How To Reflect Your Own Composition

So you have created your first idea, found the right workflow and you’re about to complete your composition – you are nearly at the finish line. But your musical journey also includes handling customer’s criticism. You know tastes differ and it isn’t always easy to make the grade.

Our composers implement the following tips and tricks themselves which have helped them go a long way in their musical journey. We distilled their experience to encourage you to continue to do your work and, should you break out in a “wrong” musical direction – trust yourself and don’t be frightened to start over again.


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1.  Your own composition

The most important factor is that you feel confident with your own composition. Only if you’ve outdone yourself you can convince your client. It is also important not to give up, to uphold your motivation and to take your client’s criticism to heart. Musically speaking, it is crucial that your main idea is inspiring. Don’t just “mess around with sounds” like John Barry criticized concerning modern composers. Nearly all good compositions rely on a single compelling musical idea that should be elaborated on carefully. Think about how to develop your core musical idea in an interesting, moving, expressive, subtle, whichever way works for the piece, whatever that may be, think about the idea itself. Don’t try to include more tracks and instruments to mask the weaknesses of your composition.

Your composition should meet your own personal standards to work well in the actual setting it will be used in. Of course the evaluation turns out to be very subjective, nevertheless you should ask yourself three questions:

  1. Have I managed to produce the intended emotion?
  2. Have I incorporate enough variety in the composition?
  3. Does it fit into the overall concept?

When your composition is a commissioned work your client’s content counts most. Obviously the creativity of commissioned works is a little more restricted, but you should still try to find a degree of authenticity. Self-satisfaction only arises when you surprise yourself. The listeners should feel the need to listen to the track until the end. The vibe of your composition should be homogenous and coherent.


2. The wrong direction 

Sometimes your first idea is the best and after you try out and create several things – you always come back to your first intuition. But sometimes it can happen that you have to throw your first idea overboard with a heavy heart. Maybe, for example, it doesn’t fit to the scene you are scoring or simply doesn’t hold up as a strong enough idea in light of what you are trying to create. In such cases the best thing is to open a completely new template and preferably also use another tempo and meter. If you try to tinker on your old idea, you will be most likely be bogged down. So start afresh and give your new ideas a change to be expanded on. You should always have a good feeling and the faith in your own composition at each point in time. If this isn’t the case and you aren’t convinced you will never knock your client’s socks off.


3. Client’s critism

You should take your client and the client’s criticism extremely seriously. Regard him/her generally as a partner on your team. You often hear people complain that clients are annoying and make life awkward for you.  But don’t think too much to these people’s opinions. Many clients are capable, have a clear vision of their project and if you work together you can achieve great outcomes. Of course there are situations where a composer is caught and doesn’t want to change his/her idea and create something new. But, as our composers openly admitted with the benefit of hindsight, often the clients are right, because they maintain the overview over the entire project, unlike the composers who are blinded by their narrow routine.  Use the client’s feedback because friction generates energy!
It is simply part of the job to make a fourth or fifth rework especially for young composers. No one likes it (your client doesn’t either) it is exhausting and unnerving, but try to be professional. With the experience the reworks will become rarer. The proper communication between you and the client is key. Try to implement his wishes: Improvements can be technical changes, sound enhancement or the removal or the induction of musical parts. That’s our business.


Our composers revealed their personal composition tips and tricks and let you plunge into their creative processes – from how they battle the blank page syndrome to the creative creation of a musical piece right up to how they reflect on their own composition. Composing is their daily work to make money as well as being their biggest passion that they turned into their careers. Of course everybody has his/her own methods, but if only a few tips we shared here support you, we have achieved our aim. We are glad about every single Like and Share and we love hearing from you, so leave a comment and suggestion for further topics.

Bye for now! Your SONUSCORE-Team




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