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Ari asks: “Is it true that there is no limit to composing a song?  I often find that when I compose a song it sounds somewhat like a familiar song which I happen to have heard somewhere.  It makes me think that since so many songs have been written our generation have very little to explore so is it true that there is limit to compose music?”







This is a great question that is probably currently open for debate.  There is certainly plenty of reason to see limitations on what there is left to compose.  Frank Zappa said “All the good music has already been written by people with wigs and stuff.”  The last decade has seen pop music seeming to fall in on itself with nowhere to go.  Contemporary classical music reaches only a very small audience, and the esoteric sounds can leave people confused or wondering exactly what they have heard.  Modern jazz as well tends to move into ever more esoteric realms, sometimes leaving behind all but the hard core followers of a certain style or “far out” harmonic progressions.  So much music has already been written that it may seem there is little music left to write that is new.


However, in another sense music and composition is as fresh as it ever was.  Composing a song is just a personal expression of feelings and ideas, telling a story that starts somewhere, takes listeners to another place, and brings them back.  Since every individual has a unique view of the world, there is little reason why new composers cannot keep expressing new things, unique to them.  Perhaps they use many of the same tools—harmonic progressions, scales, etc.—that were used in the past, but the way they are connected together can draw up entirely new ideas.


So probably if you write a song that sounds like another familiar song, maybe that is a good thing.  Do not stop there—instead, take it and see what you can make of it.  What new individual thing can you bring to that idea?  How can you change those old ideas and make them your own, make them relevant to your worldview, and to current trends?  It would seem there is no limit to the number of new things that could be built on old ideas.






Does this answer your question?  Let us know how we are doing at liftoffcm@yahoo.com.




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