Questions tagged [composition]

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

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64 views

What criteria do composers use to choose the key of a song? [duplicate]

I would like to know what criteria composers use when choosing the key of a song. In the case of music composed for orchestra or, in general, for instruments with limited tessitura or tuned in a ...
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5answers
97 views

What is the theory behind this chord progression?

first time posting here, although I've read quite a few posts before. So, I was analyzing the theory behind a song (Savatage - Gutter Ballet), and while it is primarily in the key of D Minor, it ...
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Using an augmented chord to modulate to a distant key, will this work?

So, in the same piece for which I asked about how to notate my 2 layered staccato, I'm halfway through writing the piece and I feel like I want to modulate again. Here are my modulations so far: E ...
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61 views

Am I notating this 2 layered staccato right?

How should I notate syncopations happening at the level of the sixteenth note? I'm composing a piece and in the piano accompaniment, there are 2 layers of staccato, one being on beat eighth notes so 1 ...
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96 views

Is the C chord here C minor or C major?

I’m composing a funeral march and I have noticed that just from looking at the bass, the C chord is ambiguous. The piece is in the key of F minor. That doesn’t really help because both C minor and C ...
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1answer
61 views

Substitution of minor chord for major VI chord

I came up with this progression while trying to make a song that involves guitar arpeggios and string sections: Em Cm Em/B C6 Em C B-B+ Cm6 (Em/B I mean with a chord inversion and B-B+ I mean half ...
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1answer
67 views

Bach Reference in “The Penitent Man Will Pass” [from Indiana Jones]

I was recently listening to the composition John Williams - Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Penitent Man Will Pass and was wondering if the first few notes of the theme of that composition are ...
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59 views

Alternate Criterias for MA in Music (or any other Degree that increases likelihood of getting Orchestras play my works) [closed]

Greetings MusicStackExchange, I put my intention first (I'm in HighSchool, You might need this information to understand why I'm asking this question) : I wish to work with Orchestras and Hopefully ...
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1answer
70 views

What type of bass clef is used for the organ pedal?

regular bass clef or 8va bassa?
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1answer
90 views

Adagio sounds like an Allegro, should I change the time signature to reflect this?

So, after a bout of composer's block, I started composing this piece for Cello Piano Duo. I find I have fewer issues with the Cello Piano Duo than the Violin Piano Duo when it comes to things like ...
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92 views

Meter/ Rhythm/ Time signature

Can someone explain to me what meter is and how to change and control it? Im a beginner songwriting and im not sure if meter refers to feet per line or if it refers to duple, triple, quadruple, simple,...
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1answer
71 views

Changing time signatures

As a songwriter im wanting to understand how to change the time signature/ meter of my lyrics to give them a more interesting affect? I've read many articles indicating that changing the rhythm/ meter ...
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1answer
50 views

Is there a place to get scoreless film clips to practice with? [closed]

I have written a lot of pieces that I feel would fit nicely for a film or commercial and I would like to practice doing some scoring for films. Rather than filming myself, is there a website made for ...
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Emulating the Beethoven's Fifth Finale without making it sound like it isn't original? Sounds hard

So, I got a comment from someone on a composers forum about the C major ending of my 10 minute orchestral piece, Escape from the Minor Trap, saying this: Bar 187: I can hear a very triumphant ...
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2answers
75 views

How to make ideas as different as types of weather sound like they belong together?

I have had this idea come time and again for me to write a suite about different types of weather. However, when I think of the different types of whether in musical terms, each one is different. Here ...
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63 views

Should I have the time signature change from 4/4 to 2/4 or from 2/2 to 2/4?

So, I am composing another piece that involves time signature switching. I'm starting with the piano solo improvisation that I recorded and I'm thinking of expanding it from solo piano to orchestra. ...
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55 views

Where to cut off a sonata theme for Theme and Variations?

I am thinking of writing a Theme and Variations based on a sonata. With sonatas, I tend to gravitate towards the first movement, which is most often in sonata form, and this poses a bit of a problem. ...
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2answers
79 views

Is this an acceptable way to resolve a vii° chord?

In a choral-style piece I am writing, someone said that this vii° chord (within a phrase) never resolves properly. I would be grateful if anyone could give me some advice about whether it works or not,...
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0answers
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Can my lack of piano practice affect my creativity in song composing & arranging?

I would like to firstly apologize for this lengthy post. I just want to give a background to my question. I am not, by any means, a professional pianist. I do not have a Music Degree to boast of, ...
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2answers
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Composition question…any advice on changing tempo?

I'm writing a piece of electronic music on a Digital Audio Workstation. I'm not sure what you would call the genre - trance, ambient, maybe even electronic jazz. It starts off slow and ...
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2answers
101 views

Is B major harder or easier to play on strings than Ab major?

I started improvising a nocturne in B major that I think I will write for a piano sextet(string quintet + Piano). But, there is one thing I feel that I need to ask first before I get 25% of the way ...
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0answers
63 views

How objective is the structure of a notated piece of music? [closed]

How objective can the analysis of a notated piece of music into a hierarchical structure of some "constituents" be? Consider a given piece of music in notated form and structurally analysed by ...
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0answers
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How to improve the harmonic cohesion of my canon?

So this canon is what ends the Presto section of my Springtime Springs piece. As it is now, I only get 2 parallel fifths and no parallel octaves in the entire canon, which I am fine with, since I am ...
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2answers
118 views

are there common techniques to make a piano version of a song that has very little musical content?

I'm looking at doing a piano version of very simple rock song and since there is really not much in the original song, this is not a problem I have approached before: here is a cover of the song so ...
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1answer
111 views

Is this fortissimo passage in the flute possible?

