Last night I was driving home with the family when a piece of music flew into my head. I have no idea where it came from, but I liked it and kept repeating it to myself. Normally when I get inspiration like that I open up my laptop and sing the music into it as well as I can, but I couldn't do that at the time. Instead I visualized how I would notate the idea: "Key of A major, 4/4 time, a simple I - ii - V progression with a melodic line that starts on the root and descends one step diatonically as it moves over a dotted quarter - eighth note - half note rhythm." (Yeah, I know it's sloppy, but it has been decades since I finished my music theory studies and this is pretty much all that stuck.)
By today I had lost it. I remembered my mental notes, but the actual music wasn't coming back. I tried over and over to remember it and hear it again. No soap.
The, about half an hour ago, it happened. Something clicked. I started with the rhythm, somehow remember where the progression fell in it, and within two notes of the melody I had it all back! YES!!!
Before I could lose it again I walked over to our piano and played it. [ASIDE: While I do not have perfect pitch, I had a strong feeling that this little piece of music was in A. As soon as I played the chord, I knew I was right. That made me very happy. #dork] Although I hadn't envisioned it being played on the piano (since that is not my instrument), it sounded really nice, so I stuck with it. I played it several times to [a] get past my dumb fingers, and [b] get it more firmly into my head before I could lose it again.
That is when I thought about getting my laptop down and recording my playing. My laziness told me to grab my iPad from the couch and use it instead. I had never used GarageBand on the iPad before, but I figured that the least I could do was record a simple piano track and call it a day.
Fat chance of that! Once I started, I couldn't stop. I recorded the piano part, then added a second track, layered the melody on top with an electric piano, and topped it off with a simple bass line. All this for 16 bars of a dead simple bit of music.
Oh, if only this stuff were around when I was a music major. How different my college years would have been! At least it's here now and I can diddle around with it to my heart's content in my middle age.