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

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4
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2answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
223 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
614 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 ...
4
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1answer
1k views

Elements of a horror musical song?

When composing horror music for musical drama in general, what does one need to consider as in harmony, melody and rhythm, etc.? For harmony, I am especially interested in what chords are normally ...
4
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2answers
316 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 ...
4
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2answers
128 views

Bartok Mikrokosmos Book 3, no. 70

I have recently been trying to master this piece from Bartok's Mikrokosmos, and at first sight, it appeared daunting due to the fact that the right-hand part is in B major and the left-hand part is in ...
4
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4answers
227 views

How to write music using standard notation / Finding key

I would like to ask a typical question from amateur musician. Most of amateur musicians understand tablature notation and often even some music theory, I personally can read notes but not in all keys ...
4
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3answers
616 views

Tutorials or advice on layering synths

so I have been into some music production for a few weeks, and I feel like I am improving gradually. The problem I am having currently is layering synths. If I listen to a track, I can sort of make ...
4
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3answers
121 views

Proper understanding of dissonance

I have recently had a big eye opener with one of my guitar pieces in how it uses dissonance in a musical way to make interesting music. I have always thought that for music to be dissonant is for it ...
4
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3answers
153 views

Why aren't songs with 11 beats 13 beats, common?

I wonder why haven't I heard songs that have 13 beats or 11 beats (or may be 17 beats or other complex number) per measure. Are there any songs like that? And, why don't people and music directors ...
4
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2answers
399 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 ...
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4answers
497 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 ...
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1answer
270 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 ...
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2answers
238 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" ...
4
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2answers
60 views

Difficult Trombone passage

I am currently putting the finishing touches on a brass trio I am composing. After meticulously checking every note and every phrase, I realized the technical difficulty of the opening 4 measures of ...
4
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1answer
232 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 ...
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2answers
87 views

What are some techniques to alter a repeated phrase

I'm working in composing several times a week using my musical imagination and computer software. In the piece I'm working now I show the melody I created. For the next section, where I repeat the ...
4
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1answer
111 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 ...
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4answers
709 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
554 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 ...
4
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2answers
278 views

What are the characteristics of medieval music? [closed]

What I would like to know is what make medieval music sounds the way it sounds? What are its characteristics? Are there some specific keys? Are there some specific modes? What about rythms? I ...
4
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2answers
79 views

Book that concentrates on how composers express emotions/concepts in music [closed]

I am trying to learn about composing on my own and I already have books on harmony and counterpoint that I am generally quite happy with. However, I found that these books concentrate on the ...
4
votes
2answers
171 views

Terminology for tension idioms in composition

As a hobby composer I often reason about the flow of a composition and I often find myself inventing words for what the composition does during a certain passage. E.g. I found that many guitar riffs ...
3
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9answers
4k 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 ...
3
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4answers
573 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
3answers
791 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 ...
3
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3answers
1k views

Creating Happy Melodies and Chords

I've been listening to a track, such as this https://soundcloud.com/wave-racer/flight-facilities-stand and it seems to have a very happy vibe about it, to the extent where it's "over happy". But I ...
3
votes
4answers
583 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
190 views

What do 7th chords generally resolve/lead to?

Particularly Major 7th chords. I've been messing around in the key of E major and have decided to start of the bass line of this bit of experimenting with the Emaj7 chord and I'm trying to resolve to ...
3
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3answers
388 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, ...
3
votes
2answers
345 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 ...
3
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2answers
131 views

How important is pitch perception ability in musical creativity?

There are a few online tests that give you a measure of your pitch perception ability (such as the jake mandell tone deaf test). I took the test and I scored a 67% in my first attempt and 77% in my ...
3
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4answers
276 views

Is there something like the Köchel catalogue for other composers?

I'm looking for public databases containing data about the works of different composers, just like the Köchel catalogue. I'm not really interested in any particular artist, genre, or time period. ...
3
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4answers
261 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 ...
3
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2answers
108 views

Is it common in song structure for a “Bridge” to be shorter than the verses?

I am a songwriter. I write Western Music - mostly in the Country genre. Every song I have ever written has at least two verses and a chorus. I don't always add a bridge as I recognize that a ...
3
votes
2answers
189 views

Voice-leading and Composition

This is a follow up to a post I made a couple of months ago regarding the way the four-part harmony voice-leading, taught in most harmony texts, is to be understood in relation to composition. In the ...
3
votes
2answers
315 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? ...
3
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2answers
201 views

How to indicate left hand for piano sheet music

The Chopin - Godowsky Revolutionary Etude No 12 is arranged for the left hand only, and we're only informed about this by a note under the title. Please see the excerpt below: I am currently ...
3
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1answer
88 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
379 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 ...
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
1answer
196 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 ...
3
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3answers
189 views

Using multiple scales in ONE Song

Currently I am in the process of learning theory to be able to compose rap beats more efficiently and I have one question regarding (minor) scales. I know the formulas for natural, minor and harmonic ...
3
votes
1answer
150 views

What is the Slonimsky-Schillinger Symmetric System?

What is the Slonimsky-Schillinger Symmetric System? What's the theory behind it? How is it used in composition?
3
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1answer
119 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
316 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 ...
3
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0answers
60 views

Why does the right hand/high instrument usually play the melody? [duplicate]

I've been playing piano for 10 years, and I've never really thought of it until now, but it seems as if the right hand almost always plays the melody, and the left hand plays the accompaniment. ...
3
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0answers
348 views

How to determine whether a song is considered musical plagiarism? [closed]

When I a try to compose my own music, I often come up with melody that is a bit similar with songs that I have heard before, and sometime I just feel that I have heard the melody somewhere, but I ...
3
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2answers
238 views

Is there a name for this ending tag?

I'm talking about the last notes of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" -- the accompaniment cuts off suddenly on a i chord where its progression ought to end, and the vocals continue to riff for a second. Is ...
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11answers
2k 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 ...