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Re: Is lilypond really suitable for composing?

From: Tom Cloyd
Subject: Re: Is lilypond really suitable for composing?
Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2018 16:24:38 -0700

Hogwash? Well, not really. Your point about what is possible is fine. I don't disagree. But my point remains, and my error was in not making it clear enough. I'll try again.

It has to do with cognitive load and the concept of "limited attentional workspace", a key concept in cognitive psychology.

Re: cognitive load: I'll wager that many of us are not exactly fluent in Lilypond. I'm certainly not. Using it is fun, but definitely requires thought and effort. Notating my developing score by hand is VERY much less effortful. Thus it imposes much less of a cognitive load.

Re: limited attentional workspace: One of the best validated concepts in cognitive psychology is the idea that we can only keep a limited number of "things" in our consciousness at any one time. Our attentional workspace is seriously limited.

So here's the point, given those two ideas: If one is not fluent in Lilypond, then it imposes a non-trivial cognitive load on us, reducing the energy we have to do other effortful things, such as create the music in our mind without recourse to an instrument. Furthermore, the sheer number of elements to track in a developing Lilypond program places real demands on our attentional workspace.

Thus, I argue, NOT using Lilypond during the most creative part of composition give us much more cognitive reserve, of both sorts, for composing, including the part involving working without an instrument to "hear' the music on.

I hope I'm making more sense now!



“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” ~ Neil Gaiman

Tom Cloyd, MS MA LMHC (WA) | address@hidden
Psychotherapist (psychological trauma, dissociative disorders)
Spokane, Washington, U.S.A: (435) 272-3332 | Google+ | Facebook ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On Fri, Mar 23, 2018 at 2:41 PM, Flaming Hakama by Elaine <address@hidden> wrote:

From: Tom Cloyd <address@hidden>
To: Frauke Jurgensen <address@hidden>
Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2018 13:24:48 -0700
Subject: Re: Is lilypond really suitable for composing?
100% in agreement. Developing that inner ear is immeasurably valuable, but it takes effort, and that effort is made only when there's motivation. Having only oneself to rely on provides the context for that motivation. (HA! Can you guess MY occupation?)

I call hogwash.  Developing inner ear has nothing to do with using pencil & paper vs using notation software.  A more meaningful distinction is whether you are composing by ear or not:

* If you are plucking out every note and chord at the piano, then notating the ones you like with pencil & paper (or into notation software), you are NOT developing your inner ear.
* If you come up with all the notes in your head and enter them directly into notation software (or on paper), then you are are using your inner ear.

I agree that the processes of composition, arranging/orchestration and engraving are distinct, and should be approached as such.  And I agree that developing your inner ear is crucial.  But you can do all of that with the help of notation software, or not.

David Elaine Alt
415 . 341 .4954                                           "Confusion is highly underrated"
skype: flaming_hakama
Producer ~ Composer ~ Instrumentalist

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