The art and craft of creating new music.

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17
votes
4answers
1k views

Software for microtonal MIDI?

I'm looking to make some microtonal music (19/22 tone equal temperament). I want to produce it with midi. Timidity++ used to be able to produce a WAV file from a microtonal tuned .MID file, but it is ...
7
votes
4answers
229 views

Why am I always sticking to minor keys?

When I'm improvising on my keyboard, or trying to compose a melody, I always find myself playing in a minor key -- and never a major one. (For keyboard it's usually G minor or D minor, but that I ...
5
votes
2answers
102 views

Suggested text material about Italian baroque composition

As a hobbyist composer who composes in "almost" traditional music styles (baroque-like, classical-like etc.), I am at a stage where I would like to compose authentic music in a specific style. I have ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I improve my piano accompaniments?

When I play piano or keyboards, I've noticed that I keep slipping into playing the same chords (and variations thereof, such as very simple bass lines) with my left hand while I use my right hand to ...
7
votes
1answer
188 views

How do I write lyrics? [closed]

When I try to 'compose' a song, I can come up with chords and a melody for the voice, but I can never come up with any lyrics. Usually all the lyrics I come up with sound totally random, don't make ...
12
votes
1answer
471 views

What is a Neapolitan 6th?

In studying music theory I have hear the term Neapolitan 6th a quite few times, but I don't know what it is. What is a Neapolitan 6th and how is it used in a composition?
9
votes
3answers
210 views

How to give a song this sense of “conclusion”?

Alt-J's first album ends with the song Taro -- a song whose outro leaves a very strong impression on me. The outro sounds like a very fitting ending to any album, because the music simply gives me ...
6
votes
5answers
490 views

How to start making musique concrète?

This is probably one of the more obscure music styles, and some of you may not even consider it as a style of music. Music or not music, it is a form of art that I am interested in making. I am a ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

What components make military music especially rousing?

If someone were going to compose a piece of military music to especially rousing, what components would they be looking to emphasize? Like is there a certain key or time that military music is often ...
5
votes
2answers
340 views

How does one compose fills and solos for the drumkit?

I keep hearing that rudiments are the building blocks of drumming. How do you create drum fills and solos out of rudiments? They say they're made from rudiments, are they ALL made from nothing but ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

Good PCs & Specs For Music Production? [duplicate]

I am looking for a PC or at least the specs of a PC that I would need to run music software such as pro tools, cubase or nuendo and other music software packages, as well as having the use of an audio ...
8
votes
2answers
164 views

Why in the study of counterpoint by johan fux are minor sixths allowed but not augmented fifth?

If augmented fifths and minor sixths are enharmonically equivalent why does johan fux in his book study of counterpoint allow minor sixths but not augmented fifths if they sound the same? How does one ...
9
votes
3answers
526 views

Online counterpoint materials

For a long time I've wanted to teach myself counterpoint, but haven't been able to find any materials online. Are there any hidden tutorials anyone knows of, or good books written in English in the ...
14
votes
8answers
9k views

Tips on counting and playing odd time signatures

I'm pretty interested in learning, composing and playing along to songs using odd time signatures (3/4, 5/4, 7/8, ...) and I'd like some advice on how to wrap my head around all this stuff. For ...
3
votes
1answer
82 views

What instruments are asked for in this original Sousa score?

This answer by @NReilingh inspired me to trawl the web looking at Sousa music. Feeling that the clarity of orchestration contributes a significant amount to this music, I was pleased to find this ...
5
votes
3answers
218 views

How can I create loopable bounces for video games?

I'm writing the music for a video game. Much of the music is going to be looped indefinitely. How can I arrange my music and bounce audio files that can be looped effectively? A naïve technique is to ...
12
votes
4answers
465 views

How to choose a key signature for a song that modulates often?

In jazz, let's say, how would one choose a key signature for writing a lead sheet for a song where keys change every few measures or faster? Is writing the key changes explicitly going to be helpful ...
23
votes
4answers
4k views

What is the relationship between the melody line and the rhythm chords?

