This is something many beginners misunderstand. This lesson will tell you how music is actually created.
Music is first created inside a composer’s head. The composer hears some music in his head, and then plays it. This is pretty much how every good song is made.
This hear-and-play process is known as improvisation.
Now how do you get to hear music inside your head? One technique involves creating music that represents some event, story, or something else that has the potential to create some emotion within you. Think of something that inspires you. It could be an event in your life, a novel, a movie, or anything. When you’re thinking about the particular thing, try to create some music inside your head.
The music that comes to your head will be representative of the emotion you were experiencing when the music was created. If you were thinking sweet things, you would have come up with sweet sounding music. If you were thinking about war, you would come up with music that would fit the emotion you were filled with when you were thinking about war, perhaps dread.
This is actually why some people say that a song represents a story. Composers build up stories, a series of events, and make up a song, creating musical passages based on each event in turn.
A lot of songs have been written on events that emotionally moved the artist. ‘Tears in Heaven’, a famous song by Eric Clapton was written on the tragic death of his son. Beethoven, a legendary classical musician, wrote his famous symphony ‘Fur Elise’ on a woman he loved.
Apparently, music represents, and comes from, an emotional state (or perhaps mood, or state of mind would be a better description). Music infact has the capability to trigger a state of mind. Therefore, if you are making music over background music (such as a drum beat, or a chord progression) you don’t really need to think up something to trigger a state of mind. Just listen to the piece of music, and search for music within yourself. The music you are listening to will trigger the appropriate state of mind itself.
With the above technique, you will most definitely manage to hear at least something. But you probably won’t be able to play what you hear.
Playing music that you hear isn’t very easy. You learn to play music you hear through a certain process called ear training. To understand ear training, you will need to understand music theory first.
For some reason, a few people assume that learning theory is not very important. This is not true. I often see people on internet forums talking their heads off about theory, and no clue about what ear training is, and others who claim that the hear-and-play method is a great way to compose that doesn’t require a knowledge of theory. Don’t be fooled by such comments. You need both.
Although knowledge of music theory is not absolutely necessary, but a knowledge of the basic theory helps a big fat lot. If you don’t learn it, you will only hurt yourself.
You will learn about training your ear after a few coming lessons.