SYOS

Do You Compose Songs?

Do you compose music?

  • I compose (or have composed) music to be played by me or someone else

    Votes: 9 60.0%
  • I compose for saxophone

    Votes: 5 33.3%
  • I compose for other instruments

    Votes: 5 33.3%
  • I write songs with words to be sung

    Votes: 3 20.0%
  • I have never composed anything

    Votes: 5 33.3%

  • Total voters
    15

randulo

Playing saxophone 20 months - 2.3% of my life
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Do you compose songs and play them or have others played them?

By compose, I mean there's a melody that is or could be written down and a form, whether blues, 16 bar, 32 bar, A, B, C sections or just modal which I'd count as a structure based on the melody. If I say, do you write music, some will think I mean do you write it down in notation, which isn't the question. I speak of melody, but if you feel strongly that your free improvisations fall under the definition of composition, have at it. I personally don't think of it that way, but that does not diminish the value of doing that.

I have written and recorded many things alone and with co-writers. I've made several one-minute studies for saxophone, which I call MADitations. I don't see anyone else playing them, but they could be written down and most anyone could play them.

I'm terrible at polls, so I may not have stated this well, but the comments are here for your discussion, including slightly off-topic things, such as whether you think composing makes you a better musician, or how you go about it. Anything about composing is fine.
 
OP
randulo

randulo

Playing saxophone 20 months - 2.3% of my life
Subscriber
Messages
1,987
Location
France
Would poetry count if somebody were to put it to music?
If you think so, sure. If someone puts it to music, that would be a co-written song.
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
840
Location
New Mexico, US
Well.....I have TRIED to. I actually wrote 2 songs, one a sorta straight-ahead jazzy thing and one a sorta Spryro-Gyra-esque jazz fusiony thing.

And had my bands at the time play 'em (this was like 30 years ago). They aren't BAD tunes. But neither were memorable enough to keep in the rotation, seemingly....

But that was about the extent of my writing. These days I do more re-arranging of pop (or once-pop) tunes into strange new versions, oftentimes the re-arrangement employing a change the tune from its original genre to something else....(i.e. folk or metal to reggae, grunge rock to salsa/latin, horrific contemporary commercial pop to hallucenogenic wah-wah-infused 70's groovy, etc....)
 

Halfers

Finger Flapper
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1,327
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Hampshire
Lots of lyric and melody writing in my Teens. Not really much musical composition as I was writing for a band and left them to that side. Great memories of getting together with mates and writing stuff, some of it was pretty reasonable, even if I say so myself :p Only regret is that we only once got to record anything we composed, and that was one measly day in a local recording studio in a guys back yard. It was all we could afford!

Sometimes I sit down at the piano and fool around, but I don't really feel a compulsion to put together whole songs. Most of my sax practice is fooling around with notes but not to the extent of composing tunes. Maybe one day the muse will revisit!
 

JayeNM

Formerly JayePDX
Messages
840
Location
New Mexico, US
Would poetry count if somebody were to put it to music?
Have you ever tried this ? Or perhaps teamed up with someone who might be good at writing tunes and seeing if you could both apply your Poetry ?

Gil Scott Heron and Joan Armatrading are two artists who come to mind who started their musical endeavors from more a Poetry seed....
 
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randulo

randulo

Playing saxophone 20 months - 2.3% of my life
Subscriber
Messages
1,987
Location
France
I think composing (and I don't mean to make it a big deal by calling it that!) is beneficial, but not 100% necessary for everyone. Most jazz players I've known have done it because they want to have their own tunes on recordings. I'm the same way now, including playing live and especially on the saxophone, to which I am so new. Can't compare me to anyone else's versions, because there aren't any. I note that my past instrumentals reflect the stuff I was studying, no surprise there. My main genre is pretty free, but it still has a melody. It's just that the melody is subject to change, as are the words, since I can't remember either perfectly these days.
 
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randulo

randulo

Playing saxophone 20 months - 2.3% of my life
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Messages
1,987
Location
France
We are fortunate that with today's technology, affordable to most, we can record, even it's not masterpiece quality. Studio time was always very expensive.
 

Pete Effamy

Member
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409
Location
UK
I wrote what was intended as a ballad, but after some input from a friend it turned out well as a Donald Fagen-esque shuffle. I'm good at chord progressions and hooks/horn lines and drum parts/arranging etc but not so much whole melodies and certainly not lyrics. I need a co-writer, and function best as a co-writer.
 

Halfers

Finger Flapper
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1,327
Location
Hampshire
These were all recorded around 1993, in a shabby old shed-cum-recording studio in the garden behind the engineers house, just down the road from where we lived. I found the DAT of the final mix about 10 Years ago and took it back to the studio to get a few CD's cut. We looked at going back to the same studio earlier this Year, but the guy had just decided to retire. I think he was still charging the same day rate as 25 Years earlier!

FWIW here's what we recorded. I look back on the time with a lot of fond memories. Just wish we had a bit more money to spend on recording time as all I hear are the bum notes on the one take vocals. I think everything was pretty much one take apart from a guitar overdub or two (typical guitarist gets more studio time ;))

 
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randulo

randulo

Playing saxophone 20 months - 2.3% of my life
Subscriber
Messages
1,987
Location
France
Actually, what's the difference between improvising and composing? One thing is, if you're a brilliant player, your solos are structured and may be considered as composition (by me, anyway). There are many templates, known as chord changes or charts (blues changes, rhythm changes) and let's face the fact that a lot of jazz blues was just someone's idea at a jam. Look at Chicken Shack, for example. So you're all composers! I've written a lot of tunes, so I am loathe to post one here, but I have done so elsewhere in this forum.
 
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randulo

randulo

Playing saxophone 20 months - 2.3% of my life
Subscriber
Messages
1,987
Location
France

Pete Effamy

Member
Messages
409
Location
UK
Not found? Ah, I see you need to get rid of the '?' I can't remember how to fix this other than manually.

Edit: click on the link in small print. I think these are private on Soundcloud.
Sorry - I meant that I never wrote a melody.
 
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randulo

randulo

Playing saxophone 20 months - 2.3% of my life
Subscriber
Messages
1,987
Location
France
A blues song we recorded live in 1972, based on a blues riff, was our most requested song. It was in 10/4 time and people danced to it (as if it was 2/4).

Warning: I am in this photo! The guitar solo isn't me, but we shared writing credit on this tune.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NRLs2FMW00


The violinist/singer had absolute pitch and was classically-trained. When he heard a car horn he sometimes would say "D7th!"
 

Pete Effamy

Member
Messages
409
Location
UK
A blues song we recorded live in 1972, based on a blues riff, was our most requested song. It was in 10/4 time and people danced to it (as if it was 2/4).

Warning: I am in this photo! The guitar solo isn't me, but we shared writing credit on this tune.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NRLs2FMW00


The violinist/singer had absolute pitch and was classically-trained. When he heard a car horn he sometimes would say "D7th!"
Great vibe. Great singing - nice bass line and drums... I envy you being around in the 70's making music.
 
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