Rich wrote:I haven't crossed that boundary between rudiments, or mechanics, and art. I am just wondering out loud if others have a sense of that boundary and what it means to cross it.
Composition is a craft, and as such it needs practice. I tried to write pieces with imitating counterpoint and failed, because I wanted too much too soon. If you were to learn carpentry, you probably would not be so bold as to manufacture a replica of an 18th century Chippendale cabinet as your first venture. It just cannot be done.
The only way to go seems to be to just write something and not to care about whether it is art or junk. Then write another piece and just try to be better than before. Do not set a goal to write exactly one fugue but a hundred - one each day. I think you cannot get it cheaper than that. If we see the works of the big guys we do not see what amount of work was necessary to get them to the point where you can just pull something off your sleeve. That is the same mistake that anyone makes who hears you play an instrument, thinking that you must be a genius to do this, but not realizing that you put in thousands of practice hours to develop proficiency.
I am convinced that almost anyone can produce beautiful counterpoint compositions who is willing to put in a few thousand hours of training. If you learn to play an instrument you will surely develop your articulation and tone control beyond your initial expectations. Why should it be different with composition?