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23

As a composer, you mostly end up writing for instruments that you yourself don't play. Apart from Hindemith, it is fairly impossible to maintain a high level of proficiency on every instrument - there just isn't that much time and it is not feasible. However, that does not excuse having a working knowledge of the instrument. Though it might seem silly to ...


18

But there are rhythms, harmonies and melodies in nature. When you walk, you establish a nice solid beat. Two beats to the bar, at its most basic level - but by adjusting your gait or the way you count, you can think of it as four beats, or three, or as many as you like. Skipping brings in different rhythms. The musical intervals that make up melodies are ...


12

You may want to read this Wikipedia article section, concerning harmonic minor. Short summarized, this variant of minor keys reduces the gap between 7th and octave, so that the seventh tone can be used as a leading tone similarly as in major keys.


12

It is a Major triad built on the lowered 2nd scale degree. It's usually in first inversion, hence the "6th" part of the name. So if I'm in C-minor, the Neapolitan 6th (sometimes analyzed as N6 or bII6) would be a Db-major triad, probably with the F in the bass. They are chromatic harmonies, and their primary function is to go to V. EDITED TO ADD: There is a ...


9

Schoenberg is talking about the difference between just intonation (which he refers to as "natural semi-tones") and 12-tone equal temperament (which he refers to as "tempered" semi-tones). This is a complicated subject. You can find several long posts about this subject on this site, or you can find a lot of references elsewhere on the Internet. The gist of ...


8

Conveniently enough, the altered scale, sometimes called "Super Locrian", which is the 7th mode of jazz minor. 1 b2 b3 b4 b5 b6 b7 So, in C: B C D Eb F G A Relative to A: A Bb C Db Eb F G This gives you, functionally: 1, b9, #9, 3, b5, #5 and b7. (If you played this against a C7) In your case, over A13b9: A Bb C# D E F# G.


8

When asked about how "masterworks" are created, Nadia Boulanger, a French composition pedagogue during the 20th century, had this to say: "I can tell whether a piece is well-made or not, and I believe that there are conditions without which masterpieces cannot be achieved, but I also believe that what defines a masterpiece cannot be pinned down. I ...


8

Wikipedia explains (emphasis mine): When rigorously applied, the technique demands that one statement of the tone row must be heard in full (otherwise known as aggregate completion) before another can begin. Adjacent notes in the row can be sounded at the same time, and the notes can appear in any octave, but the order of the notes in the tone row must ...


8

What you seek is called Modulation. The II-V-I your jazz friend told you about is pretty easy. It's really common in jazz. First you need to establish that you are in E minor, so you'll need to play something like II - V - I in E minor and then II - V - I in A minor. That's that. As you can see here for the song Nostalgia in Times Square by Charles Mingus. ...


7

jjmusicnotes' answer is a good answer, and I'd like to make a special plea for the percussion section. I know many musicians don't have much time for percussionists, but as a composer the section can be your ally. It can keep the ensemble together (whether there's a conductor or not); it can give you a lot of support for dynamic changes; and it can help make ...


7

I'll give some general tips but really I think you can't beat the books I'll mention below as a guide on how to write euphonious counterpoint. As far as the order of composing voices, Schoenberg's advice was that you have to be able to hear the full harmony as you write it. I believe he set a good value at 4 voices at once. That's one way to look at it. ...


7

This is an Am7b5 - also known as A half-diminished. This chord would never be a dominant seventh in of itself. You would need to raise the 3rd and 5th degree of the chord for that to happen. In that case, the music would normally resolve back to D minor (in your case.) Alternatively, you can use this chord as a pivot chord using it as a ii7 before ...


7

Writing lyrics is like anything else. You have to practice and practice at it to get good. Some people might be naturally better at it, but that doesn't mean that you can't get that good. A good way to practice is to start reading and writing poetry, because in essence lyrics are just poetry. Study the forms and structures of poetry and you will be one step ...


6

Just like in the visual arts, this ability comes with development of the imagination. Imagination can work with any of the senses. Perfumers imagine scents. Chefs imagine tastes and textures and aromas. Musicians imagine music. The time element is the only real difference between audile imagination (or audiation), and these other, more static images. One ...


6

Good question here. It is not considered universally legitimate and may in fact just be a stylistic trait of the person you mentioned, as it is (to my knowledge) not commonly done or practiced. In 12-tone music, it has been jokingly said that "everyone cheats" and that is more or less true - composers often break away from the rigid structure and follow ...


