I’m curious to hear from other composers about how you create ideas for compositional textures. This is one area of composing that I have a lot of difficulty with. What I mean by “compositional textures,” are the parts underneath your main melody lines or motifs, such as woodwind runs/trills, string arpeggios/comping, brass stabs, ostinatos, or even straight counterpoint lines.
I know that choosing what to do in any given situation is many times simply an artistic choice and that, so long as your parts follow the harmony, you technically can do anything. But, over the years of practicing composing, I’ve found that isn’t quite true and very often a texture I would like to use sounds out of place or doesn’t “feel” right. For example, I want to use aprs in the violas to give some backing harmony and rhythmic movement to a part, but ends up sounding out of place. It sounds good in my head, but doesn’t translate to the score.
Do you have any particular rules or guidelines you follow when deciding on a texture for a part, or do you just go off your creative instinct?