I have been playing piano for about 8 months and I "made" this song when I did not know how to "write or read" music (between month 3 and 6) and when I made it I thought it sounded cool, but now that I have been studying music theory I realized that the song is made with a lot of chords, ostinatos and the left hand is "poor". So, should I be "proud" of that song, or should I try to make it more complex? I know the question may be silly, but what I mean is, can simple compositions be "good"?

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    You should be "proud" that you actually made your first song. The next step is to make a better one! My main criticism of it would be that (like most beginning composers' first attempts) it starts pretty well, but the beginning is followed by a succession of different musical ideas that don't have any obvious connection with each other. Try to develop your first idea, not just repeat it a few times and then change to "something completely different". – user19146 May 15 '17 at 21:13
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    Exactly. Can't help being reminded of this a bit: youtube.com/watch?v=TPww-ieu5oc – leftaroundabout May 15 '17 at 21:21
  • Don't ever try to make a song anything but better. – Todd Wilcox May 16 '17 at 2:09
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    Yes, be proud! I think you already have some good answers below, but I want to suggested one practical idea: do a bit of study on modulation. Most classical forms involve modulating to different keys. – Michael Curtis May 16 '17 at 19:20
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    It's important to remember that everything you create is done in the best possible way you understand how to create that thing. Naturally, as you get better, you'll want to feel embarrassed by the things you created. Some pieces will stand out as strong, others will fade. Be kind to yourself and remember that in a world of instant-everything, music-making takes a tremendous amount of time and patience. A piece should only be exactly what it needs to be. If it needs to be "complicated", great. If it needs to have open fields of silence, great. You create as much silence as you do sound. – jjmusicnotes May 17 '17 at 13:43

First, I completely agree with @alephzero that you should be proud that you made a song, and should make more songs. This is how you get better; if you need to do it, there will be no stopping you anyway.

I don't think that this is a silly question at all; in fact, I would say that it is a good sign that you are asking such questions. It is good to periodically look back on what you have done to assess.

"Should I try to make it more complex?" One of the most difficult things for an artist in any medium to get used to is evaluating their own work (insofar as this is even possible). Try to cultivate some detachment from your work, so that when you look at it, or listen to it, it isn't personal-- it is music. Listen for what is working, and for what isn't working. If you have written a piece that in retrospect seems to not be working, and you feel like there is something there to improve upon, go ahead. If there are ideas that you like and think could be separately developed, take them and start again. But, unless you have specific ideas in mind, I would let it go and start something new. The more things you make and throw away, the easier it is to let go of bad ideas. And there will be plenty of bad ideas.


Simple can be very good. The problems with your piece are nothing to do with complexity or lack of it. It's where we all start. The part from 1'05" onwards shows promise. Next piece, please?


The song is complex enough. Besides, people like simplicity that's why pop songs that play three/four chords are more popular than jazz that modulates everywhere and has complex chords.

However, this song doesn't seem to go somewhere. It takes alot of different patterns and puts alot of different images in ones head that dont have to do with eachother. Like in beginning I thought of horses racing, then I thought of a kid opening up a present on christmas, then I thought of a drunken organ player, then I thought of a haunted house. See, it doesnt lay out a distinct atmosphere. You need to go a certain direction. Also look into tension and resolve, and having distinct patterns in your song that the listener can identify with. Try to see a "movie" in your head, of what your song is a good soundtrack for. A good way to do this is to add music to a muted youtube video where the video describes the mood of what you're feeling. You can pause the video also to just get an overall feel of what emotions you're trying to evoke.

But good job nonetheless. As Steve Jobs once said "A real artist ships". And as Picasso said "It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child." Simplicity is where it's at.

  • Also you might want to look into composition theory / musical form like: motive/motif, phrase, cadence, period, sentence. basically, ways to organize your song. it's the same as thinking about words/sentences/paragraphs when writing in English. – user34288 May 17 '17 at 22:02
  • especially the motif. that's the heart of the song. people can improvise just on the motif of a song. youtube.com/watch?v=i__hEpotI9I – user34288 May 17 '17 at 22:23
  • another good example: youtube.com/watch?v=DqZYA9EU6PI – user34288 May 18 '17 at 2:45

For a more objective point of view, try tracking the numbers of likes and favourites of songs that you find simple on YouTube/Musescore/etc. You may be pleasantly surprised how many people publicly display that they like those songs.


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