The art and craft of creating new music.

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3
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1answer
108 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
244 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
639 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
239 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
287 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
185 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
735 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
5k 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
269 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
837 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
118 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
884 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
1k 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
131 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
374 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
5k 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
300 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
105 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
311 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
2k 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
204 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
85 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
250 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
682 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
900 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
165 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") Even though each version sounds drastically different, you can ...
10
votes
5answers
596 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
1k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
101 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
523 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
769 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 ...
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
283 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
457 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 ...
14
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
452 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
414 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
378 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
521 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
610 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
445 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
687 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
130 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 ...
7
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
885 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
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3answers
830 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
173 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 ...
22
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 ...