And I’m thinking that the entire concept of sheet music is totally fascinating, and both incredibly useful and totally annoying.
I’ve always been torn about the whole score worshipping thing that some musicians do. I guess I’ve always seen sheet music as a sort of set of instructions, and likened the practice to enjoying the directions that came with your comfy couch from IKEA more than actually relaxing on the couch. At the same time, it’s pretty amazing that we’ve all collectively agreed on a set of symbols that, when followed correctly, can create with startling accuracy things of uncanny beauty, delight, or abject horror, that can be understood whether or not you understand the symbols themselves.
Also at the same time, I sometimes feel like writing the score is a burden. This only happens when (and you’ll hear me say this) the piece is finished but I just haven’t written it down. I mean it when I say that. When I’ve come up with every tiny detail of a piece – from opening to chord progressions to entrances to dynamics and attacks and special effects to whatever else – before I sit down at my writing desk (this does indeed happen sometimes, though it usually involves a guitar or a piano), the act of writing it all out just feels like a total hassle, and I just want to get it out in the most efficient way possible so that it can get played. It feels like a formality to write it all down when I’m in this situation, and I’d often rather spend my time coming up with more music, playing, or pursuing other interests (i.e. reading, brewing, Mass Effect 3). This is why some of my pieces take longer than they should. I tend to have trouble getting to things that don’t really grab my attention, and writing, when I’m not coming up with anything as I do it, can be pretty dull.
I guess coming up with the score is a matter of professional follow through, though, so of course I eventually do. I will say, even with the previous paragraph in mind, having a finished score feels great, and I can spend an inordinate amount of time looking at one (my own or other composers’), because just looking at it and hearing it in my head and seeing how various lines play out on the page gives me a ton of pleasure, and always gives me some ideas for the future.
Holy hell, this is like the most disjointed blog entry I’ve ever written. I am seriously exhausted. It’s early for a Friday, but screw it, I’m going to bed. The whole point of this was to say that the piano piece I’m writing for Kelsey Walsh, called All The Right Notes, is finished. I just haven’t finished writing it down yet.