Let's say I've written a song with the chord progression I-IV-V in the key of A (just as an example). So, the chords I'm playing are A-D-E. When playing a lead over this rhythm, what notes do I need ...
8
votes
3answers
348 views

Raised leading tones in Phrygian mode counterpoint

In most cases the penultimate note of the counterpoint will be the leading tone, which must be raised in minor to establish a sense of tonality. But why is the leading tone in the Phrygian mode ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Uses for augmented chords in composition

I've been studying for music theory for many years and I enjoy just writing little chord progressions and melodies to see what certain progressions sound like and how interesting I can make them. The ...
4
votes
1answer
191 views

Does a taste in music reflect an understanding of that music?

It has been my experience that often times I will not like a song the first time I hear it, but the more I hear it the more I begin to like it. I think it has something to do with understanding the ...
7
votes
2answers
168 views

What's so off about the intro to Prokofiev's Dance of the Knights?

Now this question is by no means an attack on any conductor or orchestra, nor Prokofiev himself, but why does it seem that it's hard for everyone to get right into time with one another with this ...
3
votes
1answer
175 views

The Swan of Tuonela: Sibelius, Wagner, and Smetana

I was very much impressed by the clarity of expression and romantic beauty of Jean Sibelius' 1893 The Swan of Tuonela as performed by the Gothenburg Symphony under Neeme Järvi and as featured on ...
5
votes
1answer
303 views

Examples of acoustic instruments producing sounds very close to pure square, triangle or sawtooth waves

I've been able to find plenty of info about acoustic instruments that create sounds close to sine-waves, and I understand that sounds approximating square, triangle and sawtooth waves are produced by ...
22
votes
9answers
3k views

How to dramatically change the feeling of a song while keeping the melody largely the same?

How to dramatically change the feeling of a song while keeping the melody largely the same? Let's say we have a happy, upbeat pop song and we want to turn it into a sad song (or vice versa). Is it ...
2
votes
1answer
163 views

What is a “second generation tracker”? (or first or third)

I'm looking at the MilkyTracker application description and it claims that "MilkyTracker is and will stay a 2nd generation tracker. There are already several good 3rd generation trackers out there" ...
2
votes
3answers
330 views

Picking a key for a song and how to use the notes in that scale? [closed]

So just to make it simple. When you pick a key for a song and you use the notes in that scale, do you only use those notes for all other instruments? And does the octave of each note matter? Or as ...
1
vote
1answer
87 views

Easiest way to create more than two simultaneous, aligned click tracks with different tempi?

I'm interested in working on writing a piece (for live performance) using simultaneous independent click tracks, in order to easily create complex rhythmic relationships. For instance, having four ...
2
votes
3answers
410 views

How to know what beat & rhythm to play for add-on to songs

Theres this famous drummer on YouTube named Copper who takes existing songs, removes the drums, and then plays live drums along with the other investments. How does he know what beats & rhythm to ...
11
votes
1answer
720 views

Can someone explain the rhythm of a Mazurka?

While perusing some Chopin and Liszt sheets, I tried to play a Mazurka or two. But, I simply don't understand how the rhythm works. It feels awkward and unbalanced when I try and I just don't get it, ...
1
vote
3answers
103 views

Co-writing with others [closed]

I have been composing chords for my girlfriend's melodies, and recorded two CDs for her. She continues to tell everyone that she wrote the songs even tho' I composed the music to her melodies. I never ...
5
votes
5answers
335 views

Some fear of composing?

I'm not sure if this problem is unique onto to those who start composing or even just me, but I seem to sometimes have a fear that if I tilt towards certain chord progressions while composing ...
4
votes
8answers
2k views

How to make your own samples?

