View Poll Results: What Drives Creativity In Compositions?

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  • Mostly religion

    2 6.67%
  • Mostly to evolve music

    3 10.00%
  • Mostly to impress large audiences

    3 10.00%
  • Mostly financial

    3 10.00%
  • Mostly academic

    2 6.67%
  • Mostly by the composer's ego

    13 43.33%
  • Mostly for his legacy after he dies

    3 10.00%
  • I don't know

    4 13.33%
  • I hate ArtMusic's polls

    10 33.33%
  • Who cares, just as long as I enjoy or hate the music

    3 10.00%
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Thread: What Drives Creativity In Compositions?

  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeh375 View Post
    Anything commercial about a deadline does not necessarily equate to cheapening the quality of a work. Bach had to hit deadlines, so did any composer of Opera or any composer ever commissioned. A deadline is better than lounging around in a silk dressing gown, lolling around with hand on forehead in a scented room awaiting the muse. It only sounds lame perhaps to a layperson, most pros will understand what a boon (and admittedly perhaps a terrifying ride), a deadline of any sort can be.
    Most will also understand that simply just waiting for a tune to pop into one's head is time wasted.
    You need to appreciate the difference in history. Bach was employed by his masters and churches to produce music; vast amounts of music, and his creativity was ever so strong to write church cantatas every Sunday for service. Baroque composers were ever so prolific in part because that was their job, "when next week comes, we want a new composition" almost like a factory churning out goods. Times are now different. Today, composers are approached by commission to write something. John Corigliano, currently 83 years old, has about one hundred compositions to his name, averaging out one or two compositions per year assuming he started writing at age about 20. All the time in the world, yet so little output?

  2. #92
    Senior Member mikeh375's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtMusic View Post
    You need to appreciate the difference in history. Bach was employed by his masters and churches to produce music; vast amounts of music, and his creativity was ever so strong to write church cantatas every Sunday for service. Baroque composers were ever so prolific in part because that was their job, "when next week comes, we want a new composition" almost like a factory churning out goods. Times are now different. Today, composers are approached by commission to write something. John Corigliano, currently 83 years old, has about one hundred compositions to his name, averaging out one or two compositions per year assuming he started writing at age about 20. All the time in the world, yet so little output?
    Comparing circumstance and output is pointless and means nothing.
    Last edited by mikeh375; Apr-19-2021 at 12:06.
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  4. #93
    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeh375 View Post
    Anything commercial about a deadline does not necessarily equate to cheapening the quality of a work. Bach had to hit deadlines, so did any composer of Opera or any composer ever commissioned. A deadline is better than lounging around in a silk dressing gown, lolling around with hand on forehead in a scented room awaiting the muse. It only sounds lame perhaps to a layperson, most pros will understand what a boon (and admittedly perhaps a terrifying ride), a deadline of any sort can be.
    Most will also understand that simply just waiting for a tune to pop into one's head is time wasted.
    Not only are deadlines beneficial and sometimes crucial, discipline about working habits is even more important. It was once explained to me that sitting idle while waiting for an idea allows the "machinery to rust."

    Any artist or composer, writer, etc. needs to have a daily routine where they confront the empty page/canvas. Even if you only write one sentence or four bar phrase it is important to work everyday, to force yourself to spend significant time to this craft. Then on the day when you do receive a good idea, you're "in shape" with your skills honed to a fine edge and are better capable to get the most out of the idea.

    Just like performers practice daily, so too creators need to work a few hours everyday.

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  6. #94
    Senior Member norman bates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtMusic View Post
    You need to appreciate the difference in history. Bach was employed by his masters and churches to produce music; vast amounts of music, and his creativity was ever so strong to write church cantatas every Sunday for service. Baroque composers were ever so prolific in part because that was their job, "when next week comes, we want a new composition" almost like a factory churning out goods. Times are now different. Today, composers are approached by commission to write something. John Corigliano, currently 83 years old, has about one hundred compositions to his name, averaging out one or two compositions per year assuming he started writing at age about 20. All the time in the world, yet so little output?
    personally I don't judge composers by quantity of works produced. Actually, considering the amount of music available for a listener that is absolutely impossible to listen in a lifetime, I think it would be better (for the perspective of a listener) if they would produce few important works instead of a endless amount of music.
    What time is the next swan?

  7. #95
    Senior Member fluteman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neofite View Post
    Was tonality really 'virtually exhausted,' or was he just not capable of writing great tonal music?
    Each is entitled to his own opinion, but to me it's pretty obvious that both of those are untrue.

    Quote Originally Posted by ArtMusic View Post
    I don't doubt it can be but it just sounds lame; of all things to drive the composer's "psychological and creative spur", it's a commercial deadline.
    Ravel's Introduction and Allegro was written in the shadow of a looming deadline, as it had to be finished before he left on a cruise; Rossini, one of the most notorious procrastinators, had to hand manuscript pages of his operas out the window as he wrote them so they could be copied and distributed for rehearsal. After his biggest hit, William Tell, he promptly retired, and only wrote the occasional small piece after that.
    Last edited by fluteman; Apr-19-2021 at 15:12.

