I’ve had a desire to write music ever since I was in middle school, but I never really got around to it until I was in high school. This is primarily due to the fact that in middle school, I didn’t know much about music theory and I couldn’t record music that I wrote off of the top of my head because I didn’t have a microphone for my computer. Also, sound recorder was difficult to work with and while I would be writing the song using sound recorder, I would be thinking about how I might playing something really cool but then forget how to play it later because there was no visual instruction as to what notes to hit. These pre-thoughts would fulfill themselves more often than not and they would disappoint me. In high school, ninth grade to be exact, I learned some music theory and I became better at writing music. Also, and perhaps more importantly, I was introduced to the software Guitar Pro 5. This allowed me to record the music that I was writing by allowing me to type the numbers in tablature format. Tablature format looks a bit like this:
The lines are supposed to represent the strings on the guitars. The numbers are to represent what frets you are supposed to be holding down on what strings. If you see the number 0 somewhere, you don’t hold down any of the strings. Now this is a real pain to draw out by hand, but with Guitar Pro, I was able to type it up in very quickly, and choose note values for each note so that I could play it back. I could also add drums, bass, keyboard effects, etc.
Everything that I wrote was written with intent of actually being physically recorded by me at some point; that is, I don’t put anything into the computer that I actually wouldn’t be able to play on guitar or drums or bass. I have a general criticism to give to concerts of artists who, when performing live, don’t always display all or a crucial amount of the key background instruments. For example, if you were to go and see Beyonce, you would see her on the stage, singing, and a bunch of people dancing. But where is the drumset and drummer? Where is the bassist? Where is the keyboard player? There are definitely drums, keyboards, and bass in Beyonce’s music. But when you go see her shows, it’s essentially fake for the most part. All of the music is being played back from a computer.
Let’s think about electronic music; specifically, let’s think of the kinds of artists that you go and see at those humongous raves where there is simply a DJ at a computer, playing back music he already wrote and recorded… using a computer! Some of it is fair music, for the most part. Here is one of my favorite electronic songs:
I don’t know much about the the artist Darius to begin with, but it can be presumed that if you were to see Darius live, it would not be a full band. It would probably be one person by the name of “Darius”, sitting or standing at a computer and pressing a bunch of buttons or whatever electronic artists do when they put on live shows. The best benefit from creating this electronic music goes to people such as myself who want everything to turn out the way they envision it and can’t really work with other people. Perhaps Darius is similar in this aspect, in that Darius cannot work well with other people when writing music, and so Darius decides to record all of the instruments him/herself. Or maybe Darius just really likes electronic music and just want to create cool tunes of that genre for people to listen to.
What’s great about being able to create music on the computer is that you don’t need to own lots of fancy instruments or recording equipment, and you don’t need to have friends that play instruments and would be able to play with you and compose music with you. All you need for the most part is your computer, a software, and the ability to write music. (If you don’t have the ability to write music, then why would you be writing music?)