Composing: When people talk about the art of knowing how to compose, the great classical composers of the past often come to mind.
When you hear modern creators of music, but especially of songs, you hear very little use of the term, composition (composing), it is much easier to hear: write a song, write music.
Let’s say that these two concepts in themselves, are not so wrong, in fact when we talk about songs, often with the phrase: write a song, you think of the lyrics of the song, or if you hear: write music, you can think of the fact of writing the notes.
While these idioms are also operationally correct, I must tell you the truth, I have never agreed with the use of these terminologies.
The reason lies in the fact that I have found them ever so much reductive, and in my experience, they do not represent incomplete form, what is the true art of composing, which is something much, much broader.
I wanted to start with this premise because when talking about composition, I noticed that many people link this term, mainly to the composers of the past.
Today it seems that, in people’s minds, the composer does not exist anymore, and that there are singers (who often do not even make the music of their songs, but more likely the lyrics), songwriters, who however often are not yet composers, or the term “artist”, which defines everything and nothing at the same time.
This is a pity because actually still today there are composers, and you should know that in most cases, those who still make the most successful music/songs, are the composers, who many times are not performers and therefore it is someone else (for example the singer), who will be known by people.
Unfortunately, the composer is often almost forgotten, but without this figure, there would be no new or different music, because all the other figures, not having the skills to do so, at most can reuse existing songs and try to re-propose them modified, in various ways, even with the help of other technicians, such as the arranger, who can also be a composer in some cases.
Then there are artists who try to do it on their own without having these skills, but we often see somewhat strange results, and in the history of music, almost never do these artists manage to have a long career unless we have professional composers and arrangers behind us.
With this, I don’t want to say that there are not singers or songwriters who are also composers, among the best artists we find this nice mix of skills. But often and in many cases this does not happen.
It is not my intention now, and it does not concern the subject of the article, to give an “evaluation” on the quality of today’s music, because after all that is liked, is liked, and is son of the time in which we live.
But what I wanted to emphasize right away is that it is sure and without a shadow of a doubt, to compose music you need to know how to do it, and all this can be learned only by studying and experimenting, even a lot.
That said, and after clarifying that the composer is still today a very important figure, indeed fundamental to the world of music, let’s see a bit ‘when you can start composing, if there are limits, or if there are some basic characteristics that you should have to start composing.
Let’s say that from the purely human side, intended as a capacity, there is no limit, there are no particular “talents” to have, except the desire to want to do it, and the more we have, the better we can do.
So definitely, and like anything, wanting, having pleasure, having passion, etc., are a great start for those who want to compose as well.
If we have these “characteristics,” we are already at a great starting point.
But when can you start composing?
The when is not intended in this case with a temporal concept, as there is not even a more suitable age, any age is fine, let’s just say that the sooner you start, like everything, the more time you will have to carry out what we would like to do!
The when is to be understood in this sense: when it will be possible to start composing, after having learned (studied) music
At this point, you may be thinking that in order to start composing, you will need to do a lot of musical studies, from theoretical to practical, and maybe even know how to play many instruments.
Perhaps this is what most people, even musicians themselves, think. Perhaps it is also what is still thought today by professionals in the field, and even by the most classical conservatories, which, however, often still reason in very old ways
But now I’m going to reveal something that I think will make you happy.
In reality, in my more than 20 years of experience in the field of composition, I realized that it is possible to start learning composition, almost from the first day of studying music!
Yes, you have to study music, it would not be possible to be a composer without starting to study music, but you don’t have to wait years and years, as people often think!
I bet it will seem impossible, you will think (if you are a musician), that to learn to compose you must already know theory, harmony, and be able to play well or well enough at least one musical instrument.
I am not saying that this would not make it easier, but it is NOT the real truth.
Some time ago I began teaching composition to those who are at their first musical studies, thanks to a special method that I have created in years of study, and that allows you to carry on in parallel to the study of a musical instrument, including composition, in a very gradual way.
Imagine how much more you could do if you started studying composition from the beginning!
You could start devising, songs, music, very early on, knowing, little by little, how to do it.
Don’t expect to be able to create a “worldwide” success after a few months, this is not “mathematical” in any case, not even by the greatest composers, but you would certainly have many more possibilities and time to learn how to do it!
So to answer in a “definitive” way, the question: when can you start composing?
It is possible to start as early as the first days when you begin studying a musical instrument.
I hope this will make you happy, and I hope I also solved a “big” doubt for you!
See you soon and until the next article!