The Secret to Composition

Edward Weiss

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When I first started out playing piano and trying to compose, I couldn't figure out how someone could get his or her inspiration down on paper.

It was very frustrating to look at and listen to other artists who seemed to know the “secret" to composition.

Little did I know that the big secret really isn't about composing - it's about being able to trust your own intuition and let it lead you instead of the other way around. It took a long while before I was able to just let go and allow the music to flow out. But once I could do this, the idea of capturing an idea didn't seem to matter so much. No. It was more important for me to let it all go.

It also occurred to me that the more I tried to “capture" an idea, the harder it was to get down. Another artistic irony that's proved itself over the years.

Many people who want to compose their own music have problems because they believe that the musical idea they are working on is holy. They don't understand that there are literally millions of ideas waiting to be born. If they loosened their grip slightly they would be able to gently notate that idea and see where it would lead them. An entirely different approach and one that allows for so called errors, mistakes, etc.

For me, the secret to composing is not knowing how to capture a musical idea. It's being able to open up to the limitless ideas within and allowing them to express naturally through improvisation.

Edward Weiss is a pianist/composer and webmaster of Quiescence Music's online piano lessons . He has been helping students learn how to play piano in the New Age style for over 14 years and works with students in private, in groups, and now over the internet. Stop by now at for a FREE piano lesson!


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