Wring music? How hard can it be?
June 15, 2008 8:33 AM Subscribe
Can I learn to create melodies?
posted by grumblebee to media & arts (37 answers total) 46 users marked this as a favorite
I love music, but I can't play an instrument. I can't read music. I don't understand the first thing about music theory. Though my life contains plenty of music listening, I've always been sad that it doesn't contain any music making.
I know that music-making is a hard thing to take up, especially for a middle-aged guy, but I have an impulse to make it even harder for myself: I want to compose. While -- in my wildest dreams -- I'd like to compose symphonies, I know that's not even close to realistic. I'd be overjoyed if I could gain the skill to compose "simple" melodies. Not for fame and fortune -- just to amuse myself and to learn a little about what it's like to "be on the inside" of music.
My guess is that even this is a pipe dream. Is it? One thing I've always wondered is whether people who come up with songs had melodic ideas before they ever learned about the mechanics of music -- just like someone might make up a story without knowing anything about the mechanics of writing. I certainly know of plenty of people, like The Beatles and Charlie Chaplin, who had melodic ideas without knowing how to read music. But what about people who have never even played an instrument?
I've never had an original song pop into my head -- or even a snippet of melody. Even if I learned how to read music and play an instrument, is there any reason to believe I'd be able to write music? I understand that to write music WELL, you have to be gifted. But is it more binary than that? Do you either have it or you don't? Can you become a music creator -- even just a so-so one -- by learning some mechanics?
(By the way, I know there are all sorts of looping programs out there. I've played with them. They don't interest me. I want to create original melodies. I don't want to mix a bunch of riffs and beats together.)
So have any of you ever go from having zero musical ideas to having some musical ideas? If so, what brought you from point A to point B?