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Questions tagged [composition]

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

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1answer
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What other activities can I do to become a better musician and composer?

(Apologies for my bad English, I'm not a native speaker) What are the things that I should know to get better as a musician and improve my composition? I basically love pop/rock music and that's what ...
2
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1answer
28 views

Rights on publishing music [on hold]

I gather that, in the U.S. at least, any work created before ~1923 is in the public domain now. Does that mean that anyone can publish and sell, say, an unaltered sheet of Bach? What about ...
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3answers
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How can I get started with melody writing?

I have a basis in music theory(took an AP course, read a few online texts) and now seek to create melodies, though am never able to start. I'm aware that this has been asked before, though have not ...
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4answers
93 views

How to do songwriting starting from the lyrics, if I don't play any instrument?

I usually write new songs starting with a free backtrack. Then I imagine which words and melodies can go with it and in that way it's pretty easy to write a new song. Finally I can sing them at open ...
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0answers
37 views

Were partimenti purely improvisational exercises?

Burney describes Neapolitan conservatory students "pounding out" accompaniment exercises that were full of "jargon and dissonance" in his history of music and Robert Gjerdingen suggests that these ...
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1answer
55 views

Tips on writing 12 bar or 16 bar melodies

I need to write 12 bar or 16 bar melodies for my Grade 8 Music Theory exam. I know how to write melodies, which didn't require any modulation. I am new to the concept of using modulation in melody ...
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4answers
133 views

How can someone mentally improvise music? [closed]

For a long time I have wondered how musicians have been able to create music internally without the use of an instrument i.e improvising physically or in some other real way. I think the idea that ...
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1answer
46 views

What are the instrument parts, that goes under the song lyrics

What do we call the instrument parts, that goes under the song lyrics? The parts that doesn't equal to the melody of the lyrics but add lot of fullness. EDIT Here I am talking about music parts ...
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0answers
32 views

Did Beethoven write any modes other than the Ionian / Aeolian / Lydian modes?

The Ionian and the Aeolian modes are considered major and natural minor keys, and all composers used these modes all the time, including Beethoven, who also wrote Lydian mode in one of his string ...
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1answer
43 views

Duration of lexical directives like “dolce,” “espress.,” and “marcato?”

What is the duration of lexical directives like "dolce," "espress.," (espressivo) and "marcato" when they appear in a written score beneath a bar? Is it until the end of the bar, for the remainder of ...
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0answers
59 views

How did Nadia Boulanger teach students? [closed]

What was the general method that Boulanger utilized when teaching composition students? Please be specific, what exercises did she use? What books did she prefer? etc.
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5answers
122 views

Does this song have a tempo or time signature?

Does this song have a tempo or time signature ? How do you write and play this kind of music ?
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3answers
59 views

To compose music, do you have to be able to hear?

I am asking this question out of sheer curiosity. Ludwig van Beethoven was deaf but still made some amazing songs. Just like Beethoven, do your ears have to work normally (Like not deaf), to be able ...
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1answer
56 views

Is this minimalist? [closed]

Can this piece of music be described as minimalist? Does it portray all of the appropriate characteristics?
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0answers
44 views

Kinetic Rhythm in Pop Music

This is something I've noticed that I don't hear anyone really talking about... Essentially it's the way that separate rhythmic elements of most pop songs interact in a kinetic way with one another. ...
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2answers
64 views

What is a traditional instrumentation for a Polka Band?

I'm a high school trombonist getting into composition. I've been writing stuff for a few years now, and I was posed a task by my band director to right a polka out of a piece I wrote this year. ...
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0answers
44 views

What do you call a lightwheight version of chorus inside a verse or in between them?

If you have two different choruses, where one is a more mellow version of the "real" chorus. What do you call it? For instance on this form: Verse, X, Verse, Chorus. What do you call X? It's not a ...
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3answers
113 views

Which notes are skeletal?

I have been told to figure out which notes in Mozart's theme are skeletal and which ones are just embellishments before I develop my Theme and Variations. But I don't know how to tell if a note is ...
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1answer
96 views

How did composers use the technique of “fauxbourdon”?

I've recently learned of a harmonisation technique called fauxbourdon (or faux bourdon, fauxbordon or false drone), used in the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance, e.g. by Giullaume Dufay; you can ...
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3answers
521 views

Is divisi notation needed for brass or woodwind in an orchestra?

I'm composing for orchestra. I've read that divisions [of parts] should be notated using divisi. (or div.) above the staff. But I'm wondering whether this notation is mandatory for all instruments. ...
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2answers
43 views

How to get a satisfactory ending to a Theme and Variations?

I have always wanted to compose a Theme and Variations. I got the idea yesterday of taking a Mozart theme and varying it. Now I have gotten even more specific. Even though the Turkish March is not my ...
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2answers
150 views

What does “con piu fuoco possibile” mean?

Towards the end of Chopin's Etude No. 4 in C# minor, Op. 10 No. 4, it says "con più fuoco possibile." What does this mean?
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15 views

Tanglewood BUTI

Having just recently been accepted to Tanglewood BUTI composition, I was curious how competitive it was. How many apply to composition, and what is the admissions rate?
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1answer
27 views

Are there books specifically on the subject of modulation?

Questions concerning smooth modulations, especially how to effect them, keep coming up in my own efforts at composition. Apart from Max Reger's little treatise (which in some ways is and in other ways ...
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1answer
48 views

How should I got about re-creating a melody in chiptune?

