Day One—21 Days of VGM


So Dan Hulsman from Video Game Music Academy is just started #21DaysofVGM—an event where hundreds of composers are committing to write music every day. 

If music is your main gig, you should prooobably be doing #365DaysofVGM. But folks with non-musical full-time jobs (like me!) often find it difficult to write as much as we should.

That's why I'm thrilled to take part in this 21-day challenge. I don't want to just write something every day, though. I want to take this opportunity to address my weaknesses head-on.

My weaknesses

I'm not what you'd call a """""classically trained""""" composer. And I don't consider that a badge of honor; I really would have loved to study under a real-live human being. But—save for a single class in college—I'm entirely self-taught through active listening, trial, and error. 

Because I was never taught the proper way to do things, I end up making a lot of mistakes, especially when it comes to writing for live musicians. As best as I can tell, my Biggest Weaknesses® in music are:

  • Notation (a bassoonist once told me, "Your music is so beautiful, but it looks so. UGLY." Yeowch! But she was right.)
  • Getting stuck writing to the barline
  • Voice leading

So over the next 21 days, I want to really set to work fixing these things. I want to pay more attention to the way my music looks on the page so musicians will stop leaving me bad yelp reviews and start inviting me to parties again. I want to free myself from the barline and improve my voice leading/harmony technique so my music can be more complex and less complicated.

Here's the thing though: I can't do any of this without your help! So please, if you happen to look/listen to any of my pieces over these next 21 days, let me know what I'm doing wrong! Leave a message in the comments or hit me up on Twitter/Facebook. I promise I take criticism well :)

Today's challenge

I have a different exercise scheduled for each day of the event. Today, I was supposed to just do a short chorale in four-part harmony, but it turned into this instead:

I added a random four-part chorale near the end, so I didn't go completely off the rails. Anyway, the score's below! Let me know what you think!

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