Wow, that’s not a strange question, it’s the big question, which indicates that you are at a point already advanced in the composition. Unfortunately, many composers or fans have not even come to ask this question. It is probably due to the new digital age, with all these sequencers or DAWs, which are made to make things easier and to go faster, so you can hunt that idea from your head as quickly as possible, without losing it.
The answer to your question can be quite ambiguous, because it depends a lot on the mental capacity of the composer. But I would focus on 3 fundamental things…
The first is to listen to a lot of music of this type. The best examples I would say are in the Original Sound Bands, because they have a script as a base, which is the moving image that is telling a story. As the story flows (the images do not repeat themselves, but almost always are different), the accompanying orchestral music must also do so, at least to a large extent. I do not know if you like the original soundtracks, made by old-school composers. I’m not talking about Zimmer or all these composers coming out of Media Ventures, who use a DAW to compose. I speak of score composers, in the style of Goldsmith, Williams, Horner and many others that clearly marked a very clear time, before flooding with computers with DAWs. There are so many soundtracks of very high quality that people have not yet heard. It is overwhelming.
The second, I would say it is knowing how to interpret with an instrument. If you do not know how to play an instrument, you will hardly get any fluid composition, because you will use the DAW and its utilities to copy and paste and repeat it ad nauseam, and then modify nuances. That is not the same as interpreting something by letting you carry it. The recommended instrument is the piano. You do not need to be an expert, but we have all these MIDI controllers that include a multi-octave piano. With that you can do wonders. The problem is to get rid of the vice of using the DAW or sequencer by copying patterns. This should only be done with the rhythms or accompaniments, such as percussion, certain chords or use of synthesizers for the environment and little else.
And to do all this you probably have to know yourself. Have you ever imagined a piece of music, or at least a piece, inside your head, that you have never seen before?Well, it seems that we have a brain and like the rest of the muscles of the body it is necessary to excite and train it. Put on fluent music while you go to sleep can help you learn while you enjoy listening. If you do not stop listening to repetitive music, as electronic music puts on a computer, you will not hear many fluent examples. Most sung songs are also repetitions. Many occupy 3 minutes and you repeat the letter 4 times. There is almost nothing original about it, precisely because of that repetition. The nuances do a lot here and the same melody can be played in many ways. All that touches analyze it and take advantage of it.
I myself am very aware of this problem. Even some of the Renoise tools that I build for myself personally are to copy data, repeat. Clone whole patterns, clues. In the end you should be aware of what you are using and how to use it. And that is done by experimenting with what you have already composed. If you have a melody, you can transform it to vary it, but that is not enough. If you play an instrument and let your mind lead you, you should be able to compose fluently. You must be calm and inspired, without anyone bothering you. Use your DAW as a tool, not as the basis of your composition, but you will constantly have those repetitions everywhere.
You can take a test thousands of times, even if it seems ridiculous. Use your mobile phone and record yourself humming or whistling the melody that comes to mind. Try to develop it. Then listen and analyze if you repeat yourself. If at the end you get some fluid melody, you will be able to compose it. But, you need to train your brain for it.
By the way, do you use loops? Stop using them…
I’m glad someone asks these things!!!