I am writing this piece for a piano flute duet to represent Spring and it has 3 main sections. Those sections are: A - Quiet, Molto adagio, A minor, very melodic, rocking fifths in the bass, melody ...
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62 views

How should a composer use Scales/modes as a tool for composition? [closed]

I've been studying music since I was 15 but I must admit there are many gaps in my knowledge. So although I may know some of the answers to this question, I think it'd be a good idea ask, in case ...
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0answers
38 views

What key to use for the Trio part of my Scherzo?

As you know from my previous question about tempo conservation and time signatures, I am writing a Scherzo in Eb major. Now, if I were writing this for solo piano, I would gladly do an Eb to Ebm key ...
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2answers
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What is the difference between the Romantic and post-romantic periods?

This question came about when I was reading Blair Allen Johnston’s dissertation, ‘Harmony and Climax in the late works of Sergei Rachmanioff’ He loosely groups the post romantic period within 1890-...
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67 views

What Title For String Music?

I'm working on a musical composition and I would like to know how to title it. It consists of 5 separate, but related, movements that vary in tempo and mood. The instruments are: Solo Violin Violin ...
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What authors have tried to compare a wide variety of styles, specifically with regards to orchestration?

I have never found a guide to orchestration which systematically discusses differences in the theory behind the orchestration/composition choices with regards to different typical stylistic genres, ...
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1answer
72 views

Are there pieces that have extreme tempo markings?

I'm trying to recall if I ever came across such a piece that uses whole note = tempo, or 16th note = tempo. To my recollection, I don't think I've seen the whole note before. As well, I have seen ...
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Is there a reason an arranger/composer will choose a particular chord voicing when charting chords for guitar on a particular song?

When I look in music books for guitar or chord arrangements (or tabs) online for songs I want to learn to play on guitar, I notice that often a specific voicing for each particular chord is indicated. ...
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1answer
40 views

Is there a certain way to voice chords for an orchestration?

I am new to composing, and I am working on a piece for an orchestra. Currently, I am working on the string section. I have four parts so far (violin, viola, cello, double bass). I am considering ...
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2answers
67 views

Is this melody too complicated for a first variation?

I asked in a separate question whether Theme and Variations would be the best fitting form for my "Dance of Nature" movement. I decided that the multi-movement work this is part of would be a symphony,...
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2answers
52 views

Confusion with dynamics

I'm not sure if anyone's asked these before on here but I'm trying sort some dynamics out on my composing project and I have some questions: 1) What I want to do is have a diminuendo from ff to p ...
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3answers
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Can I transcribe accoustic piano in a DAW

I'm looking for some software that can transcribe my accoustic piano playing into notation so it can be written down and played back. It's okay if the software can only notate simple one voice music. ...
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0answers
34 views

Dance of Nature Finale - Would Theme and Variations fit the best?

So I have been thinking about another piece lately, this one being a multi-movement work related to nature. I'm not sure if this will turn out to be a symphony or not. I certainly seem to be getting a ...
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6answers
2k views

What is the purpose of the rules in counterpoint composition?

When composing in any form of counterpoint, there are many, many rules to follow. But why? What is the ultimate goal of following the(se) formula(s)?
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4answers
81 views

Problems composing transitions and bridge passages

Background: I have been composing orchestral sketches (non-professionally) for some time now. I see the progress and notice, that everything becomes much simpler after practicing multiple hours a day (...
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4answers
224 views

What is the term for skipping notes in a familiar melody, so that the listener imagines them?

There is a technique in composition where certain notes in a familiar melody are entirely skipped, so that they are not played but are still imagined. This usually happens (or is noticeable) in the ...
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3answers
72 views

How can I keep the piece coherent when I have the rhythm of a Waltz and the form of a Sonata?

I just had this idea come to mind after I analyzed Grande Valse Brillante Op. 18 and asked if it was in Sonata form. What if I combine the Waltz and the Sonata? Here is my proposed form for the piece: ...
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1answer
32 views

What is the techniques used at the beginning of “Victory” by Two Steps From Hell?

Apart from the drums and piano at the beginning of this piece, there is some kind of string arrangement happening. I'm not sure what technique is being used, it is also used in several of their other ...
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5answers
810 views

The Meaning of a Musical Idea

If there are multiple valid interpretations of a piece of music, but the composer of the music states that only one of those interpretations is what they intended, are other interpretations still ...
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2answers
81 views

Can a Rondo also be a Theme and Variations?

I am composing a piece that I have nicknamed "The March of a Hero" and I noticed something. If I separate the piece out into sections, I get this: Introduction - A few slow arpeggios to introduce the ...
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2answers
51 views

Composing for mezzo-soprano

I'm composing for a competition that is for a string quartet but also has a requirement for a mezzo-soprano. I have very little experience with singers but I'm aware that the range is A3 - A5. Are ...
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71 views

How to determine BPM by timestamps/events

I'm currently taking part in a scoring competition where the task is to score the music for a product trailer. As common in trailer music I now want to sync my music with the trailer almost ...
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3answers
123 views

Time Signature Dilemma, should I change the time signature for my Scherzo?

When I started writing my Scherzo in D, I initially thought of having the time signature be 3/4 since that is a very typical time signature for a scherzo, especially earlier scherzos that are closer ...
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4answers
129 views

Should I keep the piano part “self content” when writing a trio?

I am recently writing a piano trio. At first, I treated every part (piano L, piano R, flute, cello) as independent parts of a little "orchestra" and only consider the harmony as a whole. As a result, ...
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3answers
243 views

What makes a good fugue subject?

Realization I think I might have found my weakness in fugue writing, and it is one that isn't easily helped by all the counterpoint studies that I have been doing. That is the part of the fugue that ...
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3answers
116 views

Why I always end up composing same type of melody? [closed]

Why I always end up composing same type of melody? Do every beginner composer face this problem?

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