The art and craft of creating new music.

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9
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4answers
3k 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
209 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
196 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
180 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
458 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 ...
23
votes
9answers
4k 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
194 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
479 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
92 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
565 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
813 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
119 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
346 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
3k 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
233 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
94 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 ...
32
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
293 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
1k 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
161 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
420 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
84 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
189 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
395 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
135 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
602 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
707 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
181 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
137 views

How can we discern the melody of a piece of music in variations of that piece?

Example: Mozart's Twelve Variations on "Ah vous dirai-je, Maman" ("Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star") ...
10
votes
5answers
478 views

How to organize/categorize compositions

When composing, my current process results in me stacking a lot of score paper into a folder. This works for now, but I can see that in the long-run, I will want some system of organizing my ...
7
votes
3answers
731 views

Is there some trick for counterpoint beyond 2 voices?

I really suck at chord harmony, so whenever I compose, I tend to use counterpoint a lot. Counterpoint is somewhat easy when you just have two voices. Because I just compose for fun, I generally do ...
3
votes
3answers
362 views

Instrument range cheat sheets

I am just beginning to learn composing (lots of fun so far!) and I am beginning to move from compositions for solo instruments (mainly piano) to making scores for groups/orchestras. I have not ...
0
votes
1answer
82 views

Creating a composition that sounds as fusion?

I created a composition recently while experimenting with different instruments (tabla, electric guitar, sitar, choir etc). I send the file to my friend (close one) and he said that the composition ...
1
vote
2answers
376 views

What musical scales should I include in my electronic musical composition tool

I am writing an tool to create music on a mobile device. I am going to allow the user to create simple melody and bass lines. I would like the user to be able to change key after they enter their ...
7
votes
1answer
506 views

How would one create music based on the principles of Cubism?

How would one create music based on the principles of Cubism? (e.g., 20th century painters: Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Juan Gris, Fernand Léger) The basic definition of Cubism calls for the use ...
19
votes
8answers
1k views

Is there any way to improve composing?

Beside playing drums I'm toying with software to create music. The problem is when I need to advance further. I may have some good, let's say "riffs" (or pieces, or melodies, or ideas), and I'm pretty ...
3
votes
1answer
232 views

Linux Multimedia Studio Sound Font note fade away

I am currently trying out some sound-fonts I just downloaded, in Linux Multimedia Studio (LMMS). All is going well, besides the fact that I haven't, even after a Google search, found out how to make a ...
21
votes
3answers
6k views

How do classical composers write music?

I am starting to learn about music theory and today it hit me how do classical composers such as Mozart and Beethoven are able to write music for instruments they don't play, such as (for example ...
5
votes
1answer
375 views

Natural vs tempered semi-tones

I am reading "Fundamentals of Musical Composition" by Arnold Schoenberg. Chapter XI, page 99, states: Chromaticism is difficult partly because the natural semi-tones differ in size from the ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

What are the most common ways to “decorate” a melody?

Yes, I know, there are way too many possibilities and it depends on the style of the music... I would be happy with an incomplete list for beginners (like me). Here is what I have so far: ...
4
votes
4answers
407 views

How to compose (a starting point)?

I am asking for any idea or starting point in order to learn composition on my own. My goal is to create my music and unlock creativity, but I do not know where to start or how to start. I know some ...
4
votes
3answers
329 views

How to compose a simple “introduction” to a short musical piece?

I would like to add some music to a video clip I made (it lasts about 2 minutes). The video is basically some panoramic view of nature sights, nothing fancy. I am going to play a simple Sor's etude in ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

What does an arranger do?

When you see the "arranged by" attribution on a score, what did the arranger (typically) do?
-1
votes
3answers
153 views

What should I write first [closed]

I'm used to the Q/A format on Stack Exchange this is why I don't want opinion based answers even though the question seems like I'm asking for opinion. Based on facts , when composing music, is there ...
1
vote
3answers
817 views
-1
votes
2answers
120 views

Musical composition that has multiple orchestras “talking” to each other? [closed]

A long time ago i listened to a very special musical piece. It was composed in such a way that when you listened to it, you have the feeling there were actually 3 orchestras arguing. Essentially ...
9
votes
4answers
365 views

Composition of music suitable for concentration

What are the parameters of music to consider so that the resulting composition is suitable as a background music when reading, studying or doing some mental work? I'm interested in parameters like ...
6
votes
3answers
420 views

In 12-tone music, how frequently do composers allow themselves to alternate between adjacent notes of the tone row?

In Vi Hart's video on twelve-tone nursery rhymes, she says that one of the rules of twelve-tone composition is that you're allowed to alternate between adjacent notes in the tone row as much as you ...