Prewriting is the planning stage: "Who are you writing to?" "Why are you writing to them?" "What are you going to say?" "How are you going to say it?" - have an idea on how you'd answer these and things get a lot easier.

I'd spent several sessions looking for a theme and hadn't found anything that resonated; it's the most awful feeling when you can't come up with something new and everything just sounds derivative. I ended up using a technique that doesn't always work but paid off this time.


Music is a weird thing - for western pianists ultimately it's the result of how you combine 8 different notes which gives just over 40,000 different combinations. But it's not just that - the notes can be played in different registers, at different velocities, at different lengths and the number of possible outcomes is almost infinite. With so many options, where do you start?

As I was running short of ideas, I though I would build a theme around the idea of "IDEA." Yep - really! Seeing as there's no "I" on the piano, I just continued to count from A, B, C, D, E, F, G until I reached A again and that became H and the following B became I.

So - this theme is built around 4 notes: B, D, E, A - which spell out the word "Idea" and allow me to explore their different combinations.

The piece is pretty raw and unfinished, which fits in well with the title - it's about planning, it's about coming up with an idea, it's about seeing if it will fit and whether it's worth developing. I think by the end of the track there is definitely something there so I'm happy to take the theme forward into the drafting session.

Ian Hayhurst

This month's fabulous image is courtesy of Ian Hayhurst. You can see more of Ian's Flickr photos here

You can see the original uncut image here:

Music to make you more productive
Thousands of people use music2work2
Sign up and join them today