TME Tuesday: Creative Composition

Have you ever noticed that songs that have to be written are less compelling than those that just happen? I'm kinda in a place right now where that is happening. I want some more songs for a Halloween theme subscription idea that I have, but everything that I think of just falls flat - you know? Like a balloon deflating? On the other hand, songs are springing into mind that have nothing at all to do with my self-imposed songwriting topic. Blech.

I am currently practicing creative composition.

What is that? Creative composition is where I set myself some ground rules for songwriting and then just go where my brain takes me. I find that my creative process is helped out by setting rules. With rules, I end up finding pathways into creative expression that I miss when I am sitting there without any type of structure.

So, I am going to start out by making up my rules. I want a couple of songs to supplement the Halloween-themed lapbook that I am making. On that lapbook, I have a door, a large pumpkin with jack-o-lantern face pieces, pictures of children in costumes, a number sequence card from 1-12, and I have space for one more thing to add, as long as it is smallish. Everything has to be halloween-y in nature, so I think I'll stick with a minor modality for my harmonic structure (Rule #1).

Next rule - I want the song to be easily replicated by my clients, so I am going to use no more than 5 notes in the tessitura of the song.

Last rule - the song needs to have a chorus and a verse.

There. I now have some structure for my creative composition process.

I think I'll use an ami, dmi, emi chord structure, making this a modal song. (By the way, with the use of the emi chord, this is an Aeolian mode song. This will make the spooky song sound even spookier, but it may make it a bit more difficult for singing conscious folks to replicate. Kids don't usually have any problem with modal music replication, but self-conscious adults often do. It will work for what I want.

Alright. Next step. For this one, I think I'll focus on the notes that work best in my range - a, b, c, d, e, and high a (so, I went with six notes - it just worked better...) Theme idea - counting pumpkins... Off to music composition software!!

Lyrics -
Counting pumpkins on the vine, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Counting pumpkins on the vine, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. OR Counting pumpkins in the patch, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Counting pumpkins in the patch, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Lots of pumpkins, I have found, looking for the best one 'round.

TME Ideas - I'm coming up with lots of different ways to use this song for skip counting and awareness and the like. I'll write them down and put them into a formal TME format pretty soon. For now, it's enough that I have this idea captured in fixed form. Did you know that I can get CMTE credits for this with just a bit more work??

The only thing I have left to figure out is how to notate guitar chords in my music composition software. That will take a bit of finagling, but I'll figure it out! There - a bit of creative composition for this Tuesday morning - thanks for going on this journey with me (and for keeping me from stressing about Mom's visit in about 9 hours!!).

Happy TME Tuesday!


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