Thinking Out Loud – Hybrid or Ambiguous?

I recently heard a person use the word “hybrid” to describe music used for a film that could work for multiple scenarios/emotions. That a piece of music that was originally locked in place for a sad scene could also be used for a triumphant moment as well.

When I think of the word “hybrid,” I think “the best of both words” of combining two or more things together to create something better. However, is this music really more of a “hybrid” or an ambiguous score? Also, is there any skill of making one more than the other?

And this question goes beyond scores – it applies to writing any kind of music. From fusing genres together, you are teetering on the fine line between creating a hybrid or something ambiguous.

My question is on if there is a risk of making this “hybrid” or ambiguous music. Is there artistry is writing a piece of music that could serve on multiple levels (be it for use, emotion, genre, etc.), or does it spread the art too thin?

Personally, I think there is some kind of achievement in your music could live in multiple worlds. But if something is made ambiguous without intention, then that’s on the fault of the composer. What’s your take?

Just thinking out loud.

Author: Bryan M. Waring

Bryan Waring is a graduate of USM's School of Music with a B.M. in Performance – Composition and is now attending Belmont University for a M.M. in Commercial Media – Composition & Arranging. During his time at USM, he studied violin with Dino Liva and composition with Dr. Daniel Sonenberg, as well as has premiered several pieces during the semiannual Composer's Ensemble concert series. In 2017, Bryan was a writer for the original musical theater work of "Molded By The Flow," directed by Paul Dresher and Rinde Eckert. Outside of school, Bryan has been involved with writing music for videogame developers at Portland's CI2 Lab, collaborating with the King Tide Party, and studying with Larry Groupé (Straw Dogs) in San Diego. Now living in Nashville. Along with composing, Bryan teaches music to children, receiving the Master Teacher Award for his work at ESF Camps; and does audio engineering for live ensembles. Besides talents in music, Bryan is a team-player in any competitive work environment; equipped with skills in leadership, organization, mathematics, creativity, communication, and managing. On the side, Bryan has worked as a model for several skilled artists in the New England area. Among his other accomplishments include obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout in April 2013 with a project of building a side parking area with guide rails for Webb Mountain Park in Monroe, CT.

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