As we just saw, one musical principle that has reverberated throughout time and across continents and cultures is theme and variation. To revisit that classic example, here’s the theme from Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5” and the first variation of it, displayed in Ableton Live’s piano roll. The simple shifting of the notes downward is very effective.
I love this quote from one of my favorite songwriters. Have you ever heard a song that captures exactly what you’re feeling? A song that makes you say, “YES! That’s exactly it, I just wasn’t able to express it myself!” Well, my friends, that’s one of the many joys of songwriting. So yes, you have a responsibility to help others with your words and melodies. Some days you might feel like you’re not helping anyone, but remember: The world needs the magic of music. And if musicians didn’t exist, we would never have that feeling of catharsis. And I don’t want to live in that world.