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

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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
239 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
596 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 ...
9
votes
9answers
1k views

Is looking for chord after having the melody unusual?

Most people I encounter seem to have the opinion that the definitive way is to first have the chords and then "mess around" with the harmony notes until one founds a desirable succession of notes, ...
3
votes
4answers
634 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 ...
14
votes
7answers
5k views

How to make melodies effectively?

Are there any tricks that help make melodies besides just experimenting until you find something that sounds nice?
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
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 ...
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 ...
15
votes
11answers
1k views

Looking for a high level Music Programming language

I'm looking for a high-level programming language. I did some googling and found a number of examples (some summarized here http://users.soe.ucsc.edu/~sasha/proj/musicpaper.pdf) but haven't found ...
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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
147 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
399 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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), ...
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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

Ending a song with a dominant chord

As far as i know, almost all songs end in the tonic chord, because this is the most "stable" condition. On the other hand, a dominant chord at the end of a progression (or song) sounds "incomplete". ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

recognizing the motif

I encounter the term motif in composition books, and still have no idea what a motif is. Many sources (including some dictionaries) try to define it as "prominent sequence of notes" or "basic theme of ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Where can I find Drum Scores / Sheet Music?

What Websites offer quality Drum Scores /Sheet Music (not Tabs)?
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

What is a parallel mode?

What is a parallel mode? How are the parallel modes used in composition and/or improvisation?
4
votes
4answers
244 views

How to write music using standard notation / Finding key

I would like to ask a typical question from amateur musician. Most of amateur musicians understand tablature notation and often even some music theory, I personally can read notes but not in all keys ...
15
votes
9answers
12k views

How to select a key-signature for a song

There are so many songs in pretty odd key-signatures like 4,5,6 sharps or flats. At least this is my impression when I listen to songs on the radio/net while trying to follow them on my piano/guitar. ...
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
2answers
1k 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
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 ...
10
votes
4answers
7k views

What does an arranger do?

When you see the "arranged by" attribution on a score, what did the arranger (typically) do?
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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
6answers
9k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
783 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
652 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
443 views

Accidentals in First Species Counterpoint

On page 39 of Alfred Mann's The Study of Counterpoint there is a passage concerning justification of using accidentals in first species counterpoint. Here is the passage: Aloys: [...]but why did ...
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
1answer
838 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 ...
1
vote
7answers
749 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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
243 views

Diatonic Function of Accidentals in Counterpoint

Why is it in counterpoint that the fourth degree of natural mode "F" lowered to "Bb" instead of remaining as "B"? Why isn't the fourth degree lowered for other modes? Shouldn't the "B" ...
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 ...