Making music is way more than just playing what someone else has written. Making music also consists of the musician creating his/her own music. I love to make my own music, and I endeavor to guide my students towards having the desire, theory, and technical understanding for creating their own music, too. Varying for each student’s level, I provide various opportunities for developing the student’s abilities to compose their own music.
Over the years, I have sat down at the piano and made up little ditties, some of which I forgot within a few minutes, and others I played numerous times so I would not forget them. Still others were recorded audibly or with video equipment so I could reference them later. Of those songs, some have been transcribed on paper or on Finale, which is a wonderful music notating program.
From a young age, my desire was to write music for movies. I am very grateful for the solid musical training I received from my mother as well as Dr. Stanislava Varshavski and other teachers at Maranatha Baptist University. I am pleased to say that in the music department and numerous other departments, Maranatha has a long history of high ratings compared to other universities, and my music graduating class of 2015 scored in the top three percentile of all American colleges and universities.
Well, the desire to write music for videos became a reality. I was commissioned to compose music for the video “Skeptic” produced by FuZion Videos. This was a really exciting opportunity, and I applied several things which I learned in my music classes, including the use of chromatic mediant chords. I took a piece of paper and started just experimenting on the piano. Anything that sounded neat was written down on the paper. From that list of ideas, I created the music for the video.
Now I am working on music for a scene in a little bit longer movie. Again I sit down and experiment on the piano, but this time I have access to other digital sounds. The process of composing takes a lot of time because there is a lot of cutting and pasting audio segments and going back to make changes, while trying to still reflect the mood of the scene in the music.
Along the lines of composing music, here is a question to ponder. What song was written during World War I but not discovered until shortly before America joined World War II? Who wrote this song? The answer will be at the end of the next blog post.
Here are samples of the notes and comments I write when composing music.