If you aren’t a musician, you might be led to believe that composers just pluck ripe songs from the muses’ orchard of musical delights.
You would be wrong.
This composition stuff is actual work. Take, for example, my latest creative endeavor. I came across the 1839 text “Jesus, Lord of Life and Glory” by James John Cummins and wasn’t convinced by the tunes written for it. So I wrote one. That was easy enough. But then I tweaked and tweaked until it sang more smoothly. (What–you think that single 4/4 measure is an accident?) And then I entered it into Finale. And then I tweaked a few more things as I saw it on the page. And then I made the best demo I could in the last 35 minutes of my Friday afternoon. (Yes, my voice does crack in verse 4. Cut me a little slack–I did it in one take.) And then I realized that in taking out the Thees and Thous I had messed up one of the rhymes. And then I added a cool echo that Theo really liked. And then I realized that it wouldn’t work without a bass line and maybe some percussion. And then I remembered that Logic Pro got all out of whack when I got a new computer, so I didn’t have a quick way to add more stuff. And then I took out the cool echo that Theo liked. And then it became 9pm on Sunday night and I said “I’m going to upload this thing, warts and all!”