Let me start out by saying, “This is a really weird title for a blog.” One time, a theory professor and I were discussing how we analyze music. The consensus was that the “recipe for a piece of music will tell you how the piece was composed,” but one piece of music is not going to unlock a composer’s approach to other pieces. That being said, why are composers so secretive when it comes to their sketches.”
I remember during a composition seminar, I once asked another composer if I could see what he was currently working on. They were willing to talk about the instrumentation, but when I asked to see sketches, the hand on the bag grew tighter. Why is it so hard for composers to be open about what they are thinking musically, what they are working on musically, and more importantly, why they make the decisions they do.
Maybe it has something to do with how we are taught to compose. In composition lessons, we are constantly forced to defend our musical decisions. That’s what are teachers are supposed to do, but I could see how it makes composers less open to sharing with others.
And the whole thought about defending musical decisions. Man, I wish I had saved each piece of music I’ve composed throughout my life as it evolved in each lesson throughout the creative process. Those little pencil marks were suggestions that made the piece better. At the end of the day, my pieces and my style are because of those pencil marks.