A Question About Collaboration

24 Dec 2014

For centuries, musicians collaborated on new works by being in the same place at the same time.  Today, though, technology has made that unnecessary.  

By zinging digital files anywhere in the world, many composers work with their collaborators remotely.  Now here’s the question:  how does this change the nature of the final product?


If you’re not in the same room (or on the same continent or not working together in real time) as your co-composer or your band, how different is the final outcome?  Think about the opportunities for miscommunication.  There’s no chance to interpret body language or facial expressions that may lead everyone down a new creative path.  What about fortunate mistakes that change the course of everything?  And let’s not forget the importance and value of personal interactions such as encouragement and other real-time feedback.

On the other hand, working remotely can also have some big advantages.  You can work on something until you get it right.  Unexpected surprises can result.  And there’s no pressure to come up with something immediately in front of everyone.

But hey, whatever works, right?

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