For questions about the creation of new music and the techniques used to do so.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

3
votes
2answers
151 views

How important is pitch perception ability in musical creativity?

There are a few online tests that give you a measure of your pitch perception ability (such as the jake mandell tone deaf test). I took the test and I scored a 67% in my first attempt and 77% in my ...
1
vote
1answer
116 views

What is the most convoluted standard musical form?

In musical composition, we tend to reuse sections of a piece in patterns that are referred to as "musical forms". Some basic examples of these that I know of are ABA, AABA, ABAB, and the rondo form ...
1
vote
3answers
113 views

Is there a name for this scale?

I'm writing a song and I am not sure if I'm writing in an obscure scale, or just using a standard scale with added sharps and flats. All I know is I really like the sounds I'm creating on piano, and ...
1
vote
1answer
111 views

Composing Music on Guitar - how do I get started? [closed]

I have been playing guitar for 3 year I have learned several songs from Green Day, Nirvana and several other artists I have learned them from YouTube. I live in a small town in India so don't have a ...
1
vote
2answers
106 views

Has anyone done any work specific to experimenting/creating formulaic math evaluations for the purpose of defining musical patterns?

I realize the question may sound too broad or unclear but specifically, I was recently thinking that you could take a certain genre of music, or a certain composers' works, and mathematically define ...
2
votes
3answers
72 views

Which of two enharmonic note names to use? [duplicate]

If during composition, an accidental note is used, is there a method/reason for using one name instead of the other? For example if a song is in the key of A, but a Eflat/D# note is written is there ...
5
votes
2answers
201 views

Composition Training (with Hindemith)

I am looking to get back into composition and trying to get some advice on textbooks. By way of background, my biggest liability is my lack of formal training (I have none). During my early teens, I ...
4
votes
2answers
356 views

What are the characteristics of medieval music? [closed]

What I would like to know is what make medieval music sounds the way it sounds? What are its characteristics? Are there some specific keys? Are there some specific modes? What about rythms? I ...
3
votes
0answers
60 views

Why does the right hand/high instrument usually play the melody? [duplicate]

I've been playing piano for 10 years, and I've never really thought of it until now, but it seems as if the right hand almost always plays the melody, and the left hand plays the accompaniment. ...
8
votes
2answers
229 views

How do I express humming in music notation?

I have a section in a vocal piece where I want singers to hum. I'm going to include "mmm" in my music notation, but is there a good way to more clearly express the intent to hum in the notation?
1
vote
1answer
65 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
99 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
249 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
115 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
238 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
288 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
314 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
208 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
85 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
132 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
281 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
185 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
163 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
166 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
383 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
278 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
398 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
146 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
104 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
213 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
196 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), ...
14
votes
1answer
320 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
123 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
263 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
163 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
171 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
442 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
780 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 ...
8
votes
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 ...
0
votes
3answers
129 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
50 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
3
votes
10answers
5k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
403 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
616 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
835 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 ...
16
votes
14answers
3k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
292 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 ...