Why Be A Composer?

by Gary Guttman · 2 comments

There are an infinite amount of experiences you can have in a lifetime. So you might ask, “Why be a composer? Doesn’t that require years of grueling work and enormous talent?” Well, the answers all depend on how you define “composer.”

So what exactly is a composer? Ask ten musicians and you’ll probably get ten different answers. But the simple reality is that a composer is someone who creates and organizes musical sounds in a structured manner. That structure can be a symphony, a string quartet or a piano sonata. It can also be a jazz instrumental, a hip hop song or a folk ballad.

If you are a musician, you are already far more fortunate than a non-musician. You have sensitivities that allow you to feel things that others can’t. You can communicate and express yourself on a far more personal level than others. Why is this relevant? Because your individual voice is unique. Just like your signature, there is no one quite the same as you. As a composer, you will have an outlet to express your deepest emotions and communicate with the world in a way that most people could only dream of.

And in the entire history of music, there has never been a better time to be a composer. As a teenager in the 1970’s, I had to beg music directors to allow their band or orchestra to try out a composition of mine. I might have spent six months composing a two minute composition and in just a few moments, the experience would be over. My original piece would be performed for me and then the group would return to whatever piece they were rehearsing. As a souvenir of the event, I would go home with a cassette recording of the performance, which I would proceed to wear out by constantly replaying it.

Today, you can compose and record your own music with an investment of just a few dollars. Modern technology has made every musical sound available via computers, samplers and synthesizers. Entire orchestral libraries of sound can be accessed with just the click of a mouse. And compositions can be permanently recorded digitally. Of course if your preference is for piano or guitar music, that is even easier to manage.

Most importantly, it doesn’t matter whether you make a career out of composing or simply do it for pleasure. You don’t need to be a Beethoven or a Mozart. Just be you. But one thing is for certain. You will never endure a boring day. The thrill of creating your own music simply cannot be achieved by any other means. That’s a guarantee.

So the next time you ask yourself “Why be a composer?,” you should answer “Why not!”

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Jean April 27, 2009 at 6:48 pm

Hello, I want to thank you for your brilliant encyclopedia “Secret Composer”, reading it really inspires me.

Gary Guttman April 29, 2009 at 1:11 am

Thanks, Jean. Inspiring you has been OUR inspiration all along. Glad you like the program!

– Gary

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