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 start with an on-beat part (which I call the "square" part) followed by an off-beat part (which I call the "off" part). Listen to "Brown Sugar" (Stones) to understand what I mean.
Then in longer compositions I find that initially things may not progess much but then lead to a complete desaster, from which the composition needs to recover, typically using a cadence (at least I have a word for that) bringing things to a conclusion.
Other compositions begin with a slight (e.g. by starting with the IV) or strong tension and then meander a little bit, getting to get back to the tonic and develop things from there. "Helter Skelter" (Beatles) does this in an extreme way.
Even though I used harmony terms in my description above, the same patterns/idioms apply to anyting tension related. It could be melody, the relation of the melody to the chords, the rhythm of even the accompaniment.
My problem is: I don't know the correct words to talk about these things. Things like a "cliffhanger" in TV shows or "suspense". I believe there are only some handful of such patterns and the good composer is distinguished by composing (sic!) these patterns in interesting and pleasing ways.
- Does anybody know where I could learn about such terminlogy?
- or can list some established terms for some idioms?