Questions tagged [composition]

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

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1answer
64 views

Is/Are there standard approaches to teaching/learning fugal writing?

I am intimidated by the idea of writing fugues. ...but I would like to do it. I have in mind the style exemplified by Bach. In a collegiate "Counterpoint" class (or book, or private ...
23
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6answers
5k views

Why does G# sound right when my melody is in C major?

I composed the following melody using notes from the C major scale. In the third bar a G# (Ab) seemed a natural choice to complete the loop, but I don’t understand why. G# is not in C major nor its ...
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3answers
124 views

What do I call this type of transition?

I'm a complete novice to composing and music theory, but part of what I'd like to do is acquire the vocabulary to describe subtle changes in sound, especially ones that evoke a distinct emotion. For ...
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1answer
102 views

Music of the Caribbean

How does the West African heritage in Caribbean music compare with the European influence in Caribbean music? I did research on this but couldn't really understand the european influence.
4
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5answers
630 views

How is it possible to compose music with chromatic scale when it uses notes other than that of the key of the song?

I'm a beginner in the music world. So my question may seem stupid and confusing. So I'm gonna elaborate a bit. Say, I want to write a track in the key of D. So I have the notes D,E,F#,G,A,B & C#. ...
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1answer
65 views

How to smoothly change between vastly different melodies [closed]

I'm starting a Concerto(Piano) and all of the problems I have come across are A: regarding the orchestration(this is my first orchestral piece) and B: the 2 subjects of the first sonata movement are ...
1
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1answer
44 views

How to simply voice-lead melody for jazz brass

Hello and thank you for your time! My knowledge in music theory is limited, so excuse me. I don't know where to look for the answer. The goal is simple: harmonize a upper melody with chords stacked ...
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0answers
86 views

Writing an invention [closed]

I am an amateur piano player without systematic musical education. I love listening to and playing 18th-century contrapuntal music especially written by JS Bach. Recently I decided to deepen my ...
2
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4answers
137 views

How to modulate decisively and finally between distant keys?

I am sketching out a sonata, the first since the disaster of a sonata I wrote about a year ago, and after sketching the Intro and the Coda of the 2nd movement, the intro is in B-flat major (the key ...
4
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4answers
313 views

Reversing the resolution of a minor key's tritone

The tritone is between ^2 and ^6 in minor but from what I understand, if resolved inward to scale degreees ^3 and ^5 it will sound like the mediant chord is now the new tonic. But what about if you ...
3
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3answers
98 views

Is partimento a good way to learn how to write a Baroque trio sonata in the style of Corelli?

Who I am: I am 16 years old and I play violin. I am a music student and I consider myself to have a very good ear and understanding of music theory. My piano-playing is however not very good. I really ...
5
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2answers
97 views

What are some techniques for changing scale convincingly? [duplicate]

I am having trouble changing scales smoothly when composing, it always seems that the two parts are not connected and the change is sudden. I want to know some techniques so I can do that convincingly ...
3
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1answer
64 views

Is there a term for this compositional technique? Repeated melodies of different length

Here's an example of what I mean. For the first few measures, a melody of 16 eighth notes is established in middle register (if I have it right: A E A E; A F G C; A E E- E; A F G C). Then, starting at ...
4
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5answers
802 views

Are parallel 5ths 8tvs allowed between beat 4 and beat 1 of new bar?

I am working in a grade 4 melody writing exercise textbook and it says that you should not have parallel 5ths and octaves on the upbeat before the new bar and the 1st beat of the new bar. It was my ...
4
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3answers
107 views

What is the order of operations for writing half notes against whole notes in three parts?

FYI, I am referencing The Study of Counterpoint (Alfred Mann's translation of Fux's Gradus ad Parnassum) When writing in two voices, I understand the standard procedure to involve writing a ...
5
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1answer
99 views

Where can I find related materials in connection with Johann Joseph Fux's The Study of Counterpoint?

Allegedly, Beethoven condensed Fux's work into a "cheat sheet" version for ready reference (from the back cover of the Alfred Mann translation), and Mozart apparently annotated his own copy (...
3
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1answer
78 views

What is typical for a Mazurka besides the accent pattern?

