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In Between the Lines, Books 1 to 3
by composer Robert Bruce


In Between the Lines is a series of three books outlining Bruce's "natural philosophy" on music and offering an intuitive and composer-friendly approach to the art and craft of writing music. This approach incorporates basic principles of music's spiritual aspect that must be customized to suit each individual's natural musical tastes, styles and temperament.

Experienced and beginning composers adopting this approach move at their own pace throughout their careers, discover and develop their own musical anchor points (their own "musical vocabulary") and mainly follow the musical pathways which are of most interest to them.

This process is the springboard from which all of the greatest and most effective music in our world, in any style or genre, has been composed.

In Between the Lines - Book 1 (c. 2007) lays the philosophical foundation of music, with a focus on:

  • musical aesthetics,
  • the spiritual origins of music, and
  • the therapeutic value of music. 

A significant amount of attention is also placed on the aspects of vibration and how every sound and piece of music reflects a particular state of consciousness; in effect, how music is a living language. 

This book also takes a discerning look at the subject of "music therapy".  While it is emphasized that music and every kind of creative expression has a degree of therapeutic value, sometimes a very high degree, the author shines a somewhat critical spotlight on what the so-called experts in this field really know and on the value of what they are offering. 

Robert Bruce, with an extensive background of his own in this area, takes some of the mystery and guesswork out of "music therapy" by offering insights on music's original purpose.

In Between the Lines - Book 2 (c. 2012) is an insightful book on the principles of composition, writing music and the creative process.  It not only points out how to develop one's own composition method and style, but also details a number of elements that can be potentially damaging or confining to the creative process, particularly in the earlier stages of development when one's habits, patterns, and working methods are formed.  Some of the things to be cautious of are so commonplace, subtle, and seemingly innocent in nature that they are very often overlooked.

The book outlines how the path to writing meaningful and effective music that people will naturally appreciate and respond to in a favourable way is one that each person must travel in his or her own way.  What works for one will seldom work for another, but there are a number of principles and elements in common to all creative processes in music.  As certain basic principles are grasped, the person interested in writing music simply chooses, and continues to choose, all the musical brushes, colours, textures, and canvases he or she desires to work with, and these become a living language of expression simply through the forces of desire, honesty and application.  

Confidence and clarity increase with practice and experience.  Time, effort and dedication must be invested, but often in non-strained manner, if one wishes to discover what works best and accomplish truly desirable results.  At the same time, the things that really work in writing music can come quite easily, naturally, and spontaneously. Individuals need not necessarily go through long series' of pointless exercises and learn numerous techniques that are not at all suited to the styles and areas of music he/she is naturally suited to and/or interested in.

In Between the Lines - Book 3 (not yet published) is the musical autobiography of Robert Bruce detailing how he came to form his philosophy and approach to music composition.  

For more information, contact Robert Bruce.

Educational Talks

Robert Bruce also offers several programmes that include a talk on his philosophy and a live performance of a selection of his piano compositions that help illustrate various principles covered in his books.  Questions are taken from the audience. 

These highly engaging, integrated programmes can be booked for a wide variety of groups including:

  • music students of all ages;
  • art-related, health-related or lifestyle groups; or
  • audiences interested in spirituality, and philosophy-related topics.