I'm trying to compose music with Ableton Live 9 and every tutorial I see uses samples. I don't want to use samples since I would like to create my own sounds. How should I create a kick for example ...
1
vote
5answers
195 views

Should the key of a song composition be chosen based on the type of song? [duplicate]

I am beginner at playing the piano and I want to write my own songs. I know that a song should in some key. My question is - What key should be chosen when writing a particular type of song. What kind ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

Why a composition is made in a certain key [duplicate]

Why a composer would decide to write certain work in let's say D flat rather than D? If some of the elements have certain limits in their pitch, especially singers, it may justify even a semitone of ...
31
votes
9answers
4k views

Key signature for writing in modes other than major and minor

I have trouble deciding what accidentals to put in the key signature for pieces in dorian, phrygian, lydian or mixolydian modes. There seem to be tradeoffs associated with each choice. For example, ...
27
votes
8answers
3k views

Is it possible to write a song without a key?

"This song is in F Major", "That song is in A Minor", "This song is in D Minor, but modulates to F Major in the middle", etc. Can we say "This song has no key"? Are there songs that have/follow no ...
5
votes
4answers
280 views

What chord is this and when is it the dominant?

For a song I've written I do a chromatic descending climb with the bass note in a Cm chord and end up with my fingers like this: First of all I'd like to know what chord this is, my guess is an A ...
11
votes
3answers
810 views

Composing For Drums as a Non-drummer

As an instrumentalist I am primarily a guitarist, but as a composer I write for a range of instruments. The one thing I am particularly struggling with is writing for drums. Although I've managed to ...
1
vote
1answer
147 views

Learning composition (with computer music) [closed]

I'm approaching computer music, with its opensource tools. I'm studying puredata and csound to understand music synthesis and how sounds can be generated by a computer. I'm ok and I like it, learning ...
6
votes
2answers
334 views

Changing key in a song convincingly

Update 3 I have started to break down this broad question to specific, smaller questions. 1) Classical music example for seamless transition from one section to other with changing keys Say, I ...
3
votes
1answer
83 views

Licensing for digital compositions?

I am looking for a route to get a license to resell digital music compositions. But in a format where I can parse the details, such as MusicXML, LilyPond or anything else. Not PDF! Is there a name ...
6
votes
6answers
603 views

Sound-to-color synesthesia - a good and helpful thing?

In hearing about sound-to-color synesthesia, or rather Chromesthesia1, I have always been rather jealous, and wanted to experience this unexplainable phenomenon for myself. I have read up a little bit ...
3
votes
2answers
163 views

Who can remix a song?

I'm thinking of trying to learn how to remix songs with GarageBand and similar applications. So far I'm a total noob, and I'm just wondering who is allowed remix what songs? Is anyone allowed to remix ...
3
votes
2answers
353 views

Tutorials or advice on layering synths

so I have been into some music production for a few weeks, and I feel like I am improving gradually. The problem I am having currently is layering synths. If I listen to a track, I can sort of make ...
4
votes
1answer
124 views

How to mimic the sound of the '60s-'70s era? [closed]

I am into composing and I really love the era. I would be interested to get hints how to write music which alike. How would you arrange vocals like in Mamas and the Papas? How should one arrange a ...
15
votes
4answers
542 views

Why do melodies have harmonies?

It seems to me that every melody can be assigned chords. Although different people may assign different chords, in many cases, only certain chords (a small subset of all possible chord choices) seem ...
5
votes
2answers
629 views

What scales can I play over a A 13 flat ninth chord?

Okay, so I have been studying the music of Joe Pass and he loves to substitute minor seventh chords for dominant seventh chords. For example take a typical vi-ii-V-I progression on C, instead of ...
2
votes
2answers
174 views

Music composing software [closed]

I'm going to shape my music ideas in any more professional tool than Guitar Pro but really can't choose between huge amount of music composing software. The main aims I need to achieve: ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Figuring out the difference between major and relative minor scales?

I always seem have difficulty determining whether a song is in a major scale, or the relative minor. (the 3rd note back into it, but minor) Lets use the Pokemon theme song for example. As I ...