The art and craft of creating new music.

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Composing for Solo Trumpet

I was just assigned a project to write an etude this weekend for solo trumpet. My question is not about the actual composing process, but rather searching for inspiration. I am currently writing a ...
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1answer
24 views

How could I recreate this particular synth sound?

I was wondering if anyone has any ideas about recreating a synth sound, or at least getting something relatively similar: https://www.dropbox.com/s/kswhzrr0ywoijfj/synthexport-28082015.mp3?dl=0 I've ...
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1answer
51 views

Are pop songs often composed on “layers” and is there a common set of layers used in pop music?

I was reading this question and this question, both of which discuss the parts that are often present in a piece of music as it progresses from beginning to end. The question I wanted to ask is about ...
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2answers
77 views

How to indicate left hand for piano sheet music

The Chopin - Godowsky Revolutionary Etude No 12 is arranged for the left hand only, and we're only informed about this by a note under the title. Please see the excerpt below: I am currently ...
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2answers
52 views

Looking for software to combine notation and recorded loops

Looking for some guidance about pieces of software to help w/ my compositions. I've been composing music for a while using Sibelius (and Finale at times) to scribe out parts, but recently I've been ...
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3answers
102 views

Melody Writing - Tension & Release

I'm back with a more specific question. I read in a book entitled 'Complete Idiots Guide for Music Composition' which has a detailed discussion on writing melodies and techniques to do so. As I have ...
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2answers
80 views

How did the plagal modes differ from their authentic counterpart in practice?

In the traditional modal system there were eight modes. Four that were authentic and four were plagal. These modes are depicted below: Based on the description of the modes the final note of the ...
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1answer
159 views

Is there a name for this ending tag?

I'm talking about the last notes of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" -- the accompaniment cuts off suddenly on a i chord where its progression ought to end, and the vocals continue to riff for a second. Is ...
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2answers
92 views

Writing a melody tips [duplicate]

I have posted before about improvisation but may be jumping ahead of myself, I am familiar with basic music theory and have knowledge of major/minor scales and chords. I am interested in composition ...
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2answers
62 views

Book that concentrates on how composers express emotions/concepts in music [closed]

I am trying to learn about composing on my own and I already have books on harmony and counterpoint that I am generally quite happy with. However, I found that these books concentrate on the ...
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3answers
102 views

Proper understanding of dissonance

I have recently had a big eye opener with one of my guitar pieces in how it uses dissonance in a musical way to make interesting music. I have always thought that for music to be dissonant is for it ...
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1answer
252 views

Over/under pitch note

I know there is a quarter tone notation, but is there a symbol for music score that will simply say over/under pitch? I think quarter tone notation might be too strict/rigid in music arrangement that ...
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4answers
138 views

How exactly tell the root of a song over a defined scale on ambiguous harmonic context?

I play a song in either C major key or A minor key. Usually I determine the root (C or A) taking into account clues like: The happy or sad feel of it all The first chord (C or Am) Stereotypical ...
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3answers
116 views

Why aren't songs with 11 beats 13 beats, common?

I wonder why haven't I heard songs that have 13 beats or 11 beats (or may be 17 beats or other complex number) per measure. Are there any songs like that? And, why don't people and music directors ...
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2answers
37 views

Is it common in song structure for a “Bridge” to be shorter than the verses?

I am a songwriter. I write Western Music - mostly in the Country genre. Every song I have ever written has at least two verses and a chorus. I don't always add a bridge as I recognize that a ...
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1answer
234 views

When composing for oboe, how useful is it to think about recorder fingerings?

I'm always a bit anxious when writing for winds, because I don't really have much of a clue how passages will be executed on the specific instrument. (And I know how needlessly complicated some parts ...
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1answer
145 views

What is the Lydian Chromatic Concept?

I've recently found out about George Russell's book the Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization and I've been curious about exactly what the Lydian Chromatic Concept is and how it can be used ...
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0answers
211 views

How to determine whether a song is considered musical plagiarism? [closed]

When I a try to compose my own music, I often come up with melody that is a bit similar with songs that I have heard before, and sometime I just feel that I have heard the melody somewhere, but I ...
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2answers
98 views

Bartok Mikrokosmos Book 3, no. 70

I have recently been trying to master this piece from Bartok's Mikrokosmos, and at first sight, it appeared daunting due to the fact that the right-hand part is in B major and the left-hand part is in ...
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1answer
73 views

Are there any popular pieces which periodically modulate down?

Many pop tunes will modulate up a semitone near the end of the piece in order to gain energy or excitement (some will do it multiple times for that extra kick). I've often wondered; are there any pop ...
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2answers
78 views

Voice-leading and Composition

This is a follow up to a post I made a couple of months ago regarding the way the four-part harmony voice-leading, taught in most harmony texts, is to be understood in relation to composition. In the ...
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2answers
95 views

How can I alter a melody to fit a new chord progression?

I'm playing around with algorithmic composition, and I have the following problem. I have a melody, a chord progression / scale / both that was used to generate that melody (via whatever method), ...
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1answer
233 views

Locrian Harmony

I like utilizing modes in my the pieces I write, but there is one mode I've never been able to fully grasp and utilize and that is the Locrian mode. The chords that naturally occur in the Locrian ...
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1answer
72 views

How can I get my piece of music for symphonic band published?

A few years ago, I wrote a piece of music for my high school band. I think the piece is high-quality enough that others will want to play it as well. What are the most common venues for publishing a ...
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3answers
471 views

Is it too late to learn music theory and composition?

I have been playing electric guitar for 5 years and have pretty decent technique. I have a decent ear too (I'm still improving it). I listened to rock guitar virtuosos like Yngwie Malmsteen, Paul ...
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1answer
153 views

Good books for simple composition?

