Theory informs the craft of composition. Limitations in the development of craft can restrict the musician’s expressive potential within the art of composition.

Composition as Craft: virtuosity developed via music theory as generalizations, descriptive rules and patterns of style, technique, and method; developing understanding and excellence in the practice (i.e. the practice of music, law, medicine).

Composition as Art: a practice/process existing beyond theory, measurement and rules: imagination, intuition, creativity, exploration, curiosity, aesthetics; awareness of meaning

Expressive potential in the art of composition and performance is limited by:

  1. Expertise in craft: how, what;

technique, theory, practical experience historical awareness of styles, methods, techniques/technology, analysis, imitation, execution, proficiency, virtuosity, technique development, intellectual development; didactic and experiential learning; development of expressive means (toolkit).

  1. Artistic development: why;

life experience, emotional, perceptual and aesthetic awareness, intuition, imagination, insight, curiosity, innovation; a search for meaning and aesthetic expression beyond current limits.

  1. Intrinsic/Extrinsic factors: talent, intelligence, creativity, motivation, persistence, opportunity, support, etc.

AI (artificial intelligence) can generate music compositions reliant on rule-based styles, techniques and theoretical methods of composition (i.e. aleatoric, stochastic, algorithmic, serialisms, fugues). Increasingly, the rule bound aspects of the craft of composition (styles, forms, techniques, etc.) are being replicated and simulated by technology.

In a sense, AI technology demonstrates the generative possibilities of composition as craft only. That is, based on theoretical models. And this illuminates to a further degree many of the differences existing between the craft and art of music composition.