If you've ever looked at a flower garden, not only its beauty may have captivated you, but also its overall arrangement.
There may have been some tulips or roses combined with other flowers or plants.
You may also have stood there looking it over. Maybe you started on one side and your eye moved down or vice-versa. Now, music making is a lot like flower arranging. You combine different elements to make a pleasing whole.
It is a natural tendency of the human mind to create order out of chaos and art from nothing. What is pleasing to the listening ear is symmetry. The flower arrangement captivates, not only because of its great beauty, but because it has been composed and arranged to a pleasing whole - something the eye and the mind can grasp hold of and ponder.
We walk away with a sense of completion because someone took the time to bring order into chaos. Someone arranged varying elements to create art. Now this is what musicians do whether they realize it or not. But instead of flowers, we use notes and chords. Instead of a vase, we use musical form to hold the notes and chords.
Music is a more difficult art because the elements are not as easily put together. Music is slippery and ephemeral but when we learn to use the tools of repetition and contrast, we begin to put some order into chaos. Chaos is good and has its place in improvisation, however, for those who wish to compose their own music, it's a good idea to learn the tools of the trade.
The flower arranger must know how to create a balance between color and form - the overall look and feel of the arrangement. The composer must also create balance but uses musical materials - chords, notes, phrases, etc.
Then he puts it together into a framework. A flower arrangement can be big or small depending on the size of the vase. Similarly, a new age piano work can be long or short depending on the amount of contrast and repetition used.
Edward Weiss is a pianist/composer and webmaster of Quiescence Music's online piano lessons. He has been helping students learn how to play piano in the New Age style for over 14 years and works with students in private, in groups, and now over the internet. Stop by now at http://www.quiescencemusic.com/piano_lessons.html for a FREE piano lesson!