So, I know enough about most common Romantic Era dances to feel comfortable composing them, even the Polka that I’ve never tried to compose and the Polonaise that I only ever composed once, but the ...
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4answers
1k views

Why didn't more composers who composed violin concertos compose viola concertos?

Wouldn't the glut of violin and cello concertos from the Baroque and Classical eras motivate composers to compose Viola Concertos? Isn't adding to the deluge of violin and cello concertos more ...
8
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2answers
304 views

What techniques and methods govern how melody can suggest a certain harmony?

In The Art of Strict Musical Composition, Volume 2 chapter 3, by Johann Philip Kirnberger (student of Bach) he writes “Here it must be stated first that every good melody is based on a proper harmony, ...
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0answers
72 views

How do I fit a complex melody in a measure? [closed]

I’m a classical pianist who plays/listen to mostly romantic music. And I’ve developed some complex melodies in my head that I would like to write down. Problem is I can never get everything to fit ...
1
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1answer
62 views

how to harmonize a melody when the bassline changes to a non-chord tone

I am working on trying to harmonize a tenor and bassline part in 4 part writing and I really like the way they sound together so far but the initial chord I had in mind for this bar was Fm/Ab which ...
7
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2answers
721 views

Is staggering fifths a good way to avoid parallels?

I was wondering if composing by staggering 5ths was a good way to avoid parallel 5ths and if any famous classical composers actually did this on purpose to avoid consecutive parallel 5ths. EDIT By ...
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2answers
264 views

Is there a way to get around using quarter notes/rests?

I'm currently trying to compose a song in a game. Being as it is pretty much a children's game, it is rather limited in its abilities (2). I've been able to get around other limitations, such as the ...
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6answers
2k views

How to write music if you already know music theory

Everywhere I go on the internet, I see people telling me to learn music theory if I want to write songs. Problem is, I'm playing the piano for over 10 years now and I had music theory for 1 and a half ...
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6answers
3k views

Primary school child writing music

My young (8 year old) child is starting to play around with writing music, and he's done a bit both on pencil and paper, and with a tablet app that is still writing on a staff, but takes some of the ...
2
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1answer
83 views

What are the "strong" beats in a 16th note funk groove?

In classical music there is this term of strong and weak beats or "accented" beats. In 4/4 time this would normally be on the quarter notes... so there would be 4 strong beats a bar but I ...
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2answers
114 views

How can I add two middle voices if I have a bass and vocal melody?

I am writing a song and have the bassline and vocal melody how I want them to sound and would like to add two additional voices to the arrangement. Could someone give me a few tips or some help on how ...
2
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3answers
105 views

How to use sus2/sus4/add9 in minor key to stay within the key

I understand how to use sus2/sus4 and add9 inn major to keep all notes within the chosen major scale, but how can I use the same chords in a minor key and still stay in key?
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0answers
154 views

What characterizes My Chemical Romance's music?

I want to write a song like My Chemical Romance, but I don't really know how to. What characteristics make their sound distinctive? In particular, I'd also like to know what makes Gerard Way sound ...
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2answers
66 views

What makes descending chords so Sci-Fi? Psychologically [closed]

I have noticed that descending chord progressions seem to feel sci-fi-ish. I'm playing on an acoustic piano, so I mean that it just feels that way because of the composition, not some synth filter. ...
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2answers
65 views

How to balance my phrase structure? [closed]

I'm trying to compose a verse (with refrain?)-chorus (bridge?) pop song (optional: Instrumental intro, bridge before the final chorus, instrumental solo somewhere) about 3-4 minutes in length. I've ...
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3answers
603 views

How do I make the sound of a car horn, car engine, on instruments? [closed]

I am making a composition that contains the sounds of traffic. How do I do this?
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4answers
100 views

Theme seems complete enough, but Variations seem to need that extra harmony, what should I do? [closed]

So, I’m composing a Theme and Variations based off of the La Folia progression and I started really basic for the Theme so that I would have some more wiggle room for Variations. I’ve even considered ...
2
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0answers
85 views

The Harmonic Language in 60's Sci Fi [closed]

Does anybody know what techniques John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, and others used in this genre. I hear octatonicism, pitch sets and some tone rows. Is anyone aware of techniques or disciplines (...
3
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1answer
148 views

Does it have a name what John Williams is doing in these pieces (and lots of others)?

