One day, I pitched a new theme for a major franchise property to a well-respected producer, who admitted to knowing next to nothing about music. The producer, after struggling to articulate the issue clearly, finally told me the melody had “too many notes.” I chuckled to myself, having heard perhaps the most infamous creative direction one could give a composer. Then I began to realize with growing shock: it was true.

It was an oversimplification of the real problem. The theme wandered too much, was built from unsatisfying contours, was architecturally unsound, and not memorable as a result. But it truly did contain too many notes.

I took the advice to heart, and radically improved upon my idea.

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