6

There is no right answer on this and at best you will have several subjective answers to review but here are my suggestions. Your idea of hearing your guitar being tuned is actually a very good idea since it puts the viewer in the space of seeing things being set up and hearing things set up too. You can make it sound wonderful and enchanting, use your ...


6

What you're asking is similar to "I want to write great software, but I'm not a programmer and have no knowledge of computer science or programming or anything like that. Will I be able to write great software if I just get the right IDE?" I'm a programmer too; take it from me: YES theory is extremely important for what you want. Given that you are a ...


6

There are many different types of synesthesia, and it is only recently that it has been taken seriously as psychological phenomena. For anyone who is unfamiliar (or too bored to click the links in the OP's question,) synesthesia is essentially where a person's brain is hard-wired to experience sensory stimulation in multiple, simultaneous ways. For ...


6

I have absolute pitch and associate colors with specific keys. I have had this ability for as long as I can remember and only discovered in adolescence that others did not have it; the two are very much intertwined in terms of how I think about music. FWIW, absolute pitch runs in my family on both sides, with my mother possessing it and my paternal ...


6

Ooooooh there are so many hundreds of tricks and tips that you can use. I'd refer you to my blog, but for now let me give 3 simple ideas that I love to utilise, and go to regularly. These apply to melody-writing and to writing music in general. Make the music reflect the intended message Using text or words, simply write the melody to imitate the natural ...


6

Your question is a bit too open-ended to be answered completely and all the comments that have been made already give you useful pointers. Said simply: your ear has been trained by what you have heard over the years. When you hear a few notes, your brain will want to make sense of it, fall back onto its feet, the same way that you make sense of a few dots ...


6

This is a pretty open ended question, but what you're asking for will be covered in any DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_digital_audio_editors 1. Realistic-sounding drums track writing; You will most likely achieve this through a VST plugin. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Studio_Technology . People write drum ...


6

I disagree with the idea that "atonal" music causes any loss of emotion, but I'll set that disagreement aside. Here's what I'll say: 1) NO WAY IN THE UNIVERSE are you the first composer to feel this way. Please don't let either what you're worried about, or the worry itself, frustrate or upset you. 2) Part of the answer is that there are so many ways to ...


5

What I Think Music isn't some kind of mystical half-random thing that is beyond all understanding; it has its rules and regulations --and in some ways, more structural restrictions than other art forms. It can and usually should be somewhat predictable and, really, there are only a few combinations of rhythms out there --it's all about how you put them ...


5

Dan, I believe your confusion stems from a a misconception about tonality in composition. Although a piece of music may be in a certain key, the tonal center may shift several times within the context of that key signature. Take, for example, this quickly composed snippet of simple music in C Major (no sharps, no flats): Even though the song is in the ...


5

I'm not a Drummer, but I would highly recommend investing in a copy of Guitar Pro. Most of the songs I've downloaded for guitar pro have the transcribers really putting a ton of effort into transcriptions of songs. It allows you to follow along, speed up, slow down, loop etc, and the Real Sound Engine means that the drums actually sound realistic. A ...


5

Here are two extensive resources for instrumental ranges both from Dolmetsch Organisation: Musical Instrument Ranges and Names (With Diagrams, like the following image) Chart of Sounding Range and Clefs Used (mainly descriptive information) These resources compiled from Norman Del Mar's Anatomy of the Orchestra; Gardner Read's Thesaurus of ...


5

Here's a simple idea: Sort your compositions by date or title Pick one criterion such as the date or title of the composition, order and store your papers in labeled folders (according to the criterion you've chosen). Keeping them sorted allows you to find them quickly. Use your computer to keep track of your compositions This ...


5

OK lets see hints for Melodies... Patterns are key. If you write a melody in a theory exam they will give you an extract from which you can repeat certain patterns. After a cadence you need a rhythmical sequence. That is rhythm that is repeated for at least two bars. This a just a repeat of the rhythm the notes need not be identical. Know your cadences. ...


5

I think I see two slightly different questions here. It seems like you are looking for guidelines for writing parts on piano to play on guitar and also how to arrange a piano part for guitar. I will assume you are playing guitar in the standard tuning. The largest difficulty you can encounter will come from the density of the chord voicings. On a piano, ...



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