Making Music when you are not a Musician

When working towards being something, one often feels like an impostor. This feeling has been characteristic of my journey as a game developer. I had to learn to do certain things for myself, improve my lateral thinking, and learn news skills.

The most intimidating part of becoming a solo game developer was making my own music. While you can find good stock music online, it is difficult to make the feel consistent. When I was faced with the reality that I wouldn’t be able fill an entire game with bangers like “techno loop #78”, I knew that I needed to make my own music.

I am not a musician by trade. In all honesty, I don’t have much of a musical ear. When singing I hit about 37.4% of the notes. While lacking the voice of an angel does not mean that you can’t have musical skill, I let it discourage me from developing any.

This brings me to my point; you don’t have to be a musician to make music. This obviously sounds counter-intuitive, whether you think that a certain prowess is required to make music or that making any music turns one into a musician. I simply ask you to indulge me with one question. If you bake a loaf of bread, are you a baker?

This question strikes at the heart of what identity is. Who am I? It is also a notoriously difficult question to answer, as philosophers have long debated what makes a person unique since Plato talked about forms. More specifically, what makes you take on secondary identity? What makes a person a baker, musician, gamer, beauty guru, or dancer?

Using the example of musicians, a few option can be eliminated. A musician cannot be a professional title like plumber because many musician are not paid for their music. The amount of experience cannot dictate whether one is a musician because some musicians have very little experience but still earn title. There must be some way to know when you are a musician, isn’t there?

Well no, there isn’t. It is impossible to know when something becomes part of your identity. An identity is a culmination of emotions, action, thoughts, and desires. All a person can do is develop their identity, hoping to find it along the way.

Published by Andrew Kenny

A young game developer looking to give small creators big opportunities.

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