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Seeking advice

Hello everyone,
I'm in the process of composing this piece (see links below).
The next verse is:
You are a beloved seed of the earth,
The apple of the world's eye.
You are a grain in a field of souls,
Trav'ling the river of time.
You are a star in the midnight sky,
Guiding the way and the rhyme..
(I haven't written that last two lines of the stanza yet)
Anywho, I am experiencing two challenges:
1. I am having trouble creating a good musical transition into this next stanza. 
2. I am having a difficult time coming up with music to fit this stanza, which will be a contrasting section to what I've got so far.
** FYI, I won't be repeating or varying the main theme in any way until it returns after this stanza.  So the form of this piece will be A, B, A'
I appreciate any thoughts or advice you have to offer!
Replies (5): Threaded | Chronological
on January 10, 2014 6:43am
Andrew -- 
You likely won't get many responses because composition is such an individual thing.  Your two "challenges" indicate that you have some thoughts as to what should happen next.  Keep experimenting and struggling through the process, and the right solution will come to you.  And it needs to be your solution, because it's your piece in your own style.  Anyone else's solution would taint the individuality of your style.  
Good luck.
Applauded by an audience of 3
on January 11, 2014 10:56am
I'll second your remarks, Charles. Composing is a lonely path at times, and one needs to search within even if being inspired from without.
I've never forgotten some 'advice' I picked up years ago from something Hemingway wrote about his creative process. He wrote that he would never go to bed at night having solved a creative writing problem; in fact, he apparently wrote until he encountered a problem, a blind alley, an 'impossible' situation, and only then he would allow himself to sleep. (It's called discipline!) He wrote that invariably the solution came to him while he was sleeping and he was able to begin his next day full of ideas as to what he should do.
Here's a link that I think you might find interesting useful. It outlines some of the things that Hemingwayd did and proscribed with respect to creating. It looks as though someone was intent on applying it to writing sermons, but it applues to virtually every creative act.

Why should Ernest Hemingway’s writing process matter to you? 1. Hemingway found a creative process for writing that worked for him. Hemingway woke at 7:30, ate breakfast, and started writing at 9 a.m. He stopped around 2 p.m. When Hemingway was writing, he was completely present—when he was done, he stopped obsessing over it and left it until the next day. If you want to produce great work, you have to find a creative routine that’s effective for you and stick to it. Be present when working. Be absent when not.

2. Hemingway was a man of action. Hemingway hated to talk about writing. He thought it took the mystery out of the craft. He also believed it would make you a bad writer to talk about it too much. Simple principle: If you’re a leader, don’t spend your time talking about your work, spend your time actually doing it. Learn to choose action over words...unless, of course, your action is words, like Hemingway.  

3. Hemingway trusted his instinct. Hemingway did not outline his work; instead, he just wrote “what happened next.” He believed that the story should come naturally, and he believed it could come from him. Have confidence in what you’re doing, and trust the gifts that God has given you. Don’t try to work ahead on everything—and don’t try to imitate other creatives—just start on what needs to happen next and repeat.

4. Hemingway studied the masters. Hemingway studied the best writers and tried to defeat them at their strengths. He was cocky at times, but his goal was to beat every writer, living or dead, at their craft. Seek to be the best at what you do. Be competitive. Don’t be a wimp. (Don’t be a jerk either, but you get the idea.) 

5. Hemingway gave incredible attention to detail. Hemingway was known for writing only 300-500 words a day. Often, he would spend hours on just one sentence to make sure he got it right. Spend time on that one sentence, whatever it might be in your area of creativity. 

6. Hemingway knew when to stop. Hemingway stopped while the juices where flowing and not when they ran dry. This ensured him that there was more to write the next day.  



Applauded by an audience of 1
on January 11, 2014 5:28pm
I feel bolsterd by advice above. I am just beginning to enter the waters of composition, and I'm grateful for those remarks. In response to your questions Andrew, I will say my gretest teachers always asked questions at these difficult junctures. In their footsteps, I'll ask: do you want it to remain light, or move somewhere darker, do you want it to be exposed or hidden, calm or desparate? Why is the speaker choosing *these* words, and to what end? What is the "MIT" (most important thing) in this piece: the one idea on which every note and word hinges? 
I teach middle school choir, and am looking forward to hearing this when it's done!
Best wishes,
on January 11, 2014 9:27pm
Thanks for your replies!  Bridgit, I think as composers we think alike.  I would love to see some of your stuff if you want to share.  And, I've got a few more finished things for middle school I could show you if you're interested. My email is andrew.j.miller.4(a)
on February 16, 2014 11:44am
I can recomend a nice program that you can use to quickly arrange it! Im using it and just sing in your melody and the program notates it for you! 
If your intrested, check out this cool video!
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