Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

16

A fugue is one of the most polyphonic musical pieces you can write. In a typical fugue there are 3 or 4 voices in play that are each treated independent melodies. While this is going on, you have to not only have to keep all the rules of counterpoint in mind for each voice and make sure the harmony always make sense, but you have a structure to keep in mind ...


15

What @user13423 wrote is right, but I think maybe it doesn't really answer what you're really asking. So allow me to elaborate. There are two fundamental relationships to music: that of being audience, and that of being performer. All performing musicians are putting on a show. Performance is the making of an illusion, of casting a glamour on the ...


13

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 ...


12

The list above is a great start. I'll add a few names below, but first let me speak to the technical question. There are a few basic techniques that characterize so-called minimalism in music. Not every minimalist or post-minimalist uses all these, and a number of composers who used to be called minimalists have changed style dramatically over the years, but ...


12

In my experience, unfortunately, writing melodies is one of the most "magical" parts of writing music. Some melodies just sound great, some just don't. There are, however, a few things to keep in mind that can help you deliberately write a melody for a particular emotion or style and help you understand why a particular melody sounds good. Intervallic and ...


10

This depends on the circumstances, but I would suggest it is more common to write no key signature (or the best closest match like "F" if all B tends to be Bb.) especially in the case of changes that last only a few measures. Here are my reasons: 1) It's not normal for jazz music to include alot of key changes written as new key signatures. This will happen ...


10

There are a lot of different kinds of Minimalisms, so my first suggestion would be to explore a bunch of different composers with extremely open ears: Philip Glass - Personally, my favorite work is his opera Einstein on the Beach, but his string quartets are also great, and the piano etudes can be a nice introduction. His work tends to still operate within ...


10

Your question is very vague, but I'll try to answer it to you anyway. You are actually pointing at three different skills: Songwriting Composition Musical Knowledge I'll explain to you what these skills are and how to learn them. Songwriting Have you ever seen a dude with a guitar playing love-songs in a corner surrounded by pretty girls? Yeah, ...


9

Let's first define Musique Concrète as: Music crafted from the manipulation of recorded sounds. You can find more in-depth definitions here and here. Where to start? Before we can manipulate sounds, we need to record them. Grab a mic and start recording whatever sound you find interesting. Falling stones, water, voices, rain, cars, wood, strings, ...


9

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 ...


9

I'm sure someone more experienced will come to help, but for now, here are some suggestions: Make use of dissonant chords. In particular, augumented fifths, and diminished major sevenths. In particular I'd just look into the various scale modes (e.g. Lydian) and pick out chords from there. If it's a slow horror song I'd suggest using a Dorian mode for ...


9

Is it possible to create a completely new genre of music This question might appear really weird, but still I ended up asking. Its not weird at all. Many composers throughout history have asked this very question. I will give a tentative "yes" to this portion of the question, with the clarification that by genre we are referring to the stylistic ...


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. ...


8

I would recommend that first of all, you define 'happy', because it means many different things to different people. Here's an exercise I'd use to find out what to do in your own music Find examples of the mood you're trying to set. Write down as much as you can about the tempo, the instrumentation, possibly the scales and types of chords used(from sheet ...


8

First off, I'm going to say that many people have key preferences and there's nothing wrong with that. If you want to adapt to major keys for listening or writing, it's all a matter of preference. And not all songs in minor keys have to sound sad; there are several examples of this. Panic! at the Disco, for example. Each key has different components and ...


8

MattPutnam's answer covered technical aspects very nicely. Here I have some further thoughts that are often overlooked. String quartets require you to be careful about more than notes. Even though the three (there are two violins in the quartet) instruments belong to the same family, they have each their own perks: they respond differently to dynamics; ...


7

You will probably need the help of the game's audio designer to learn the exact requirements and limitations; with a powerful enough audio engine in-game, you can really do anything imaginable. Presuming that you are not pushing the boundaries of video game music, though, you do still have a bit of freedom as a writer. You just need to think in terms of ...


7

To me, the tempo of the music is the primary factor in what makes a piece of music relaxing. In the video above, the bpm hovers around 55-60 which makes it ideal for synchonisation to your brainwaves/ resting heart rate. (source) While listening, your heart rate gradually comes to match that beat. It is important that the song is eight minutes long ...


7

"Technicality" tends to be related to skills in execution. Focusing on technicalities detracts from expressiveness. For the listener, noticing random aberrations also detracts from expressiveness which are, in a manner, deliberate aberrations from a mechanical execution. "Technicality" does not distract a listener. But when it occupies the attention of ...


7

That depends on you. Just write first what comes natural to you. If you grab your guitar/play piano and you see that you can work your way in a harmony you like, start with that. If you are thinking some lyrics without having any harmony, write them down. There isn't any specific order in which to do that. Usually when I write a song, I first write the ...


7

Let's take two archetypal rags - Black and White Rag and The Entertainer. The left hand mostly plays a steady pattern of a bass note on the 1 and 3, and a chord on the 2 and 4. 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 LH chord * * * * LH bass * * * * Pretty much all ragtime has this regular oom-pah backing throughout, along with lead-ins and linking ...


6

I'm happy to hear you're brave enough to start producing music with no musical background but being a passionate listener. You don't need a lot of money to do great sounds but in the beginning having a sample pack, great VST plugins and full version of a DAW does speed up the process of learning. ~300€ for the software and samples will do fine for more than ...


6

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, ...


6

Besides Haskore which is already mentioned in the paper you refer to and the ones mentioned by other, there is "supercollider" and "pure data". I absolutely understand you question. I've been looking for such a high-level thing myself. Here are my personal thoughts on this: I haven't found anything good and came to the conclusion, that there are no ...


6

Sometimes just singing over a chord progression can do wonders. However a melody that sounds 'good' on vocals may flub on the keyboard (or other instruments). Try changing the chords under the melody - sometimes its easy to dismiss a decent melody because it wasn't in a very good context (chord substitution is a great way to go here). Try to identify what ...


6

Of course there are infinite ways one might explore a scale or harmony compositionally, but one aspect of the pitch collection that made it interesting to Scriabin is that it can be used to resolve in a more-or-less traditional manner to a number of different distantly related harmonic areas. First off, a reminder about the harmonic possibilities of a ...


6

Here are some cases where slash chords might be used: Pedal point The most boring case. The bass holds (or repeats) a note while the harmonies change. Useful in everything from bagpipe drones to the codas of Bach organ fugues. Passing tones Sort the reverse of the above. The bass is moving around while the harmony is staying relatively static, leading to ...


6

No, not really, though it's not terribly common in some styles. I'd say it's relatively rare in Baroque music, for example (or at least it's not notated as such when it does occur, e.g. cadential hemiolas...). OTOH, it's often necessary when transcribing earlier music, due to the later's lack of meter. I think it may have become more acceptable again ...


6

When you ask about "moods" of keys, it's important to qualify what era of music (or more specifically, what tuning system) you are asking about. This is because a large portion of what gave keys their individual color was the interval relations they contained, as a result of a specific tuning system. In the Baroque Era, when keys had distinct moods because ...


5

A quick note for when you decide to start using a DAW: If you have a Mac, it has GarageBand on it for free. GarageBand is a full-featured DAW, and since it doesn't cost anything, it's a good tool for learning how to use a DAW (an entire skill set in itself). It isn't as powerful as other DAWs, though, so at some point, you are going to want to buy something ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible