Questions tagged [composition]

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

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0answers
20 views

How objective is the structure of a notated piece of music?

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
29 views

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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1answer
74 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
78 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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0answers
51 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
25 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
58 views

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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3answers
64 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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29 views

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
69 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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3answers
114 views

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
37 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
56 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
49 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
62 views

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
31 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
71 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
193 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
62 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
31 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
789 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
61 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
48 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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2answers
47 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
99 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
124 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
134 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
111 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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4answers
8k views

How did composers “test” their music?

How did composers "test" their music, especially in multi-instrument works (eg. chamber, orchestra) or in pieces for instruments they didn't know how to play? Did they really have an orchestra (for ...
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5answers
281 views

what are the characteristics that define a “good” melody?

When composing a song, I think it might help if I understood what some of the characteristics of a good melody might be, and do those characteristics apply generally across the board or are they ...
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2answers
83 views

Major differences composing for strings as opposed to piano

I have been been composing for piano for some time (with Sibelius), and now I have the interest to try strings (solo instrument for the beginning, e.g. violin). Obviously I cannot take piano scores ...
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1answer
92 views

How to use “synthetic modes”

Im having trouble understanding a concept in Persichetti’s book 20th century harmony (Page 43) where he introduces new scales he calls synthetic scales. Just before that he talks about the church ...
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2answers
135 views

How can I reproduce this harmony?

In Bury Me by Bayside at about 3:09 (the line that starts with "I want your respect..."), they use a strange dissonant-sounding harmony: time stamped youtube link. It sounds to me like he's using 3 ...
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1answer
56 views

Where to get a feedback on composed baroque music? [closed]

I am trying to write music in baroque style. Are there places (on Internet) where I could get feedback on my compositions?
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3answers
184 views

Unintentional plagiarism while composing

I have recently started composing using some knowledge that I got after a few months of studying counterpoint and harmony (well it is more like trying to compose). And I have mentioned that quite ...
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1answer
173 views

No connection between two melodies in an opus

I was listening to Beethoven - Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67: I have noticed that the opus has two parts: the first part with the famous melody we all know, and ...
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1answer
109 views

The New Complexity movement

What are the main ideas incorporated into the New Complexity movement (contemporary classical music, late 20th century)? What kind of notation, musical techniques, or theoretical ideas would composers ...
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1answer
68 views

pieces that stand alone *and* intended to be played together

I just learned that Milhaud wrote two string quartets which can be played separately or can be combined into a single octet performance. Would this count as an example of polyphony, or is music like ...
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0answers
30 views

Best digital distribution platforms [closed]

I want to sell a full catalog of my composition. What platform digital is the best to use for distribution. I want to be able to profit off of my music I compose.
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2answers
116 views

Modulation from D major to D minor, should I go sudden or gradual?

I am composing a Scherzo in the key of D major and I have the first section of my Scherzo already written down. Now I'm into the second section of the Scherzo that precedes the Trio. And in this ...
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3answers
91 views

Should loop based songs conform to whole measures?

I've been doing some loop based compositions lately. And I was wondering if I should conform to measures or is it ok not to. Sometimes when I'm loop recording I don't really bother to look at how ...
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1answer
90 views

Examples of composers and pieces heavily using four-part harmony [closed]

As I am currently deeply involved in studying four-part harmony, I am interested to know some examples of composers and pieces, which heavily use the rules of four-part harmony and not wildly (...
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1answer
115 views

Guitar rif comparisons and similarities

Consider the bass guitar line of a song called "Schism": and another bass guitar line of a song called "Pneuma". When Pneuma was ...
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3answers
107 views

How to make my piece feel like a Presto

Intro I am writing a piece in D major that I intend to be at a Presto tempo. This piece that I am writing, at first I intended for it to be a Scherzo. But it would be so short as a Scherzo and I didn'...
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6answers
4k views

Can the bass be used instead of drums?

I noticed how there's not a lot of drums in orchestral classical music, in comparison to today's beat-based music. Do they get away with that in the orchestra by having instruments in the bass range ...
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4answers
1k views

Are great composers almost always prodigious performers?

In classical music, all the greats I can think of also displayed prodigious performing talent (usually on the piano) at an early age. I'm thinking guys like Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Prokofiev. Also ...
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2answers
71 views

Composition types of music [closed]

Composition types in Western classical music. Is it possible for people to recognize the types of composition without the knowledge of the name given for the piece?
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1answer
109 views

Composing on guitar - Fingerstyle vs Classical

I'm wondering about the difference in the process of composing a song for a Fingerstyle Guitar vs what would be considered a Classical guitar piece. Note: I'm an amature hobbiest, so please excuse my ...
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1answer
66 views

To what extent a song's words determine its music [closed]

Imagine you want to compose music for a song and only for a single instrument: the piano. What are the guiding principles? How much freedom does one have in this process? My reason for asking this ...