Why Is Writing Music So Difficult?
Start writing a post
Entertainment

Why Is Writing Music So Difficult?

Making a tune isn't as easy as you may think.

1015
Why Is Writing Music So Difficult?
Pexels

Writing music has become one of my favorite pass times. I've been doing it for years, and I've been learning new things about it every time I write more. Lately, I've come across a big issue. My ideas disappear, or I realize it's a copycat of something else. So I began wondering, why is it so hard to write a piece? One of those may be the fact that I'm just a tired college student that is running out of ideas quick, but I found out some other interesting things.

See, in a sense of music, there are 12 diatonic tones, which means 12 notes our Western ears recognize. You can combine them in many ways to create a song. If you add in the massive amount of tones, you can get in an Eastern Indian scale and you get more options. But you have to think that you're still limited to that. Unfortunately, you're still limited to the 12 diatonic tones since Western-trained ears can only hear those. So, we're limited to, oh let's say, about 2^211,000,000 possible song combinations.

According to Vsauce (yes, I'm referencing him. If you wanna see the video I'm referencing here, then it's below), there are over 28 million songs on iTunes, last.fm recognizes 45 million songs and Grace Note has over 128 million songs. Playing the Grace Note inventory from start to end would take about 1,200 years to listen to them all. That's a lot. But we have a lot more combinations, as we can clearly see. You may be wondering where I'm going with this. Don't worry, I'm asking that question too.


So why is it so hard for me to write a piece? It's thanks to a few theory things. What usually ends up happening is that you start writing, then you realize that what you've written doesn't make sense. There are multiple factors playing into part writing, which include a lot of music theory terms. Please continue if you understand. If not, I'll sum it up in a moment.

So basically, you can run into a ton of part-writing errors which include, but are not limited to, parallel 5ths, parallel octaves, similar motion and general dissonance. Also, you can have direct octaves and fifths, leaps of larger than an octave, improper use of a pedal tone, incorrect progression, so on and so forth. What this all means is that the music will sound extremely cheesy. With something like parallel fifths, you'll get an unintended Asian sound. So again, what does this mean?

What it means is that there's a particular route you have to take for writing music. This is a classical format for music writing. It's what I've been learning for the past year. Of course, there are all sorts of modern examples that break all of these rules. These are the rules that I've been following, and that's what I've been getting stuck on. I've had these concepts drilled into my head for months to the point where I can't do anything else. It's an odd thing, being a music student.

But what I have learned is that the way I'm being taught is the most logical way of doing it. So at this point, what's stopping me from writing music? I'm not sure, so pardon me while I go write something new.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

4 Common Reasons Couples Get Divorced

Are some people just not meant to be together? Is there any way to prevent an impending divorce?

41057
4 Common Reasons Couples Get Divorced

We've all heard the statistics. Roughly 50% of married couples eventually end up divorced. This can lead to complications, problems with your children, financial issues, and no small amount of negative emotions.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

​Pets are Good for the Soul

Millions of Americans have found comfort in pet ownership. The media has been awash with stories about a surge in pet ownership, as Americans have taken advantage of the ability of pets to improve emotional well-being.

50804
Good for the Soul
Pets are Good for the Soul

America is going through a mental health crisis. This crisis predates the global pandemic, but has in many ways been dramatically exacerbated by it. In 2019, 19.86% of adults, or 50 million Americans, reported suffering from a mental illness. The emotional toll of the pandemic has been heavy, with over half of U.S. adults saying that they have experienced stress and worry related to Covid-19. Anxieties over work, uncertainty about the future and other triggers have intensified the mental health crisis. Millions of Americans have found comfort in pet ownership. The media has been awash with stories about a surge in pet ownership, as Americans have taken advantage of the ability of pets to improve emotional well-being.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How Your Sleep Position Affects Your Health?

You changed into your pajamas, turn off the lights, and get yourself ready to sleep. How do you prefer to sleep, on the back, on your side, or on your tummy? Although there’s no scientific result that sleeping position affects your back, here are some interesting facts that have been discovered.

165845
Sleep Position

You changed into your pajamas, turn off the lights, and get yourself ready to sleep. How do you prefer to sleep, on the back, on your side, or on your tummy? Although there’s no scientific result that sleeping position affects your back, here are some interesting facts that have been discovered.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How to Throw the Ultimate Winter Bash

As the year starts to come to an end, make sure you find the time to have some fun as well.

116971
Ultimate Winter Bash

As the year starts to come to an end, make sure you find the time to have some fun as well.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Prose: When The Gavel Falls (Story Excerpt)

Johnathan Yarrow is a successful defense attorney, until he takes on a personal case he cannot win. Ruined by the loss and haunted by his past, Yarrow, a man who desired to see the good in all people, starts to learn that not everyone can be good... not even himself.

108203
Prose: When The Gavel Falls (Story Excerpt)
https://unsplash.com/s/photos/lawyer

I woke up, like any other night, in a bed full of nightmares, drenched in sweat that stuck coldly to my skin, as a reminder of the dreams I couldn’t escape. The dream was so vivid, I felt it physically burn on my cheek. I wondered if the sting from the slap was worse simply because her eyes held no remorse, not an ounce of respect.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments