SO. Earlier this week I discovered an amazing programme! It is called Musescore
and it is a free, open source, platform agnostic (Windows, Mac, Linux, even BSD) programme that lets you score music and play it back.
I mean, it's not perfect - the default soundfont (what the instruments sound like) wasn't amazing, so I downloaded a different one, and playback has some limitations as it was initially implements as more of a "checking" service than a way to create a final product. But it's pretty freaking good, and the piano, particularly, sounds fairly authentic.
YOU GUYS. This programme.
This is just a fucking AMAZING demonstration of the democratisation of information and creativity and education on the internet.
I decided to compose something. I haven't done that since I was about 16 and doing my GCSEs, and I remember back then not having the musical skill to play it properly on the piano so only half understanding how it sounded til my teacher could help. But then, of course, she couldn't stay with me for long, so I was back to guess-work and swearing. I remember working out minor/major triads mathematically (how many half steps...?) on paper. And just...generally things being harder. Like trying to look at a giant mural with a match for light.
Now we have this website
which over the course of a few evenings reminded me of all the basic music theory I knew and had forgotten in an easy to understand, bite-sized way, and then provided fucking TOOLS like CHORD CALCULATORS and CHORD PROGRESSION GRAPHS to help me.
And now, fifteen years later, building off a rusty recollection of I, IV and V chords going well together and a bunch of TOTALLY FREE SHIT FROM THE INTERNET, I have composed a song! And...like, you guys, I think it's good
I mean, I have to be honest, I was raised in a culture that focused more on music than most. I was lucky that I was able to have subsidised group lessons (and a year or so of private ones) for most of my childhood. I had the chance to play in orchestras. The fact I can read sheet music (however haltingly when it comes to Treble Clef) is an enormous
advantage here. I'm not saying that I came at this out of nowhere.
But...but GUYS. It's like the first time I made 10 seconds of vid and just had to rewatch and rewatch and rewatch.
I simultaneously feel like I have uncovered a great, sleeping talent, like, holy shit, I CAN DO THIS? I CAN COMPOSE MUSIC? I AM MAGIC. HOW. HOW AM I DOING THIS. While at the same time wanting to run around screaming at everybody to wake up because if I can compose music this means you can too!
Like this great, hidden secret that's been concealed from us and that I want to share with everyone
So I present to you:
A Song in E Major for People with Large Hands because it's full of 10th intervals which I shouldn't really have used probably
So, uh, yeah.
Hopefully those of you who've seen me exploding over twitter don't think I oversold it too much. Half of my excitement is the high of successfully finishing it.
But, um, I guess yeah. I'm proud of myself - I think it sounds pretty good for a sort-of-first-attempt-in-fifteen-years.
I hope you guys like it too. All 81 seconds of it.