Finding Your Own Voice as a Composer

As a composer, you’re very often confronted with conversations about “finding your own voice” and “your piece sounds like composer xyz” and some young composers feel very under pressure to develop an unique style.

While of course a composer should have his or her very own personal style, sometimes even as a unique selling point, unfortunately, in the media world you’re very often requested to write soundalikes. So being able to reproduce another composer’s style is not the worst ability as a young film composer.

In my experience, setting yourself under pressure to “find your own” voice doesn’t help at all. You’ll automatically develop a personal style over time and it comes especially with experience. With a growing musical vocabulary, you will start to gravitate towards musical devices that you find more attractive. The things that you consciously decide to go for instead of other musical options that would work just as well are the things that will ultimately shape your own personal style.

This is not something you can force when you’re just at the beginning and building your musical vocabulary as every new concept or musical device you’re learning or discovering might feel like a shiny new toy that you have to play with for a while until you ultimately decide whether you actually like it or not.

So the bottom line is: don’t force trying to sound different, no matter at what stage of your career you are. Enjoy the fun in music and eventually your personal musical preferences will shape your personal musical style.


  1. Lennart Östman

    Absolutely right! You style of composing is automatically as personal as your style of walking. But you have to learn to walk first!

    • Robin

      Great comparison!


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