In an article about music composition, it's reasonable to go back to the word, the phrase, the overarching topic at hand...and to look at what the components of that phrase mean.
In the phrase "music composition," we have "music," as an entity to be examined, and we have "composition."
What is music, then?
What is composition?
What is the composition of music, and thereby, what is "music composition?"
...uhh...you make music. Dumb questions, some might assert. Yeah, I see where you're coming from...seems that way, don't it? Let's go a little further and see what happens.
Here's something from the Wikipedia:
Defining music is as difficult as defining art or any other subjective phenomenon. It is a problem that has been tackled at various times by philosophers, lexicographers, composers, teachers, semioticians or semiologists, linguists and other scientists, students, and various other musicians.
Why on earth would defining music be difficult?
Because what one perceives a music, another may perceive as something else. Meaning, that music, by its very nature, is a subjective experience...all the way to the core of its definition.
Let's get at the liberation behind the concept of recognizing music as not only a subjective experience, but as a subjective definition. It means, you get to define what is and isn't music for you. You get to define your own preferences, your own opinions, your perceptions, your evaluation of quality.
What would happen to radio stations around the globe, if everyone recognized the subjective nature of music? I mean everyone...even those in charge of the stations...not just the listeners.
Sure, many say...well, there is an incredible diversity of music available, an incredible selection...I mean you can hear anything you want. On the radio? Really? On the Internet...we're getting there...but on the radio?
Let's get to personal benefit.
So, you can define music for yourself. You can define all aspects of what you see...umm...hear, as "music."
Want to yell at the top of your lungs and release some kind of primal "energy?" Want to record that and call it music? Well, you can. Want to just do it for yourself, not record it, and make music in your own way...for yourself. You can do that too.
Want to perform your music, sell it, give it away...it's all a part of your definition.
When and how does your definition become the part of the experience of others?
Other definitions come in. The definition of success, completion, and aesthetics are important ones...yet all are guided by you. Where there is resistance to your definition, there is always something for you to find...before your definition can take effect not only for yourself, but for others as well.
If you say: "music is what's on the radio, and that's what I want to make, and I want to be rich," you are layering a lot of agreements in order for your "goal" to become reality. Maybe "others" aren't ready to agree to your definition, and maybe you are thrusting it upon them...just as so called "main-stream" radio programmers are thrusting their definitions of music on a mass audience now fleeing to the Internet for relief.
So, I suggest "peeling the layers," and sticking with the definition of music for a while...and allowing the resulting freedom to liberate you...to liberate you and open you to the next step in the phrase "music composition," namely, composition.
"A music composition" is different from "music composition."
"music composition" describes a process.
...I'll continue this article later...hope you enjoy it!
Dainis W. Michel
March 28, 2006