I've taken a year of music theory, so I know all the basic conventions and I'd like to take it a step further and start composing little songs, like minuets or something. Are there any good beginning ...
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2answers
118 views

Why do so many symphonic works that are named “minor” end “major”?

For example, Schumann's Symphony No. 4 in d minor has the 4th movement end in D major. There are many many other examples that I have seen of this pattern; some that end on the major version of the ...
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218 views

Ritardando, Rallentando, and Allargando

Three common musical markings for gradual slowing down are ritardando, rallentando, and allargando. How do these differ from each other in interpretation and execution? For example, I was taught many ...
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1answer
88 views

How do you write an instrumental part for a choir?

I have been tasked to write a score for a choir and instrumental accompaniment. I have the sheet music of the songs with the sung voice and chords, and I do have basic knowledge of composition. The ...
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2answers
236 views

Arranging a piece for full Orchestra

I have recently finished writing an intermediate level piece for piano duet, and think it would sound pretty good when played by a full orchestra. Only problem is I don't know any one who can arrange ...
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3answers
326 views

How do you write successive, non-functional chord progressions?

Elements of non-functional harmony is ubiquitous among contemporary music creations. In most cases, it materializes in the way of non-functional chord progressions, which are characterized by its ...
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5answers
2k views

If A minor doesn't have any accidentals, is it still minor?

As part of a music course, we have to compose a 3 minute long piece based on a river's journey. Having finished the composition, we now have to write a set of sleeve notes - basically an analysis and ...
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3answers
96 views

Is there a name for this type ascending inversions of a repeated chord?

I was messing around on one of my guitars one day and stumbled upon this interesting ascending progression. I ended up writing a song using the progression even though I wasn't even sure what the ...
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1answer
45 views

Create a track that loops and can end quickly

For an amateur theatre, we need a track that is played live and loops in the background while all crew are presented. The track should end soon after the presentation, and it is not known how long the ...
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4answers
1k views

What notes to sing with chords

Ok, lets say you are playing a guitar and you have a song with 4 chords ( C D Am and F ). Should I sing the C note for C chord and D note for D chord and A note for Am and F note for F chord ? Or ...
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9answers
2k views

Is it acceptable to change tempo in the middle of a song or is this a bad idea?

I wrote a song that could be classified as Pop or Country that starts out at a medium slow tempo in the first two verses and bridge. Then there is a section after the bridge that can best be ...
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2answers
168 views

Augmented chords and chord substitution?

Say we are in C major; how do we use chords like the Augmented chords, other diminished chords outside the scale (minor to major substitution, dominant 7th substitution, altered chords, chord ...
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1answer
602 views

Is this a dissonance? What causes it?

My question is about the use of dissonance in music. In the song Heart Of Amsterdam (for German users, click here instead[*]), from the Lucassen-van Giesbergen "The Gentle Storm" project, at the 3:00 ...
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1answer
205 views

Country music elements

My question is in general but for right now I'm just specific about country music. Every genre of music has its own elements, and some genres have some features and some other don't. For example ...
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14answers
2k views

How do I get out of my song writing rut and compose something new and fresh for a change?

I have been writing melodies for my original lyrics since 2008 and have written quite a few songs in that time. But the more songs I write, the more difficult it becomes to write melodies that don't ...
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3answers
168 views

How to be fluent in music writing

The title can sound broad, but my question is not. I have a background of 4 years of solfege that I have done a long time ago. A few years ago I became a big fan of piano, I spent months listening to ...
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7answers
807 views

Why do some arrangements of notes make a good melody and some don't?

A note by itself is not always particularly pleasant to hear. Why do some specific combinations of notes make a good, pleasant melody? Why are some people good at coming up with such pleasing ...
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3answers
902 views

Why do modern popular songs composed on piano sound different than songs composed on guitar?

Songs that I hear that are piano based - ie. composed and originally performed on piano, seem to have a different feel than those composed on guitar. The flow, the movement, the chords used - are ...
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7answers
481 views

Essential things to memorize in music theory

What are some of the essential music theory concepts to memorize? I just started looking at music theory earlier this week, and I have to admit that it's pretty overwhelming especially since my only ...
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3answers
475 views

proper uses of minor seventh chords

Having used dominant seventh chords extensively,I am now trying to incorporate minor seventh chords into my compositions... Based on my [rudimentary] knowledge, minor seventh chords are usually used ...
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1answer
94 views

I have some lyrics with a melody and a chord progression. How do I go about adding music to it?

I wrote some lyrics and added a melody and chord progression. I would like to add more music to it. From what I know, I would have to add a bass track and add a beginning riff, a solo, drums etc.. I ...
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6answers
778 views

How do I find chords to go with my melody in music I write

I have written a number of tunes using just A,B,C, etc. to indicate notes. I have no musical knowledge so I am unable to find the appropriate chords to go with my tunes. Is there a an online program ...
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5answers
201 views

Beating 'Blank Page Syndrome' and Projecting Intent

I posted a question earlier, which a number of people pointed out was coming off too broad to make for a good post, and it was suggested I boil it down to a smaller bite, so here goes. I have been a ...
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4answers
570 views

Where on earth do I begin? [closed]

This question has been answered sufficiently, and I have posted a new, more specific question as was suggested. So, this probably isn't the usual post you might expect going by the title - this isn't ...
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4answers
404 views

Composing in Phrygian mode

I tried to compose in the Phrygian mode which seems to be harder than the natural, harmonic and melodic minor. The biggest challenge was to end my piece in its tonic chord. My song was intended to be ...