It makes me mad when I think of a tune but don't have time to sit down and notate it. Usually when this happens, I hum it to myself once and by the time I have time to write it down, I've forgotten it.

To combat this, I try to keep the tune in my head for an insanely long amount of time. Be glad you don't have an audio feed from within my skull: you'd be hating me with all your energy.

So a tune hits me as I'm leaving Catlett yesterday afternoon. I've been allotted an hour between this point and the time when I can get the Soprano Sax from the Wind Symphony quartet so that I can perform in the composers' recital that night.

But with this time, I must buy food from Wal-Mart.

Spending all my time in Catlett is a bit of a mixed blessing. There's so many people practicing for their recitals and juries and whatnot at all hours of the day that one can't help but extract inspiration from the music emanating from the walls.

But at the same time, these practitioners of the art of music can distract you from hearing a melody of your own with conflicting notes chords and rhythms.

Luckily, as I headed toward my vehicle, a lone piano major played a short series of notes that sparked an entire musical phrase within my mind.

Not having time to jot this down, I decided that I would repeat the idea to myself over and over and over (etc.) as I procured objects to purchase at our neighborhood Wal-Mart Supercenter.

For over an hour, I repeated the same 16-bar phrase until I almost went insane. I thought for sure this one wouldn't leave my head.

After I obtained that elusive Soprano, sure enough, the music had left my head, replaced by the music I was to perform at 8 that night.

I was angry, but after a while I forgot that I was even in search of a lost tune.

Then all day today, I've been making vain attempts to recall the music that haunted me for seventy minutes the day before. It was becoming frustrating.

Sitting at work, my brain finally had a chance to stop working (that sounds awful, doesn't it?) and settled back into the nice bassa groove I laid down 28 hours ago.

Wasting no time, I whipped out my Realistic Concertmate and The Big Book of Staff Paper (not an exaggeration, mind you: 512 pages) and put to paper that elusive melody.

And it's the putting to paper of the idea that yields immense satisfaction. Difficult to explain, sure, but I think enough composers read these articles to identify with that feeling.

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