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Re: MIDI Composing and Arranging
By Andy Latorre

John Tuttle's comments on the length of time spend on MIDI composing and arranging interested me. I have had the same questions, asked by me and my patient wife. You see, I have been working with MIDI for about 6 years now and only recently discovered that I can also compose. Why, with all those wonderful sounds from my original MT32 and then the SD35 synthesizers, my creativity just soared.

Once, when I played my compositions for someone I knew well, he said to me, "Andy, this sounds like fairground organ music." I was almost insulted, but after a few months of pondering I realized that, yes, it was fairground organ music. So I set out to take my music a arrange it like the merry-go-round music I have been listening to all my life.

It sounded great so I proceeded to arrange all sorts of other types of music; all for the fairground organ. It was wonderfully creative and very enjoyable. Hours would pass by and only when my wife would come into my music room in her dressing gown did I realize it was past our bedtime.

So I began to record the time it took to complete an arrangement. On the average, I have found out, it takes two hours of arranging time for every minute of completed music.

That may sound excessive but here is how it breaks down for a 3 minute piece.

A) entering the music - 1 hour (usually a piano arrangement if it
is not my own composition).

B) separating the parts: melody, accompaniment, bass - 10-30
minutes

C) ornaments (here's where the creativity enters) percussion track,
flute ornaments, string or brass countermelody, bells, celestes,
faux tremulant, etc. - 3 hours

D) add or compose introduction, vamp, or bridges. 1/2 - 1 hour

E) leave music alone for a day or two

F) come back, listen, find bad spots, correct, add new inspirations
- 1-2 hours.

G) leave alone once again.

H) come back. If no more changes can be made then the music is
finished.

This whole process is wonderfully creative. It is a thrill to wait a few days and then listen to the creation. Time? Who cares? That is unless it is a money-making venture. But, as a venture of love, time does not matter.

What is gained? The pleasure of seeing small children (and adults when they think no one is looking) dance to your music. Also, the increased repertoire of creativity (my "bag of tricks") that occurs after each arrangement, causing you to get better and better.

I wish I had more time in this life.

Andy LaTorre
LaTorre Orgue Mecanique

(Message sent Fri 1 Nov 1996, 15:21:43 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Arranging, Composing, MIDI

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