|How do you know when a song is finished or needs no more changes?
When my producer is finally happy with it. He is an utter perfectionist and I know that when he says 'ok' then there is nothing more I can do.
Sometimes there's a resonance, a moment when you feel: "ah, it's done."
Other times it's never done. It's just a matter of unplugging yourself from it and understanding that it must be left on its own now.
A very tricky question.
listening to it and have others listening to it and have them give their input. That helps with your indecisiveness. Constructive criticism goes a long way.
How do you know when a conversation is finished? you just stop talking when you've said all you can say. I don't put a limit on how long or short a piece of poetry is. Sometimes it's short other times it's a "book" LOL! it's like life, like conversation. Sometimes you feel strongly about an issue and have a lot of information on it, and other times you're just so angry, sad, joyful, that you can say very little...at least not easily. As for changes, I find that when I come back to a piece sometimes I find things I want to change. Thats always natural, as there's always SOMETHING to improve.... but I try NOT to do that because it takes away from the essential thing I was FEELING at the time I wrote a piece. I want to retain THAT authenticity without alteration.
I always want to add more to music. When I listen to songs from other era's there was so many layers and stages in the creation as if they wanted to jam all night. Alot of the time just by ear I feel unsatisfied with some finished products cause its just that gut feeling that you didn't give the consumer all of what your abilities can offer.
When my producer tells me :)
No song is ever finished...don`t have to be..and this is the magic of music!
But I sense the moment when I feel like...."Done!"
a gut feeling i guess
When you play it from beginning to end and everything fits.
I know when i song is ready to perform live or ready to take to a studio. just when the backbone of Guitar, Bass, Drums and Vox are down.
But when in rehearsals or even the studio a song is usually still added to and edited in some way.
I don't know. My compositions need more changes,yeah. But,I have a music ready.
When I'm happy with it, and have had a good response from playing it to family and close friends, and hearing their feedback...
Lots of recordings that I've made have gone unfinished. There have been times when I've made big changes to the whole thing, though. Sometimes a friend will tell me that it's as good as it's likely to get, and sometimes I'm gullible enough to take their word for it. There's always room for improvement...
|That is a really good question as it goes to the compositional process as well. I've been working with a young composer recently, helping him improve his skills as a composer, and one of the things that I've said to him regarding a piece is that "it is as long as it needs to be". When you are writing a piece you have a sense (especially if you have sketched - or planned - the overall structure of the work) of the general scope of the piece, including the length. A piece "speaks to me" as I'm writing, it tells me how long it "needs" to be - which is much easier to assess when using a program like Finale which can play the piece and let you hear each element of the piece as it has been entered. Just recently I finished a short minimalist piece (an experiment) that, about halfway through, I estimated would come out at between 3:20-3:45 - well, it came out at exactly 3:44. To say that it is a matter of intuition makes it sound less important an issue, but it really is an issue where intuition comes into play.
As we compose we "feel" the needs of the composition, what the piece will need in order to fulfill its journey to completion. In the case of the length of a piece it "reveals" itself in the same way you realize a short story - or long story- or novel is complete: when everything has been dealt with, when all of the themes (the characters) have had their "stories" resolved, and the plot (the "form") has been resolved, then the piece can end.
As for the need for changes, that is something that is much more difficult. It is very hard to not "over edit" or "over revise" a piece in the pursuit of musical perfection. However, once you accept that there is no such thing as a "perfect" composition, the happier you will be as a composer. I listen to the completed work and make sure all of the performance data has been entered and it's ready as a "performance score", and then it's done. So long as there aren't any glaring "wrong notes", the piece is done.
You just know. It's one of those inexplicable things. Either that, or I end up going "right, that'll bloody do!" I'm quite keen on Duchamp's idea of the "definitively unfinished".
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