I am trying to recreate "Pure Vessel"(A.K.A. Path of Pain theme) by Christopher Larkin in chiptune. However, my first attempt at it was awful(my failed attempt), and I would appreciate it if I could ...
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2answers
55 views

Nature 'composing' music? [closed]

Many of you may be familiar with the interesting musical piece, Birds on The Wires, created jointly by Jarbas Agnalli (arrangement), Paulo Pinto (photogrpaher), and birds (notes?) about 10 years ago. ...
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3answers
992 views

What's the “normal” opposite of flautando?

I'm writing a piece in which I need string instruments to switch regularly between flautando and normal timbre. How do I denote this? Basically, I need a word which means "normal" with regard to where ...
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1answer
3k views

Why did John Williams use a march to symbolise Indiana Jones?

John Williams is famous for using certain styles of composition to represent characters (e.g. a military march style in Superman to represent freedom/USA etc.), but why was Indiana represented by the ...
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2answers
174 views

minimalist compositions [closed]

Thanks for all the responses. It struck me that the work of Reich and Glass was/is mathematical in arrangement. If LaMonte Young and Terry Riley started the movement on the coast then Reich and Glass ...
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6answers
102 views

Is there any point to regular phrase lengths?

I have gotten several comments on my scores saying that they would be better if I had regular or at least even numbered phrase lengths. But what is the point of say sticking to 8 bar phrases for a ...
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0answers
6 views

Playback Issue with Komp Create for iPad

After weeks of searching I finally found an app for iPad that I can write Music with and has a playback feature. But as my sheet got to like 5 measures the playback stopped working properly. Sometimes ...
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3answers
48 views

Should I focus on the notes of the song and less on the rhythmic notation when learning a new song?

Curious about the best ways to practice songs written for piano, i pay too much attention to the written rhythmic pattern and then I get frustrated since the rhythmic value written is not what my ...
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3answers
85 views

How accurate can sheet music to the original composer be, if it has constant rearrangements? [closed]

For example, say I am learning how to play Cole Porter songs on piano (let's misbehave;de-lovely;etc) yet I come across other versions of the song, some have a higher level of difficulty and I feel if ...
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0answers
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What types of cadences work well in natural minor mode?

I am currently interested in writing a piece in the natural minor mode, and it seems like "v - i" cadence does not quite work as well as compared to the harmonic / melodic minor modes, which use "V - ...
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0answers
132 views

How do I put the joke into the music? [closed]

This is my first phrase in my scherzo. The eighth notes in the right hand and the focus on Bb at first, making it sound like it is in Bb major instead of F major, despite the E naturals makes the ...
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1answer
101 views

What technique was being used in composing this background music for a film?

At around six minutes and 40 seconds of this Youtube video, this gentleman talks about using minor and major thirds and how it was supposed to mimic the sound of a ...
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2answers
64 views

Which chromatic passing tone to use?

I'm wondering if there's certain chromatic passing tones that are used more than others. Especially in classical or pop improvisation/composition. For example in the key of C, each of the five black ...
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1answer
98 views

Did Stravinsky and Craft have a dual piano built?

I remember being told 20 years or so ago that Igor Stravinsky used to compose with Robert Craft as an in-person assistant to play things together as they were being composed. I also remember being ...
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2answers
45 views

Composition for Clarinet

I would like to write a song for a Bb clarinet. What is the easiest key for a clarinet player to play it in? Do I use the Treble clef register?
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4answers
882 views

Can someone explain the theory behind the changes in Superstition by Stevie Wonder?

I'm learning Stevie Wonder's Superstition on guitar (an awesome song) and I'm really curious about the theory behind the changes in the chorus. The intro and verse are just a riff in E minor ...
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3answers
131 views

Can a timpani player play more than one note at a time?

Is it possible for a timpani player to play multiple notes at the same time such as a guitar or piano player would do?
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1answer
156 views

What makes a piece a nocturne?

I am wanting to compose a second nocturne. I composed my first one about a year ago and pretty much all the feedback I got was that it should have been written in 3/4 instead of 4/4. I wonder if that ...
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2answers
310 views

How are melodic sequences used?

I keep hearing about sequences. I know that there's both harmonic and melodic sequences. I am familiar with harmonic sequences I believe they're also called "basso ostinato" where you play a repeating ...
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1answer
59 views

Who did introduce the mediant keys in to music harmony progression?

Which composer(s) introduced as the first time mediant chords and mediant keys in their compositions - or in which period the use of this kind of modulation was coming up?
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6answers
157 views

How is making music by software different than real instruments? [closed]

Do I need a real keyboard, drum machine and other instruments to make music, or do you think software nowadays are able to generate the same sound? What would be the difference, and would the quality ...
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1answer
60 views

Accompanying a RH melody (improv/comp)

Are there any interesting rhythms/patterns for accompanying the melody (because I can play those by ear), such as breaking chords or etc. For doing piano covers of pop music, I am able to play the ...
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4answers
105 views

Why are thirds used with chromatic mediants and not other intervals?

I was watching this video about chromatic mediants (the video calls them chromatic thirds for some reason). And it made me wonder what is it about thirds that makes them popular. So we talk about ...
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3answers
602 views

Are non-diatonic chord progressions usually modal mixtures?

I asked a question in the past about non-diatonic notes. In the answer I got a progression of the form: IV Maj | ♯iv dim | I64 | V7 | I Maj IV Maj | ♯iv dim | V7 | V7 | ♯v dim ...
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1answer
99 views

Examples in “Fundamentals of Musical Composition” by Schoenberg [closed]

I am working with Schoenberg's Fundamentals of Musical Composition, amd would like to know if anyone is aware of a website that has the examples in audio format, or if some saint here has sequenced ...
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0answers
71 views

Freestyle Advice for Beatboxing [closed]

So I have been beatboxing for a couple of months now, got inspired by GBBB battles. I can do the basic sounds (kick drum, hi hats, (inward and outward) K snares, pf Snare, throat bass, lip ...