I noticed a very common thing John Williams does. My knowledge in music theory is pretty limited. The only thing I could name are lots of passing notes and chromaticism? - but maybe there is a special ...
4
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4answers
342 views

Does using a portable keyboard with slim or mini keys mess with muscle memory, as a pianist?

I am an amateur pianist who would love to compose in a tight place or on the go with a small MIDI keyboard. I face this dilemma Buy a standard key size mini keyboard with 2 octaves only (and 25 "...
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0answers
50 views

What did Claude Debussy write? [closed]

Can someone please tell me where to find how many works did Claude Debussy write. Because I found two different results.
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3answers
1k views

Do film scores match film dialogue pitch?

Human speech (including dialogue in movies) has a certain pitch. The harmony between the film dialogue and the film score can be influenced by the filmmakers. For example, the score can be composed ...
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0answers
76 views

Is there a miniature handheld/lap acoustic piano? (not electronic) [closed]

So as I understand it a piano works by the keys pulling strings that make hammers ring bells based on how hard you hit them. I would guess that would be quite a sophisticated instrument. I myself have ...
7
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6answers
1k views

What is the difference between a triplet and a dotted-quaver/dotted-quaver/quaver rhythm?

I am aware of how in theory these two are different, that the triplet are three notes with same length and the dotted-quaver/dotted-quaver/quaver have the third notes slightly shorter in tempo. But I ...
2
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1answer
70 views

Connecting Acoustic Piano to Laptop for Recording in Logic? [duplicate]

I know about connecting digital pianos (MIDIs) to a laptop for use in logic. My question is concerning a standard normal acoustic piano. My baby grand has a silent piano Yamaha system attached to it ...
8
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1answer
252 views

How to apply Paul Hindemith's harmonic theory

I have been studying Paul Hindemith's "The Craft of Musical Composition, Book 1: Theory", trying to apply Hindemith's principles to my own harmonies and melodies. As you may know, Hindemith'...
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2answers
2k views

How could I get my Classical Music Compositions published and known?

I'm a first timer on this site. Have patience and mercy with me. For years I've been a professor, performer and Conductor. I'm a composer, not that many would know, I'm on my 711th opus. All classical ...
3
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2answers
87 views

Two questions about altered countersubject in Bach's first invention

Above is the opening subject and counter subject. My two questions are about the transformed counter subject in bar 5. When restating the counter subject why does Bach: Displace the circled D by an ...
0
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1answer
82 views

Does this song use chromatic mediant in G major? and what other music theory concepts this song's verse utilize

I'm currently learning basic music theory and along the way I review old songs on my playlist then analyze what key, chord progression and somehow discover the composer's way of creating music. The ...
3
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2answers
100 views

What are the trends that led to fizzling of ars antiqua and rising of ars nova?

What is the trends that led to the fizzling of ars antique and to the rising of ars nova?
4
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2answers
63 views

What are some techniques used to make a song sound more cinematic or invoke imagery in the listener?

Maybe cinematic is the wrong word to use(?). But techniques that might evoke imagery in the listener? Maybe for example: I know this is highly subjective and there’s ...
3
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1answer
42 views

How to emulate a piece effectively as exercise

I'm a starting composer and I've been trying to write some pieces "in-the-style-of" to hone my craftsmanship. Today I tried to emulate Schumann's Op 94 first movement by looking at the ...
5
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2answers
87 views

Military band music

Which instruments typically double up (play unison) in military bands? I have googled this question in different ways, but without an answer.
8
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2answers
2k views

How "hard" to read is this rhythm? A rhythmic comparison

I've recently heard a rhythm that sounded like this It seems slightly tricky to play it perfectly, so I wonder if I could somehow improve this writing to make it more natural and "readable"....

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