Finishing a Piece

Finishing a piece is joy and fear.

You’ve sweated over the big picture, the arc, the actual writing. The last few hours are spent on fine details, making sure the the piece will be as successful as possible at first reading.

And you feel great joy when you decide it’s ready to send to the conductor. Once there was an empty sheet of paper, and now there is the potential for music.

A minute later, the fear comes. Now you are once again looking at a blank sheet of paper, trying to imagine what it will sound like when finished.

That fear can keep you from accepting that you’re finished. You can spend needless hours and days fussing over the layout, the articulations, the exact piano voicings in bar 53. Because you don’t want to jump back into the fear and the blank page.

Jump. Face the fear, send the score, and begin again.