The Composer Arranger – Final

HarryPotterBookI can’t do this. The gulf between the way the author puts things and the way I already understand them is too wide to be worth the effort for me to continue. Repeatedly I read a passage and puzzle and struggle for an undue amount of time only to discover that what I am reading is something I already understand so well that it is a part of me. Ultimately I believe that it is not the fault of the author and it is not my fault, but rather that in a very real sense we speak two different languages.

I will provide a couple examples of english language usage that non-musical types can more easily relate to, namely the Harry Potter books and the King James version of the Bible. Continue reading

The Composer Arranger 04

It’s almost like A Tale of Two Cities. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . .” — Charles Dickens. There was confusion, and then there was clarity.

OK. The Composer/Arranger is a difficult book which to my eye is for what I’d call an advanced educated musician (or I am rather stunted). But where the opening of the book changed topics and perspectives at rapid pace, here in the ensuing pages about melody while the author makes frequent references to clarification in later parts of the book he does stay on point. And they are very good points indeed.

Let’s talk about melody, and in the larger sense talk about creative construction in general. Continue reading

The Composer Arranger 02

As you might remember from last time I bought John Morton’s book “the composer/arranger” and went on a playful tirade about how it was not available in e-book format. That really is a complaint but let’s not dwell on it. Let’s instead dive into the introduction to see where we might be going with this book. Continue reading

The Composer Arranger 01

JM_ComposerArrangerAs a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step so does learning music start with sitting your butt down before an instrument. I’ve done a lot of butt sitting and banging on a piano, even doing a year where I would practice upwards of 4 hours each day including holidays such as Christmas. I earned the BS degree with a major in classical piano and have performed in a classic rock band for ten years. I started doing this the summer before kindergarten and am now 56 years old. As time has gone on from then to this very day I have tried very hard to understand how this music thing works, particularly more in recent years. I’ve even dabbled in composing here and there and I try to teach my own students an understanding of what is really going on from day one which is something my early teachers never bothered with. I recently discovered John Morton’s blog and have read his articles very closely — this guy knows more than me, particularly where writing and arranging are concerned. And he has written a book. I bought the book and I invite you to join me as I take that first step and turn open the cover. Continue reading