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Hoping this is the right place to ask. A person has a couple of half decent music phrases, a few bars each. They want to use said phrases to compose a 9 to 10 minute piece of music, not necessarily a song. What could or should their next step(s) be? Thank you in advance.

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Well, quite obviously, "a 9 to 10 minute piece of music" is(!): "not only 'a song,' but 'a composition.'"


Therefore, "with this much musical space to fill," I suggest that you should look at various time-tested classic song forms by which to build such a thing.  For example, the "sonata."  This classic form consists basically of the following:

  1. Exposition:  in which you introduce each of the "half-decent musical phrases," one at a time.
  2. Development:  in which you "play around with" the phrases in turn, perhaps playing them against each other.
  3. Conclusion:  in which you finally, recognizably, bring each of them together to a satisfying finale.


(In all cases, involve the original artist as much as possible!)


To construct the "exposition," consider parts that might serve as "settings" for the original ideas.  Ways to stretch them out, if you will.  Ways to introduce all of them, within the musical context created by each other.  Ways to, "in a fair economy of musical notes," actually make the various ideas feel like they actually belong together in the same bar-room. 🙂


For "development," take the original ideas and "improvise madly."  Take all of your ideas back to the original artist – "you know, the 'royal patron' ... – and see what they like and don't like.


Then, for "conclusion," draw the best "development" (and "exposition") phrases together into something that ... feels good.

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