At 5/11/12 10:37 AM, LogicalDefiance wrote:
Once I'm started I generally have at least two motifs in my head. If I get stuck after that then generally I just follow the harmony I already have going, and if the harmony ain't goin anywhere, theory is your best friend.
If my melody isn't going anywhere, I generally stop until I figure out how to make it go somewhere. (That applies more to concert music, though.) Music is a journey, and the worst thing you can do is get stuck going in a circle of repitition.
There's a fascinating clip on YouTube where Leonard Bernstein (I think?) plays the opening bars of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Then, he plays a couple of Beethoven's early sketches of the start of the first movement, and shows how Beethoven started with a descending pattern, and got stuck in a repetitious restatement of the motif, another that also goes nowhere, and then the final version of the theme with its adventurous, heroic statement and variation of the theme.
Now, in video game and film music, of course, repetition of at least some elements is very necessary for establishing a consistent mood or feeling, that's not to say it needs to be repetitive, though: the best contemporary film composers have impressive development and variation in their longer cues.