The art and craft of creating new music.

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7
votes
4answers
448 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
118 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
251 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
713 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
352 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
181 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
566 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
11k 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
93 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
231 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
549 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
219 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
221 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
563 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
212 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
568 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
97 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
665 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
884 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
120 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
353 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
257 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
100 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
5k 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
294 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
177 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
479 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
197 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
632 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
775 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 ...
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
144 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
504 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
820 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
381 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
88 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
408 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
578 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
254 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
7k 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
404 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 ...