and am a fan of his vocal works, his obit­u­ary in...

Another Lee Hoiby quote

Amer­i­can com­poser Lee Hoiby passed away in late March. Since I had pre­vi­ously posted a great quote by him and am a fan of his vocal works, his obit­u­ary in…

To recap Part 1 of my reac­tions to the film Black Swan, I posed the ques­tion of: …how to rec­tify our train­ing with our wild-card pen­chant for cre­ativ­ity? Artists any­where will...

Black Swan’s composition lesson Part 2

To recap Part 1 of my reac­tions to the film Black Swan, I posed the ques­tion of: …how to rec­tify our train­ing with our wild-card pen­chant for cre­ativ­ity? Artists any­where will…

I recently saw the movie Black Swan, star­ring Natalie Port­man (in the role of a life­time?) and Mila Kunis. It is nom­i­nally about bal­let, and per­haps a bit (or a...

Black Swan’s composition lesson Part 1

I recently saw the movie Black Swan, star­ring Natalie Port­man (in the role of a life­time?) and Mila Kunis. It is nom­i­nally about bal­let, and per­haps a bit (or a…

I love this arti­cle writ­ten by Carl­ton Cuse, one of the show run­ners of my favorite tele­vi­sion show of the last decade, “Lost.” In this arti­cle he faces a cri­sis...

Once “Lost”, How to be Found?

I love this arti­cle writ­ten by Carl­ton Cuse, one of the show run­ners of my favorite tele­vi­sion show of the last decade, “Lost.” In this arti­cle he faces a crisis…

The Kennedy Cen­ter Hon­ors were broad­cast on tv recently. This year the hon­orees were Bill T. Jones, Oprah Win­frey, Jerry Her­man, Merle Hag­gard, and Paul McCart­ney. (Notice that three of...

Renée Fleming wants to rock and roll

The Kennedy Cen­ter Hon­ors were broad­cast on tv recently. This year the hon­orees were Bill T. Jones, Oprah Win­frey, Jerry Her­man, Merle Hag­gard, and Paul McCart­ney. (Notice that three of…

Sometimes, when I start a new piece, within the first few measures or so, I'll stop and ask myself, "What do I want out of this piece?"

First Question

Some­times, when I start a new piece, within the first few mea­sures or so, I’ll stop and ask myself, “What do I want out of this piece?”

...but can you hear? I thought of that as I read the October 14, 2010 issue of...

Sure, you can compose…

…but can you hear? I thought of that as I read the Octo­ber 14, 2010 issue of…

This arti­cle by Joseph Plam­beck is about how retail­ers such as Best Buy are mak­ing up for the loss of CD sales by offer­ing musi­cal instru­ments for sale. As such,...

Children Choose Music

This arti­cle by Joseph Plam­beck is about how retail­ers such as Best Buy are mak­ing up for the loss of CD sales by offer­ing musi­cal instru­ments for sale. As such,…

Can you remember the first time you heard a live performance of a symphony that you love? I recall hearing the Beethoven Ninth for the first time in a live concert. I was in my last year of high school and heard it performed by the Honolulu Symphony. It was...

On Audio Fidelity

Can you remem­ber the first time you heard a live per­for­mance of a sym­phony that you love? I recall hear­ing the Beethoven Ninth for the first time in a live con­cert. I was in my last year of high school and heard it per­formed by the Hon­olulu Sym­phony. It was…

Within iTunes or any audio file, it’s pos­si­ble to tweak the equal­iza­tion of the play­back. This means boost­ing the bass or rais­ing the tre­ble. Every piece will be a lit­tle...

A Quick and Easy Way to Vary your Music

Within iTunes or any audio file, it’s pos­si­ble to tweak the equal­iza­tion of the play­back. This means boost­ing the bass or rais­ing the tre­ble. Every piece will be a little…

Here’s an inter­est­ing quote from a leader of music con­ser­va­to­ries about the state of higher music education: ‚ÄúRight now, when we need musi­cal lead­ers in every com­mu­nity, we are con­cerned...

Who said it‚ and when?

Here’s an inter­est­ing quote from a leader of music con­ser­va­to­ries about the state of higher music edu­ca­tion: ‚ÄúRight now, when we need musi­cal lead­ers in every com­mu­nity, we are concerned…

Have you spent time brows­ing around ASCAP’s web­site? Some inter­est­ing things buried there. For instance, here’s Murphy’s Laws of Song­writ­ing, includ­ing this bit about aim­ing your songs espe­cially to an...

The song as a (gendered) script

Have you spent time brows­ing around ASCAP’s web­site? Some inter­est­ing things buried there. For instance, here’s Murphy’s Laws of Song­writ­ing, includ­ing this bit about aim­ing your songs espe­cially to an…

Here’s some­thing I’ve never thought to do until just now. Head over to Google and search“how to be a com­poser.” That might fill up an afternoon!

How to be a composer

Here’s some­thing I’ve never thought to do until just now. Head over to Google and search“how to be a com­poser.” That might fill up an afternoon!

It’s audi­tion time at music con­ser­va­to­ries yet again. I thought I would share some­thing that hap­pens with a lot of fre­quency, and it’s got me thinking. Some­one will come around...

The CD as music

It’s audi­tion time at music con­ser­va­to­ries yet again. I thought I would share some­thing that hap­pens with a lot of fre­quency, and it’s got me think­ing. Some­one will come around…

An impor­tant arti­cle (link below) by Anthony Tom­masini in the 14 Feb 2010 New York Times asserts that for both com­posers and per­form­ers, the old “dogma” has been dis­carded and...

When Anything Goes, What Has Merit?

An impor­tant arti­cle (link below) by Anthony Tom­masini in the 14 Feb 2010 New York Times asserts that for both com­posers and per­form­ers, the old “dogma” has been dis­carded and…

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