How to Write Music: The Spark

For those needing an idea for a new work, here are some places or times where the spark for a new piece of music might strike. Try any of these free of charge. 

At a concert (you might see or hear something neat and want to make more of that)

The bathroom (the shower, toilet, or while brushing teeth—especially if you use an electric toothbrush)

Cleaning the fridge (there are beautiful colors in there and a nice whooshing drone)

Sledding with your nieces and nephews (if you are sad and thinking about yourself a lot, the cold air and their jubilance can open your mind to new ideas)

Sitting at the piano for hours after dozens of no good ideas

Playing on your iPad (you don't even have to open an App, sometimes just swooshing the page around is inspiring)

At your other job listening to the rhythm of someone speak

After watching that devastating moving movie with Bjørk in it from the 90s

When hearing an announcer on the train who seems to be taking pride in her work

Reading a book about animals to your son

Just before you fall asleep

After giving up on the big list you were going to accomplish today

Reading the Bible, especially some of the minor prophet books that you maybe forgot about

After a long day at the zoo

When listening to the rhythm of the road you bike on to go to work

Meeting two people in the same day that play interesting instruments

Watching a video on the Internet about dancing robots 

Trying to play a new instrument

On a walk to get donuts

Thinking about whales (both their sounds and bulbous shape)

Learning a new chord progression from a How to Play Gospel Music book you found

In the middle of the night (you wake up to hear a truck beeping outside and it blends with the looping white noise machine in your room and sounds like this beautiful African chorus)

On the plane (try writing down ideas in the margins of the Sky Mall, the juxtaposition with strange products might move your idea in an unforeseen direction)

In the morning, just after you got up extra early to watch a movie but before everyone else gets up

Sitting in your car, wondering what the person was like who thought up the tones that play when you car starts

Posted on June 18, 2014 .