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What Drives Creativity In Compositions?

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Discussion Starter · #101 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #102 · (Edited)
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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #103 ·
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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #105 ·
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.
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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Discussion Starter · #106 ·
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.
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 made a general comment about Bach and any composer ever commissioned. So I was adding an example to that.
 

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You made a general comment about Bach and any composer ever commissioned. So I was adding an example to that.
The general comment was in response to your disparaging remarks about commissioning and its effect on creativity is all. Like I say, (again), comparing the output of Bach and Corigliano in a way that questions Corigliano is fatuous.
 

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Music drives new music. There are a number of ways. Improvising obviously is one. A second way starts with hearing tones in the head, called audiation. (Let us distinguish between sound and tones because tones heard in the head don't necessarily come with a specific timbre.) Beethoven called himself a "tone-artist" (Tonkünstler), not a composer. The tone-artist may experience "radio head," that is music "playing" in the head all the time. That can become a basis for composing if the composer can reproduce the tones by playing or notating; it helps if the composer has absolute pitch or good relative pitch. Within the "radio stream," sometimes something striking or attractive or distinctive occurs, worth recording or jotting down, potentially the basic idea or important pattern in a composition. Through talent, training, and experience Richard Strauss was able to audiate highly complex contrapuntal and harmonic patterns -- his music demonstrates this. The danger of audiation (or improvising) is that the composer may simply reproduce something previously heard. However, if the composer is constantly "practising creativity" by working little musical exercises or ideas in certain styles (as Verdi did), the facility gained will reduce the likelihood of repeating other music.

A third way is more sound based, with the composer drawing on sounds heard or made, sometimes using music technology. I compose with the first two ways but not this way, although I have the relevant training and experience. It is best to hear from composers or others close to them as to how they compose. I know this poll is directed to the extra-musical factors which may "drive creativity" in the sense of steering composition towards a particular purpose or function. But that is secondary and of little worth if the main creative process of working with tones or sounds (also words, actions, or dance) does not produce excellent results.
"Radio head" and "Audiation" corrections:

From additional checking after the above post #34, may I correct or clarify "radio head" and "audiation." "Radio head" is an informal expression I started to use based on my experience of a mental music stream, which is often "background" music like what comes from an electronic keyboard with automated accompaniments. It may include also melodies and harmonies that are more interesting; those ideas are what's relevant for composing. (The highly respected British group Radiohead got their name from the song "Radio Head" by The Talking Heads. In that song a man says his "radio head" receives amorous non-verbal communication from a woman. I don't know what "radio head" means for the group Radiohead.)

Audiation means a lot more than "hearing music in your head," although it includes that. The term "Audiation" was coined by the influential American music educator, theorist, and researcher Ed Gordon in 1975 (See "Audiation" on Wikipedia.) It refers to the comprehension and internal realization of music.
 

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Discussion Starter · #109 ·
The general comment was in response to your disparaging remarks about commissioning and its effect on creativity is all. Like I say, (again), comparing the output of Bach and Corigliano in a way that questions Corigliano is fatuous.
Let me clarify so to avoid confusion. Bach was an employer who was paid a (rather low) salary to churn out enormous amounts of music during his life, especially at Leipzig for over 20 years. He had deadlines. But he also had enormous creativity. (He was also a father of a young and large family). Corigliano to day has written about 100 works and is currently aged 83. I have done an extensive read on Corigliano (first mentioned by member arpeggio, not me). His deadlines are of a different nature, not to churn out regular and enormous amounts of music but mostly by contemporary commission to create art as he pleases and or within some requirements of the commission. Writing much less music than Bach, with complete freedom within the confines of the commission are two different ways to approach deadlines. You suggested earlier that a deadline could generate a spur of creativity. I do not doubt this (having submitted works to class "under pressure" myself) but I do not see this as an ideal way of composing good art.
 
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