How much music should one composer make?



Do you think some composers make too much music?

Maybe you think that some composers don't create enough music. I guess a good question to start with might be, how much music should one composer make?

In the classical music world, there used to be an unspoken formula for making music. It went something like this,
  1.     Compose piano (solo instrument) pieces (Sonata, Etude, Prelude)
  2.     Compose ensemble pieces (Sextet, Songs, Continuum)
  3.     Compose string quartets
  4.     Compose orchestral works (Concerto, Symphony, Suite)
  5.     Compose choral works (Oratorio, Passion, Mass)
  6.     Compose a Requiem or a monumental work
  7.     Die
That sounds like a lot of music; a lifetime's amount of music. How do you know if it’s too little, enough, or too much?

Are you making more music than one person should?

Are you making music simply because you can? Technology certainly gives us that opportunity today. What with loops, samples, found sounds, remixing and sampling, the options seem endless; you can go on creating music for your whole life. But when is enough, enough?

Franz Joseph Haydn would be one you could say wrote too much music. 104 symphonies alone? Come on man, that's just too many. Muzio Clementi wrote more than 110 piano sonatas. Do you think that's too many? I do.

The list goes on and on. It's not just classical composers. Deep Purple, as much as I am probably their number one fan, they released their first album in 1968, just last month, they released another one. That's 49 years of releasing albums; they have too many to count. Is that too much music?

Does too much musical choice mean you are missing out?

If you can afford it, and you buy every album your favourite band creates, do you ever get the chance to listen to the complete collection more than once? Is your music collecting like your library, and does most go unheard and unread?

I counted my albums, it took me a while, 618, and that’s just the digital albums. If each one goes for on average 40 minutes, that’s 412 hours of listening pleasure. That’s about two and half weeks of non-stop listening, or should I say pain? Yep, maybe that’s too much.

What do you think is the right amount of music a composer should create?

Another question could be, is listening to too much music bad for you? — Coming soon.