Gerry Bassermann’s Composer’s Forum Series
Gerry Bassermann’s “Composer’s Forum” series features his unique insights on composition.
Forums were part of my musical training, and those experiences have stayed with me and informed my music and teaching. I’m really happy to share them. The information ranges from understanding music theory and history to partnering with electronic music devices and software, working your way through a creative void, and much more.
The articles reveal ways to construct a compelling musical piece, a natural-sounding song, or a well-built guitar solo, for example. There is no dogma and no advice, per se. I offer ideas to consider and options to try. It’s important to find your own way, not someone else’s, and to find the balance where you can consider an audience’s headspace while satisfying your own integral artistic core.
University graduate sessions in which student composers audition and debate each other’s work are the inspiration for “Composer’s Forum.” The column discusses topics such as playing techniques and phrasing, a composer’s intention and actual result, and psychological time versus real time. They consider the dynamics of musical energy and the power of managing expectations whether delivered or denied. There’s no limit to these discussions. When it’s your music being reviewed, do they get it or not?
Composer’s Forum Series
Composer’s Forum: Pattern Paradise
How to use sequencers to create musical patterns My last few columns have discussed repetition in music and the patterns that result. Until now, those
Composer’s Forum: Musical Meters
As music evolved, repetitions became patterns, and patterns became musical meters. Meters are time signatures. While tempo is how fast the music goes, meter is how the music goes fast. Together
Composer’s Forum: Pattern Recognition
Go beyond simple repetition and explore new musical territory by composing patterns. Last month, I contemplated the concept of repetition in music. That made me
How to Design Sounds Like a Film Composer
Movie and TV composer Michael Whalen reveals his approach to developing sounds for music. I’ve been creating sounds for more than 40 years. I coax
Composer’s Forum: Repetition in Music
To connect with your audience, anything worth playing is worth playing again. To repeat or not to repeat? That’s this month’s question. There are all
Composer’s Forum: Recycle Your Creative Output
File away your musical ideas for future use. Think about how you make music. It can be pretty nonstop: playing, listening, producing, and posting finished
Composer’s Forum: Harmonic Theory Part 2 – Enter the Volt
Exploring harmonic relationships beyond chords and intervals. Chords. What are chords? Oh, that’s right, they are collections of notes sounded at the same time. They
Composer’s Forum: Harmonic Theory, Part I
Managing the horizontal and vertical dimensions of musical space. Chords. Who doesn’t love chords? Generally speaking and to most people, chords appear to be the
Composer’s Forum: Beyond the Jam… Creating Musical Form
Ever wonder why some moments in your favorite pieces of music seem so deeply satisfying? Most often, it’s because the composer has carefully designed such
Composer’s Forum: How to Develop New Ideas and Manage Your Inspiration
Do you believe in magic? What should you do when you’ve fallen under its spell? The real beginning of any musical piece is not how
Composer’s Forum: Reality Check, Please
You think you’re writing music…but what are you really doing? You switch on your synth, boot your laptop, and then search for some fresh sounds
GERRY BASSERMANN is a composer who works in many different acoustic and electronic styles, playing a variety of instruments and programming music computers and synthesizers. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, he holds a doctorate in music composition and performance. Since 1992, he operates Opus Nine Productions, a music and sound design project studio. Gerry has produced soundtracks for video and multimedia projects and has designed sounds and installations for many electronic music companies. He performs regularly, singing and playing guitars, keyboards, and percussion. Gerry currently resides in Asheville, North Carolina.