The art and craft of creating new music.

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6
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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 ...
6
votes
5answers
962 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
446 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
18
votes
10answers
2k views

Where do musicians draw their melodies from?

It has been in my head for so long. I am a visual artist, animator, I do motion graphics, 3D artwork and most of my work is done visually. I am puzzled by this question. Visual artists, they draw ...
1
vote
2answers
886 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
269 views

Voice-crossing in First Species Counterpoint

In two-part counterpoint, is it okay for the counterpoint and cantus firmus voices to cross? Transferred from: Few Questions on Counterpoint in the Tradition of Johan Fux
4
votes
2answers
211 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" ...
2
votes
1answer
658 views

Meaning of “Battuta” in Counterpoint

What is Battuta and does it only apply to voice leading by contrary motion? For example, in treble clef, if going from "E-G" (major-tenth - that is, the "E" is in the bass and the "G" is ...
10
votes
4answers
489 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
476 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
123 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
191 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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
103 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
363 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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
295 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? ...
1
vote
6answers
166 views

Diminished Intervals

If I go from F# to D# down (F#-D#) is that a diminished third or augmented second interval? I am composing in minor mode and want to know because augmented intervals are forbidden in part writing.
1
vote
1answer
172 views

Diminished Intervals in Voice Leading

I know that augmented intervals within part writing in both minor and major keys is forbidden but what about diminished intervals? For example if I we're in e minor and in 3/4 time and I'm writing a ...
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
483 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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
575 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
400 views

How many bars can a clarinet sustain?

Apologies if the question is too silly (my profile might explain why I don't know the answer). I am writing a piece and at some point I want a clarinet to hold a note until the performer runs out of ...
4
votes
2answers
502 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
308 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
606 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 ...
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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 ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I improve my piano accompaniments?

When I play piano or keyboards, I've noticed that I keep slipping into playing the same chords (and variations thereof, such as very simple bass lines) with my left hand while I use my right hand to ...
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 ...
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, ...
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 -- ...
10
votes
4answers
4k views

What does an arranger do?

When you see the "arranged by" attribution on a score, what did the arranger (typically) do?
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
432 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
258 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
691 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
494 views

General methods for turning a riff into a song?

Say if have a really nice 2-bar riff that I like a lot. How would I go about composing a song around that? Ok, the obvious answer is "play it a few times, then make some variation of it, play that a ...
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vote
3answers
946 views

How to write a keyboard part for an existing song?

I was asked to make a keyboard part for a song somebody else has written. It's probably going to be organ. I have no idea how to do this. I've been playing for a few years and I can improvise a bit, ...
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 ...
9
votes
7answers
2k views

Which advanced chords can I use for a song composition in scale of G?

I am making a song composition in a scale of G. I have already used major chords G, C and D and in some places I have used Am, Em and Bm. I would like to make this composition richer with some ...
12
votes
3answers
342 views

Is there a name for this sort of ambiguity with respect to the rhythm of a piece, and/or is this a recognized technique in composition?

If you listen to the first 40 seconds or so of Veridis Quo by Daft Punk, you'll probably feel like you have a pretty good idea of the beat of the song, each of the chords starting on the first beat of ...
2
votes
1answer
240 views

Is there a formal name for this type of composition?

So, say there's a musical piece that has the following structure: [A.1] [A.2] [A.3] [A] Where A is a "harmonic theme", in the sense that it's treated as a theme, but its melodic content is contained ...
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vote
2answers
438 views

Notating Augmented Chords

When writing an Augmented chord, which inversion of the chord should I use? The problem came up while I was composing (piano). I came to an augmented chord and couldn't think of which version to use ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

How to understand layering of multiple elements in composition (pop/jazz)

I'm trying to understand more about how to compose music and most importantly combine multiple instruments at the same time. I'm quite capable of composing a bass-line, chord progression, or main ...