The art and craft of creating new music.

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15
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4answers
665 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
845 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
3k 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
163 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
560 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
929 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
413 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
93 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
479 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
688 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 L├ęger) The basic definition of Cubism calls for the use ...
20
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
274 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
8k 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
430 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 ...
13
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
429 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
393 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
376 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
504 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
565 views

Finding the “Starting point” when creating a composition or score

This is a fairly simple one, and hopefully not too wide-open to be permitted here: what approaches are available when sitting at a fresh screen or sheet of paper, or at your instrument, to create the ...
4
votes
2answers
433 views

Why do so many pieces written in a minor key sharp the 7th?

I've been going through several pieces (mostly of Bach, but also others) and I noticed that very commonly, the 7th is sharped when played coming down from the tonic. Examples: Little Fugue, Toccata ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Training and Influences of J. S. Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach is undoubtedly among the most celebrated of Baroque composers, and to many the great composer in all history. The era of the late 17th and early 18th centuries in which he lived, ...
1
vote
1answer
641 views

Recording a song in the right rhythm

I wrote a few songs and I try to record them since nearly one week. I play on an electric guitar and I record my voice for vocals. I only have one mic (cheap karaoke mic for 20$) so I record both, the ...
1
vote
3answers
124 views

Music and time, “natural” time

To play music rhythm in time it was always something difficult to me, with a metronome also. Basically I can not count time. On the other hand I have some intuition to compose simple music, and when I ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Selling arrangements online

This summer, I want to earn money to buy sequencing software. I really enjoy arranging songs (as well as writing them) so I thought it would make sense for me to try to sell some online. Can I do that ...
1
vote
2answers
799 views

Writing a song based on the harmonic minor

I'm writing my friend a horn solo (with piano accompaniment) and I asked her what her favorite scale was and she said harmonic minor, "because it sounds Egyptian". If I was trying to write a ...
0
votes
3answers
758 views

Instruments to compose a song or theme for setting in the desert

Im composing a song or theme for a setting in the desert. I'm trying to get instruments to use to capture the feeling being in the desert.
1
vote
1answer
166 views

Can sequences in music be modified rhythmically?

Can a sequence still be considered a sequence if the rhythm is changed? For example: Beethoven's Piano Sonata Op.13, II, in the left hand: The phrase beginning on the upbeat of 1 in the 3rd ...
21
votes
4answers
3k views

As a composer, should I be composing music for an instrument I don't play?

I wanted to know if composing music for a specific instrument demands that you know how to at least play the instrument. I'm sure if you know how the instrument sounds by itself as well as within an ...
2
votes
1answer
463 views

Chordal Analysis of Christian Petzold's Minuet in G (formerly attributed to J.S. Bach)

The piece I am asking about is the well-known minuet that was originally attributed to J.S. Bach but has since been re-attributed to lesser-known composer, Christian Petzold. My question concerns ...
4
votes
1answer
102 views

Older Hexachordal Systems referred to in The Study of Counterpoint

What are the hexachordal systems discussed in The Study of Counterpoint? I would like an explanation of them and how they relate to the modal first species exercises written out by Joseph. The ...
2
votes
1answer
120 views

Octave apart voicing

Strictly speaking, can adjacent voices (aside from tenor and bass) be an octave apart from each other? They can't be more than an octave apart but is it a violation of principle to make them an octave ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

Confusing passage from The Study of Counterpoint [duplicate]

Here is the passage: Joseph: I wanted to write a sixth here. But when I studied singing, I learned that fa leads down and mi leads up. Since the progression moves upward from the sixth into a third I ...
3
votes
2answers
290 views

Cadential Six Four Chord

Must the V chord always immediately follow the I 6-4 in a cadential six-four or can there be maybe a passing six-four in between like in measure seven of beethoven's piano concerto no.1 op.15, I? ...
2
votes
2answers
461 views

What is this 4 bar part of music called?

In the song Amie by Pure Prairie League there is a repeated section of muisc that is about 4 bars long(or 2 depending on how you count it). It occurs between every section of music except near the end ...
6
votes
2answers
542 views

Tips for using complex time signatures in a “catchy” pop song?

I'm looking to write some music in the vein of a band I discovered recently called Icarus The Owl, who use some pretty wacky time signatures (anything from 21/16 into weirder territories) but always ...
7
votes
9answers
2k views

What instrument can an old guy learn if the main goal is to write music

At this old age I began, two years ago learning to write music. I write it using Sibelius and let the computer play it for me. I have been strongly recommended to learn to play an instrument. I have ...
19
votes
8answers
929 views

Any advice for a novice composer?

I have been learning the acoustic guitar for about 3 years, but just recently started writing my own songs. I am currently learning music theory. Given that starting point what advice would you give ...
4
votes
2answers
486 views

Aiding the transcription of naturally occuring sounds. e.g. Horse whinnying, bird singing, etc

I edited the question extensively. The comments helped me to phrase it to reflect more what I really wanted to ask. .................... I don't have perfect pitch and badly trained and imprecise ...
4
votes
3answers
550 views

Temporarily Changing Keys - Which accidentals to use?

I've was taught that whenever you write a run of notes going up, you should use sharps instead of flats; And whenever you go downwards, you should generally write flats instead of sharps. My question ...
3
votes
2answers
291 views

What should I be trying my hand at to practice composing?

I don't really know how to play any instrument, but I do have some USB keys that I have plinked with in Garageband. I'm not interested so much in learning to perform my works. I enjoy and am inspired ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

What makes a happy song happy? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What gives a piece of music its personality and feeling? What makes a happy song a happy one? What are the elements that give this particular property to a music piece? ...
2
votes
4answers
189 views
6
votes
1answer
4k views

What is “Sonata-Allegro form” and what other similar forms should I be aware of?

There are lots of classical pieces called "Sonata", and they usually have 3 movements. But there are guitar Sonatas by Paganini that only have 2 movements! And I heard there's a crazy Tchaikovsky -- ...
32
votes
8answers
1k views

What exactly should I have to learn to understand why certain combination of chords are harmonic when played in a sequence?

I am an intuitive music composer trying to move to a technical music composer. As a dummy, I see music as a composition of 'pieces' (my word). Each piece is a set of notes that are melodical when ...
27
votes
5answers
7k views

Does it really make difference to play a song in a different key?

I hear sometimes players and composers say that this song won't sound good in F Major for example, and you should play it or write it in G Major (this was just an example). In other words, it seems ...
4
votes
2answers
221 views

How to compose an acoustic guitar chorus?

I've been playing guitar off and on for years, and every once in a while I come up with some lyrics and chords that seem to be really great for a few verses. The problem is that I can never seem to ...
3
votes
2answers
426 views

How to write partitures for an orchesta

I know a single musician would read from a partiture in real time and that is no problem, the partiture has its silences and tempo. I am more a lyric musician but I like composing music because I ...
5
votes
2answers
250 views

Capturing music in my head

Here's a strange question, so I welcome improvements... Since I can remember, I've had grand orchestrated music pop into my head throughout the day-- sort of a musical dreaming. It's really good ...
6
votes
5answers
663 views

How to keep practicing to compose music when you're too picky to listen to yourself playing

I'm a pianist, and I also compose songs in DAWs. My main spare time occupation is to improvise on the piano, and I've been doing it for several years now. Even before I learned any instruments (when ...