Where does music begin?

Christopher McHale
2 min readMay 16, 2023


In the AI era it’s an important question.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Where does music begin?

It’s always the same place.

In my head.

Since I was a kid I’ve walked around with music in my head. I’d go on long walks through London composing dramatic symphonies. It was one of my favorite things to do.

I played imaginary games, always accompanied by film scores.

My life became getting this music out of my head.

It became my frustration too.

Getting those beautiful harmonies out of the imagination and onto a page is an itch that demands to be scratched ASAP.

Those musical tendrils can vanish like smoke.

Every composer has the same story. There simply are not enough hours in the day and it’s exhausting.

It’s exhilarating too.

When you hear something from your imagination performed, it’s magic.

The greatest among us have a direct route from ear to page. Mozart’s scores are legendary for their lack of correction. Beethoven’s were a mess. Both were haunted by sublime music playing in their heads.

I was thinking of this because of the advent of generative AI music. It’s an important question.

AI is an intriguing and powerful tool. But the great music ahead of us we wil hear someday, the music that will melt our hearts and make our soul dance is currently in the head of a child walking down a street.

That’s where music begins.

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Christopher McHale

Writer | Composer | Producer | Human | Christopher writes about creativity, culture, technology, music, writing. www.christophermchale.com