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Thread: Rules V.S. Creativity (A Tug-of-War in Music Production)

  1. #1

    Rules V.S. Creativity (A Tug-of-War in Music Production)

    Rules V.S. creativity, this is a constant tug-of-war for being a creative. A balance act of following what you have learned and know, and deciding to throw all that out the window to dive into unexplored territory (creativity). Personally, this has been a consistent challenge and growing experience for me.

    When it comes to guidelines they are very helpful, having helped me pave the way into making better music, and hitting new milestones. Yet, there have been times where I have become cemented into these habits, that I become fixed to these narrow thought processes, making music more like a robot, instead of making music like a human. Can you relate? Usually, what breaks me free from this, is being frustrated to the point of discontentment with my current level of skill/art/music/etc. that I take a step of faith, or someone encourages/inspires me to take a risk and do something that I would usually shy away from. Sometimes, the outcome is not what I was hoping for, sometimes, it goes beyond what I was expecting.

    When it comes to creativity free from rules, the experience can be very liberating. Taking a chance to explore new territory in the creative realm. Like I said before, this can lead to new revelations in music (as well as all forms of art), but it can also lead to a mess that needs a second look, along with some guidance (rules). So, one has to be careful going full on artistic, it is like the chaos in "chaos and order". There isn't control in this realm, that can make for the better, but it can also lead to the worse. Therefore, it is important to have the order (rules) in place to keep the direction forward.

    I believe both rules and creativity go hand in hand, they are needed in order to make a quality piece of art; to make a masterpiece.

    This topic can keep going, I do very much enjoy talking about this, but I am going to end my experience here for now. I am curious if you relate to this? Have you gone through these experience? What breakthroughs have you experienced with rules and creativity (order and chaos)?

    Hope you were encouraged by this, go make some art!

  2. #2
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    I think it’s all relative. I play piano by ear, composing my own stuff. For me, sitting down and learning to play someone else’s song, being subject to established ‘rules,’ is a creative process. Maybe that’s my tug of war.
    One of countless examples of what you’re talking about would be Weather Report: Virtuosos going beyond the established norm. But I think creativity is part of all musical expression within whatever boundaries of genre or training. Playing within restrictions, one is challenged to be creative in a contained space.

  3. #3
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Bending and breaking the rules is what enabled Debussy to invent impressionism, and Schoenberg to invent atonality. Without them, where would modern music be?
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  4. #4
    In my work (branding, graphic design, advertising), it's vital that creative form does not come at the expense of strategic function. And, it took me about 25 years to finally concede that words come first.

    As far as music goes, there should be no rules that are within the law (I suppose on that last part). Everything else should be fair game.

    Could you imagine a world with Frank Zappa following the rules?

    Now, if you want to make a living at it ...
    The White Zone is for loading and unloading only. If you got to load or unload go to the White Zone.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by jayleemusic View Post
    Rules V.S. creativity, this is a constant tug-of-war for being a creative. A balance act of following what you have learned and know, and deciding to throw all that out the window to dive into unexplored territory (creativity). Personally, this has been a consistent challenge and growing experience for me.

    When it comes to guidelines they are very helpful, having helped me pave the way into making better music, and hitting new milestones. Yet, there have been times where I have become cemented into these habits, that I become fixed to these narrow thought processes, making music more like a robot, instead of making music like a human. Can you relate? Usually, what breaks me free from this, is being frustrated to the point of discontentment with my current level of skill/art/music/etc. that I take a step of faith, or someone encourages/inspires me to take a risk and logic homework help to do something that I would usually shy away from. Sometimes, the outcome is not what I was hoping for, sometimes, it goes beyond what I was expecting.

    When it comes to creativity free from rules, the experience can be very liberating. Taking a chance to explore new territory in the creative realm. Like I said before, this can lead to new revelations in music (as well as all forms of art), but it can also lead to a mess that needs a second look, along with some guidance (rules). So, one has to be careful going full on artistic, it is like the chaos in "chaos and order". There isn't control in this realm, that can make for the better, but it can also lead to the worse. Therefore, it is important to have the order (rules) in place to keep the direction forward.

    I believe both rules and creativity go hand in hand, they are needed in order to make a quality piece of art; to make a masterpiece.

    This topic can keep going, I do very much enjoy talking about this, but I am going to end my experience here for now. I am curious if you relate to this? Have you gone through these experience? What breakthroughs have you experienced with rules and creativity (order and chaos)?

    Hope you were encouraged by this, go make some art!
    For me - a creative flow is the most crucial phenomenon that can happen to a musician/artist/etc. There would be nothing worthy in this world without breaking the rules and trying out something new, using imagination and expressing it in any possible way. As for its chaotic nature, I agree - the rules restrict it to some extent.
    When I'm writing lyrics/texts, poems, I always need to discard the chains that the social standards put on me, but then again - I never go too far, I stick to the basic grammar rules, I choose the words carefully, though I may want to coin a new word, but would it change anything, if nobody understands that?

  6. #6
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    Authors like Anthony Burgess and Tolkein are inspired in their knowledge of other languages to create new words. Someone who shares that knowledge may understand their meaning.
    People who’ve studied music are equipped to analyze a song or a solo and inform someone like me as to what’s going on technically.
    Harry Partch was breaking rules, inventing his own musical instruments. I guess.
    The original flute wasn’t necessarily intended to be a musical instrument. Maybe it was like a duck call. Then someone got carried away with it and music was born.
    I’m just rambling here, and maybe that’s being creative. I don’t know what the impetus is, other than vanity. Seeking approval.

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