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

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6
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4answers
2k 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
283 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
176 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
199 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
476 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
927 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
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3answers
131 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
6k 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 ...
7
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11answers
6k 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
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2answers
462 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
620 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
1k 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 ...
17
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
308 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 ...
2
votes
7answers
1k views

Why do some arrangements of notes make a good melody and some don't?

A note by itself is not always particularly pleasant to hear. Why do some specific combinations of notes make a good, pleasant melody? Why are some people good at coming up with such pleasing ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do modern popular songs composed on piano sound different than songs composed on guitar?

Songs that I hear that are piano based - ie. composed and originally performed on piano, seem to have a different feel than those composed on guitar. The flow, the movement, the chords used - are ...
0
votes
8answers
842 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

proper uses of minor seventh chords

Having used dominant seventh chords extensively,I am now trying to incorporate minor seventh chords into my compositions... Based on my [rudimentary] knowledge, minor seventh chords are usually used ...
0
votes
1answer
125 views

I have some lyrics with a melody and a chord progression. How do I go about adding music to it?

I wrote some lyrics and added a melody and chord progression. I would like to add more music to it. From what I know, I would have to add a bass track and add a beginning riff, a solo, drums etc.. I ...
5
votes
6answers
3k views

How do I find chords to go with my melody in music I write

I have written a number of tunes using just A,B,C, etc. to indicate notes. I have no musical knowledge so I am unable to find the appropriate chords to go with my tunes. Is there a an online program ...
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vote
5answers
265 views

Beating 'Blank Page Syndrome' and Projecting Intent

I posted a question earlier, which a number of people pointed out was coming off too broad to make for a good post, and it was suggested I boil it down to a smaller bite, so here goes. I have been a ...
2
votes
4answers
639 views

Where on earth do I begin? [closed]

This question has been answered sufficiently, and I have posted a new, more specific question as was suggested. So, this probably isn't the usual post you might expect going by the title - this isn't ...
3
votes
4answers
741 views

Composing in Phrygian mode

I tried to compose in the Phrygian mode which seems to be harder than the natural, harmonic and melodic minor. The biggest challenge was to end my piece in its tonic chord. My song was intended to be ...
3
votes
5answers
320 views

What are some effective ways to use a key change during a song?

In my own songwriting, I might change keys to reinforce a change in the direction of the lyrics. For example if the first two verses are first person but the last verse is 3rd person, I might ...
0
votes
3answers
307 views

I love with Ableton Live as a composition tool (session views). But I can only use Logic Pro X for studio mixes. What can I do?

Is there anything else for creative composing along the lines of Ableton Live? The session views make a lot of sense. It's a nice program. And ultimately I believe professional music can be make on ...
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votes
3answers
2k views

Is it possible to create a professional music with Fl Studio? [closed]

In my opinion Fl Studio is a complete software to create music. But the musics composed can be saved only in mp3, not in flac. - So is it possible to create a music with Fl Studio, and to sell it then ...
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". ...
3
votes
3answers
398 views

Do different minor chords (vi, ii, etc) convey different nuances?

I came across some postings discussing whether different minor keys produce different moods, but i have not found one that compares different minor chords. As each minor chord has a different sound, ...
0
votes
3answers
193 views

How does one describe the level of playing that is neither piano nor forte?

This is a follow-up to this question: To which notes do dynamics notation apply? (eg. pp) I asked, when a composer has indicated in the score that the performer play softly (eg. pp), how does the ...
11
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11answers
3k views

Use of Music Theory in Composition

I've been told by many people that music theory is not normative; it doesn't tell you what to write or do in music to create something beautiful that sounds good. I've been told that it's strictly ...
2
votes
11answers
3k views

Why is the tonic chord of a key formed with the 1,3 and 5 notes of the key but the major chords in that key are the I IV and V?

The tonic chord in a given key is formed by using the 1 and 3 and 5 notes of the scale in whatever key you are in. However, in chord theory, the Major chords that work in that key are the one, four ...
1
vote
3answers
265 views

How can different compositions use C Major?

Pardon what I know is an embarrassing question - I am at the very basics of learning music theory. If a scale such as C Major is an exact pattern of intervals, how can multiple songs be composed with ...
1
vote
3answers
591 views

What might make for “ambient” or “atmospheric” classical music?

I am primarily trying to identify the types of compositions and approaches to composition that would produce such music, with any particular composers or pieces that might make good examples as ...
5
votes
1answer
214 views

Composition - How to connect musical periods

How do you exactly keep a continuum between musical periods? And somewhat related, how exactly do you tell a story with it? I am trying to compose something for piano, and while I'm able to connect ...
0
votes
2answers
134 views

Can you introduce fugue themes in the middle of a measure? If so, how?

I recently wrote my first canon. Specifically it was a round. My round involved three parts. First began the soprano part. Then two measures later alto, and then two more measures later tenor. But the ...
2
votes
3answers
135 views

Are canons easier to write than fugues?

Through some previous questions on SE, I have recently managed to find several books on fugues that I like and am having much more success analyzing them. But I haven't gotten to the point where I ...
4
votes
2answers
622 views

The Elements of the Oratorio

I have had the privilege of singing in choirs performing classical oratorios, which I loved. I am a composer of simpler forms, but have been toying with the prospect of composing what I have been ...
5
votes
1answer
148 views

How to create fast runs (i.e. speedy notes)?

I am a competent composer. I am trying to improve a particular skill: creating sequences of very fast notes that sound pleasant. Examples: Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu Chopin's Etude Op. 10 No.5 ...
2
votes
1answer
250 views

Keyboard and Voice: What is the keyboard playing?

I've "composed" a melody on a keyboard which sounds nice when I play it. Later I incidentally also wrote lyrics which I am able to "sing" to the melody. Due to my lack of understanding I am unsure ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

How to Write A Ragtime Piano Piece?

I tried writing a ragtime piece several months ago and wasn't successful. What defines the ragtime style? Are there known go-to theoretical resources that discuss how to compose ragtime music? My ...
6
votes
5answers
663 views

Skills for writing your own songs

What are some good starting points to begin writing songs for someone who possesses limited theory knowledge and playing experience (beginner)? What are the essentials skills and knowledge for ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

How to Write A Fugue

I am having trouble composing a fugue. I would like someone competent in fugue writing or knowledgable about fugues to suggest resources I can consult to improve for the particular problems I am ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

What does it mean to be able to write a fugue?

My theory teacher told me once in passing that she had written fugues. Later on people let me know that to write a fugue you need to be somewhat of a theory genius. Why is this so? What makes the ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Composing melody for recorder

I learned a bit about composing melody by using piano. But then, when I tried to composing melody for recorder and it didn't sound right. So, what is the things should I aware when composing melody ...
2
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3answers
142 views

start with lyrics or harmony?

I want to compose a song , I have composed some music harmony and lines I need to write some lyrics but I have a question : in creating songs generally we write the lyrics and then compose a suitable ...
5
votes
2answers
186 views

Composing a piece using the idea of Dual Modality

I've recently been studying a few early 20th century techniques and I would like to learn more about the concept of dual modality. I've read as much as I could find on the on the topic, but the only ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

Composing/Arranging for a String Quartet

I've been taking arranging and composing classes at the college I'm attending and I have recently been tasked with writing a piece for a string quartet. I would like to know in general, what should ...