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Writing Music

After watching Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, I realized that I want to write vocal counterpoint. For whatever reason polyphonic vocals excite me more than just about anything, and is I think the main reason I’m falling more and more in love with renaissance madrigals and medieval motets. Hearing the first song in the second act (I’ve read it’s called “Misery and Harmony”) reminded me just how much vocal counterpoint moves me, and how much I want to hear it with the power of modern chords and words. And if I want something done to my taste, well, I probably ought to just do it myself. Of course before I can write anything of value I have to, like, practice, and that’s what this category–music writing–is for. In it I’m going to chronicle in every loving detail my journey into music composition.

I’ve always thought of writing music as being a kind of mystical thing. You hear melodies in your head, you write them down, do a little bit of polishing, and “Voila!” a Masterpiece! The sort of thing only composers are meant to do. Needless to say I never felt quite qualified to do it, and this series is meant to combat that mentality.

My hope is that by writing out my experience of learning to compose music I might inspire you to try your hand at it too. That the messy humanness of writing music makes it a bit more accessible. That initial failure is not a reason to give up. I’ve heard that there was once a time where music students were expected to compose music in the same way that kids learning to read are also expected to write. I’d be very happy if this .was the state of things again, and I’d like to think that this blog could be a force in that direction. And if nothing else, it should be interesting.

So, I’ll probably post about writing music every one to two weeks. Maybe more, probably not less. The first post will be on Friday about my first attempt. Should be fun!

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