"I can play just about any keyboard but I can't read or write a note."
In keeping with my running Halloween theme. Did you know that film director John Carpenter (Halloween, They Live) composed or co-composed most of his films' music? The theme for Halloween is common in pop-culture, and he won a Saturn award for best music for the film Vampires. Given the quote above, that would seem hard to believe. Some people just have a natural talent? Perhaps. in this case John's father was a classical violinist and music teacher. He spent his whole childhood involved in music in some shape or form. When he was a child, John tried many musical instruments but never had the knack for them until he came across the synthesizer.
After playing with rock bands through the 70's one would think he would have picked up the basics of reading and writing music. And that would have led to John composing or co-composing the bulk of the scores of his films. Neither of those is the case. The composing came from pure guerrilla grit given that his early films had no budget for music. And there is no formal process for composing his music. As he puts it "...there’s not much thought. It’s kind of an automatic process; after a while it became that. I knew what the film was because I directed it, and sometimes I had written it. I would have no preconception about what the score should be."
This week we are going to change up the question a little bit.