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

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5
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2answers
653 views

What is a good freeware MIDI editor for minor changes running on Windows?

I compose music on my CVP-501. I record the tracks on a MIDI (.mid) file and record them as a wave (.wav) file. However, being human, I make mistakes. Plus, my setup for recording could be a lot ...
19
votes
10answers
3k 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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
115 views

What scales can I play over Maj7 with lowered ninth?

I know that I can play a b2 Dorian scale over a DomSus chord with a lowered ninth, but what about over a major7 b2?
1
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1answer
225 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I develop an interesting or challenging 8-Beat rock rhythm?

The band I play with generally wants a simple 8-beat rhythm but I can find it a bit boring to play! So I'm looking for suggestions/tips/sheet music/video on how to develop a standard 8-beat drum ...
4
votes
3answers
504 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
189 views

Find good length for song when setting text to music

Is there any rule or theory which can help to find a proper verse length when setting text to music? Right now I'm working on a melody which is of 8 + 8 + 8 measures length. Now the last 8 measures ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What are some commonly used chord progressions in contemporary Musical Theatre styled songs?

Are there any commonly used chord progressions in musical theatre styled pieces? I've been trying to compose a piece in this style for a while now, and I'm having trouble finding appropriate sounding ...
22
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I begin finally making music on the piano?

It's been almost 4 years since I had too much time on my hands while living in student dorms so I decided to learn to play the piano. I always loved listening to classical and suddenly listening wasn'...
3
votes
3answers
2k 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 can'...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Composing chord progressions for samba

I know that there are questions on samba chords, samba rhythm, samba shapes and samba melody but, as far as I am aware, this site does not have a question about the tonality and harmony of samba music....
6
votes
1answer
153 views

Is writing important for electronic composition?

I am an electronic producer, and I was wondering if electronic music producers even write down their music on scores? Is that important enough to do for this category of music genres? Or should I do ...
4
votes
2answers
197 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
140 views

short segment of different time signature

Is it frowned upon to have a short segment of a song, perhaps only one measure, to be in a different time signature? Does the level of frownage vary by style? Background: I'm working on a classical ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Techniques for creating melodies

I've posted this question: Learning to create melodies I've got a few ideas of techniques towards creating melodies but wanted to ask if there are any specific methods to help get better. I've read: ...
4
votes
1answer
171 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?
7
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I use slash chords in music composition?

After studying pop music composition for a while I noticed that many composers use slash chords in their music. How do I use those in my own composition? When is it more preferable to use slash chords ...
4
votes
2answers
93 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
votes
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 ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

The concept behind relaxing music?

I am interested to start making some songs that are very relaxing, like the one posted above. The song above is indeed one of the most relaxing songs in the world. But how? What elements in the song ...
5
votes
2answers
388 views

Uses for the Prometheus scale?

I was looking up info on scales today and found this page on scales: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_musical_scales_and_modes Scrolling through the page, I found a few interesting scales, but ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

(Post)-minimalist compositional techniques

I was wondering if anyone out there knew of any techniques associated with the minimalist tradition. I've been really interested in the philosophical notion of minimalism over the last few months or ...
6
votes
1answer
632 views

Guidelines for piano composition/transcription

I'm a classical guitar student but I always loved the piano. Though I never owned one, most of my musical ideas come to me as harmonies on the keyboard so I often have to translate that into something ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

What purpose do accidentals serve in music?

I'm having trouble writing music containing accidentals. If the diatonic scale contains 7 related notes, what purpose do accidentals serve? If the accidental notes are not related to the overall ...
2
votes
1answer
108 views

music with frequencies : software editor

I would like to compose some experimental music. For this task, I would like to use any "easy-to-use" software (like garageband, or even a tracker like renoise) but I want to compose my music by ...
1
vote
6answers
172 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.
5
votes
3answers
118 views

Composing Music- Interpretation

When writing music, does one: Let the musician interpret the music more (less dynamics, tempo markings, etc.), or Let all musicians follow the same general interpretation (more dynamics, tempo ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Why am I always sticking to minor keys?

When I'm improvising on my keyboard, or trying to compose a melody, I always find myself playing in a minor key -- and never a major one. (For keyboard it's usually G minor or D minor, but that I ...
5
votes
2answers
175 views

Suggested text material about Italian baroque composition

As a hobbyist composer who composes in "almost" traditional music styles (baroque-like, classical-like etc.), I am at a stage where I would like to compose authentic music in a specific style. I have ...
9
votes
3answers
363 views

How to give a song this sense of “conclusion”?

Alt-J's first album ends with the song Taro -- a song whose outro leaves a very strong impression on me. The outro sounds like a very fitting ending to any album, because the music simply gives me ...
6
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

What components make military music especially rousing?

If someone were going to compose a piece of military music to especially rousing, what components would they be looking to emphasize? Like is there a certain key or time that military music is often ...
5
votes
2answers
392 views

How does one compose fills and solos for the drumkit?

I keep hearing that rudiments are the building blocks of drumming. How do you create drum fills and solos out of rudiments? They say they're made from rudiments, are they ALL made from nothing but ...
8
votes
2answers
217 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
740 views

Online counterpoint materials

For a long time I've wanted to teach myself counterpoint, but haven't been able to find any materials online. Are there any hidden tutorials anyone knows of, or good books written in English in the ...
15
votes
8answers
16k views

Tips on counting and playing odd time signatures

I'm pretty interested in learning, composing and playing along to songs using odd time signatures (3/4, 5/4, 7/8, ...) and I'd like some advice on how to wrap my head around all this stuff. For ...
3
votes
1answer
133 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
282 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
727 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
295 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
397 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
200 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
1k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
374 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" ...
1
vote
1answer
143 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
1k 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
2k 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
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5answers
431 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 ...
5
votes
8answers
7k 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 (...