What does John Cullum, a well-known professional do with his free time? He's not a composer, not a lyricist. For many years, he has loved and admired Alan J Lerner, especially "My Fair Lady." It was a reciprocal admiration -- thanks to Alan's delight in John's talent, my husband's very first starring role on Broadway was in the Lerner and Lowe musical, "On a Clear Day."
I've joked about the fact that this guy -- Ludwig van Beethoven -- is John Cullum's real hero.
I even wrote a post for my blog last year, called "Beethoven Lives In My House."
John turns on his computer, and works for hours composing. I'm the computer expert in the family, but John has conquered a very complicated music composition program called "Finale."
He works and re-works lyrics, then creates the music on the computer -- note by note, phrase by phrase, time signatures, instrumentation, treble and bass clefs -- and more -- endless details are involved. (If you think word-processing is tricky, writing music in "Finale" is -- no kidding -- a hundred times more complicated. )
Then, when he has perhaps 32 bars of music, John begins wedding the lyrics to the melody, and rhythms. He re-works every note of music, every word, till he feels it's RIGHT.