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  9. #96
    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtMusic View Post
    With Bach, his religion certainly drove his creativity. He believed music is there to glorify God in every note.
    I had to select "I hate ArtMusic's polls" because I'm really starting to. Why do you think Bach or the other composers you mention needed something special to "drive" their creativity? Did it not occur to you that the sheer joy of creating beautiful art might be a main motivation for most composers? Apparently not, since you left this most obvious choice out of your list.
    Last edited by EdwardBast; Apr-19-2021 at 17:07.

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  11. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardBast View Post
    I had to select "I hate ArtMusic's polls" because I'm really starting to. Why do you think Bach or the other composers you mention needed something special to "drive" their creativity? Did it not occur to you that the sheer joy of creating beautiful art might be a main motivation for most composers? Apparently not, since you left this most obvious choice out of your list.
    It is no novel insight on my part, and probably an understatement, to say that that to excel at nearly any job, it helps to love doing what you're doing.

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  13. #98
    Senior Member arpeggio's Avatar
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    For most mortals classical music is hard work.

    Even as a performer one has to force himself into the practice room. I only know of a handful of musicians who enjoy locking themselves in a room and spending hours practicing scales.

    It takes years of practicing just to get good enough to play in an amateur group.

    The payoff is playing a great concert or a composer hearing one of their works premiered.

    The journey is a lot of blood, sweat and tears.
    It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious. And I am a very ingenious fellow

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  15. #99
    Senior Member arpeggio's Avatar
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    The inspiration for many composers can be very mundane.

    This reminds me of an old Beethoven joke.

    Beethoven was in his studio trying to compose. He had hit a wall and could not think of anything for the symphony he was trying to write.

    His cleaning lady entered his to studio to tidy up. When she saw she was interrupting his work she apologized and said she would come back later.

    Beethoven told her to go ahead and tidy up. He had hit a composer's block and could not think of how to start his new symphony. Maybe her presence might inspire him.

    She responded, "Me? Inspire the great Beethoven? You have got to be kidding. Ha, Ha, Ha, Haaaa."
    It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious. And I am a very ingenious fellow

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  17. #100
    Senior Member fluteman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arpeggio View Post
    For most mortals classical music is hard work.

    Even as a performer one has to force himself into the practice room. I only know of a handful of musicians who enjoy locking themselves in a room and spending hours practicing scales.

    It takes years of practicing just to get good enough to play in an amateur group.

    The payoff is playing a great concert or a composer hearing one of their works premiered.

    The journey is a lot of blood, sweat and tears.
    Yes. Even just playing an instrument on the highest professional level is a hard, full time, lifetime job. Talented musicians who mainly are composers, conductors, teachers, administrators, academics, or instrument makers (not all makers are expert in playing the instruments they make, but many are), almost never play on quite the same level as full time players, though many aren't too far off, and no doubt would play on that level if they worked on it full time.

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  19. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeh375 View Post
    Comparing circumstance and output is pointless and means nothing.
    Sorry, I thought you compared Bach's hitting of compositional deadlines earlier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardBast View Post
    I had to select "I hate ArtMusic's polls" because I'm really starting to. Why do you think Bach or the other composers you mention needed something special to "drive" their creativity? Did it not occur to you that the sheer joy of creating beautiful art might be a main motivation for most composers? Apparently not, since you left this most obvious choice out of your list.
    Thanks, sheer joy is also the reason why I listen to music, eat my favorite foods, hang out with friends in real life, come here to TC to discuss with fellow members, watch Star Wars, choose my girlfriend, take Mom to see old masters paintings, walk in the park and so forth.
    Last edited by ArtMusic; Apr-19-2021 at 20:51.

  21. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by norman bates View Post
    personally I don't judge composers by quantity of works produced. Actually, considering the amount of music available for a listener that is absolutely impossible to listen in a lifetime, I think it would be better (for the perspective of a listener) if they would produce few important works instead of a endless amount of music.
    No, it's quality not quantity as they say. My post was in reference to hitting commission deadlines made earlier, that imposing a commission deadline helps with that creative spur.

  22. #104
    Senior Member mikeh375's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtMusic View Post
    Sorry, I thought you compared Bach's hitting of compositional deadlines earlier.
    I didn't compare two composers to justify the detriment of one of them which is what you did in post91 hence my post 92. Comparing the outputs of Bach and Corigliano means nothing. My mention of Bach was due to your skepticism about commissioned work.
    Last edited by mikeh375; Apr-20-2021 at 11:48.
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  24. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeh375 View Post
    I didn't compare one composer to justify the detriment of another which is what you did in post91 hence my post 92. Comparing the outputs of Bach and Corigliano means nothing.
    Quote Originally Posted by mikeh375 View Post
    Anything commercial about a deadline does not necessarily equate to cheapening the quality of a work. Bach had to hit deadlines, so did any composer of Opera or any composer ever commissioned. A deadline is better than lounging around in a silk dressing gown, lolling around with hand on forehead in a scented room awaiting the muse. It only sounds lame perhaps to a layperson, most pros will understand what a boon (and admittedly perhaps a terrifying ride), a deadline of any sort can be.
    Most will also understand that simply just waiting for a tune to pop into one's head is time wasted.
    Please see the bold font above. You made a general comment about Bach and any composer ever commissioned.

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