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Pitfalls of Composition
This will be my third book, after 'The Path of Composing' and 'Composition at Rest.' After all this time, using a quill pen to write a book no longer feels so strange. Looking back, more than half my life has been spent composing music. And so, I'm writing this book for the next generation of composers to come. While I'm still here, I'd like to organize the experience and wisdom I've accumulates, and pass it down. My first book, 'The Path of Composing,' was about listening to the music that comes from your heart, and 'Composition at Rest' was about letting the music come naturally, without forcing it. 'Pitfalls of Composition,' then, is about the mistakes young composers inevitably run into. These are the mistakes I've made in my journey as a composer.
Follow your heart.
It's common for a young composer to focus on creating beautiful, grand songs. This is a mistake. In my youth, I ignored the melodies of my heart and focused on composing sweeping symphonies fit for a king. But if you can;t even move your own heart with your music, how can you move others? Composing is merely a means of delivering the melodies of your heart to those around you. Truly great music carries with it the weight of its composer's heart.
Do not be arrogant.
Composition may require a little bit of knowledge, but that's it. It's no great skill. And yet, there are always composers who devote themselves to boasting about their talents and belittling their peers. Don't they realize that anyone can learn to be a composer? Music is composed to be listened to with your friends and loved ones. It's not something to be hoarded or kept to yourself. If you drive away your peers and listeners with your arrogance, then who will you share your music with?
Know your instruments.
From the moment you started learning to compose, up to the day you learned about instrumental timbre, you've been taught that the chords, beats, keys. and the timbre of instruments are vital to composition. Every instrument is unique, with its own range of keys. If you want to express the music you hear in your heart and soul, you must understand this! Many composers blindly scribble their notes onto the page, and then are baffled when the song doesn't sound right on the chosen instrument. They assume there's something wrong with the instrument, and they only get themselves angry. If you don't understand the distinct sound of each instrument, you'll be doomed to make the same mistakes.
Perhaps you already knew all this. Still, it bears repeating. These mistakes are far too common, and anyone can make them. Do your best not to repeat the mistakes you've already made and, if you're wise, learn from the mistakes of others. Any experienced composer will tell you they've made mistakes. I just hope that this book inspires you to grow as a composer. Nothing would make me happier.