Catapulting into Classical

A headlong leap into music, history, and composing

Commandeered by Music

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I was supposed to be writing this morning about resources for getting started learning about music, but instead I was commandeered by music (queue dramatic music).

I’m sure you’ve gotten tunes stuck in your head, it happens to everyone.  Usually, it’s some really annoying, cheesy song, one phrase over and over.  Sometimes, though, if you’re lucky, the tune is your own.  Which is not to say that it isn’t annoying or cheesy.  But at least it’s yours.  That’s not so bad.

Or is it?  For good or ill, there is no point in doing anything else until I write down the tune that is stuck in my head.  Usually though, these tunes appear at wildly inconvenient times.  Like when everyone has gone to bed, and playing the piano (so I can figure out how it goes and write it down) is not an option.  Or when I’m stuck in traffic.  “Sorry officer, I was writing a triplet and I didn’t see the car in front of me had stopped,” is not a valid option either.  I would never do that, but I have stopped in a parking lot to write down words.

And you can’t just let it go.  It’s like saying, “I don’t need a shopping list, I’ll remember what we need when I get to the store.”  It doesn’t work.  Music seems to evaporate somehow, and I can never quite get it back the way it originally was in my head.  So instead of bread and milk, you end up with capers and orange juice—all useful, but not quite what you had in mind.

And sadly, the music does not emerge fully formed like Athena from the head of Zeus.  I have a simple melody, some chords, and a long path ahead of me, trying to figure out whether it should be for voices, or a piano (or both).  If voices, you have to figure out who sings which notes.  The voices can’t crash into each other (or cross—you have to stay in your lane).  It’s a prolonged process, and sometimes life intervenes.

For now, it’s safely though roughly transcribed and can wait until I return from getting groceries.  Now where is that list?  Oh, never mind, I’ll remember…

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