When I was at CCM, I was just a guitar major, I took a couple of elective kind of courses in the realm of 'composition'. One was I think just called the composition elective course. But, all it was was ok, go write this dodecaphonic serialist exercise and be graded on your handling of rows.
I struggled with that as a concept and finally refused, and dropped the course. But, I worked kind of hard at it before I said, yeah, no, I have a good GPA going and this guy is, I don't trust this criteria anyway, I could get a C or some shit. So, I got to where I can make shit up live, you don't know unless I write it out it's not my totally excellent handling of teh rows. I lived later with a group in the 1980s called 12 Tone Records actually, we were free improvisers in the avant-garde modi operandi. You should hear our phone machine greetings of that time.
Anyway, Zappa talking about his early development, he could draw quite well as a child and originally wanted to equate in his mind how it looks to how it should sound. Until he heard it, the dots and the maths (attracted to 12-tone as though the maths were some guarantee) were not really getting it done.
But I never 'got' the performances particularly of Schoenberg I was privy to as a student, and what it is is this neurotic or sick aspect to it. I think that's a choice, now that I heard more, by people with I guess a more objective approach to it (cf., Webern). But I wanted something more with a sense of humor out of that fabric.
check out the lick on the Fender bass at 0:55. Still makes me laugh.
film by Roger Corman, "The Wasp Woman" (which for being as cheap as it is, is shot incredibly well)