--[5. Aesthetics of Composition and Music Groups]---------------
I've been having many recent conversations on #trax about the pros and cons of belonging to music groups and the philosophy about composition practices. Here I just want to express my views on the subject and hopefully generate some thought by the traxweekly readers.
When I first started tracking a year ago I thought that music groups were just a way for insecure trackers to make themselves feel more important. This was a gross overgeneralization, but to a new fish in the sea I guess it was my way of dealing with my own lack of confidence. No doubt, there are trackers out there that only join groups so they can put a /xxxx after their name, but I now believe that they are a minority. As I see it, the groups around today exist for two reasons: 1) promotion of music (via distribution) and 2) personal musical development of their members (via collaboration).
Someone asked me the other night "why do you need other people to listen to your music?" Some people might say "well thats why I compose!" The high and mighty would look down on this statement and say that you should compose to please others, but I take another angle on this statement. I think it is essential to SHARE music with others because its in our nature. A poet may keep a personal journal for his thoughts, but when he writes poetry he needs to share it with someone to get that "aesthetic experience". The danger here is that human nature leads us to seek acceptance, which can stifle creativity, but we should remember that its the SHARING that is important, not whether those you share with like your stuff or not.
Another good reason for sharing music is that you can get feedback from your peers on your work. Its your perogative whether to take their advice or not. There are many out there who scoff at music theory and thumb their noses at any criticism. This is too bad, because knowledge is power, no matter what you do with it. For example I can learn all about communism without becoming a communist, and I'd probably be a better democratic citizen for it. Same goes for music theory, the more you know the better off you are, even if you're one of those people who hates to "sound like everyone else".
The moral of the story (if you're still reading :) is don't be prejudiced towards people in music groups or toward people not in music groups... we're all friends! Share you music and listen to others music and tell them what you think (but don't flood my mailbox with all those tunes you never released because they were raw, heh). Learn as much as you can about music and create as many "aesthetic experiences" as you can for yourself and those you love.