Questions tagged [composition]

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

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1answer
73 views

Can you write sonatas as a waltz?

I'm currently writing a sonata, and if I write the first movement normally with exposition, development and recap, but in 3/4 time and with that typical mm-BAP-BAP rhythm, would you still consider it ...
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2answers
138 views

If I ever compose minor key music, for the original key, should I use A minor or C minor? [closed]

The A minor scale is the first and easiest minor key to learn in music since it has no sharps and flats just like its relative key called the C major scale but I've seen some composers like Grant ...
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2answers
75 views

What are the key factors for any composer to select instrument for a song? [closed]

There are lots of instruments in all over the world every instrument have its different sound that could attach differently to the person`s emotion wondering how Music Composer think for selecting ...
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4answers
184 views

Term for a musical section

I'm looking for the term for a a long, unique intro in a tune. It was prevalent in the mid-20th century in musicals and the like.
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1answer
61 views

composing a piece for pipe organ

Basically I was asked to write a piece for pipe organ until tomorrow morning. I've played a pipe organ before, so I sort of know how it works, but I don't have an organ I can play on before tomorrow. ...
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3answers
125 views

Choosing instrument for a solo

I am currently arranging a big-band piece to be played by my college big band (4 trumpets; 3 trombones + 1 bass trombone; 2 alto & 2 tenor saxes + 1 bari sax; rhythm section). I'm working on a ...
3
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0answers
67 views

Writing for the saxophone [closed]

Are there special symbols or text instructions that are more or less specific to the saxophone? What difficulties or peculiarities are there with the saxophone that a composer or arranger would need ...
3
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0answers
95 views

Did Stravinsky ever work backwards?

I've always been intrigued by this little passage in Stravinsky's "Fireworks" (op. 4). It seems to me to be many things all at once, each masterfully handled. It's a nifty little canon, a ...
4
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0answers
92 views

Are there varying levels of ASCAP's "plus" awards?

ASCAP offers an annual monetary award call the ASCAPlus award to its composer members whose music does not generally get included in its sampling for popular music royalties. These composers include ...
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0answers
52 views

Process of melody line to orchestral music [closed]

I have a one-note melody song, like a simple folk song. I want to arrange a somewhat simple orchestral piece out of it. I do play piano and I'll be able to change it to a somewhat interesting piano ...
2
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0answers
49 views

Match voice and different instruments in a composition [closed]

I'm trying to learn how to compose music. This is what I know so far: Music theory How to play simple songs made by others on the piano How to use various DAWs How to come up with lyrics that sound ...
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2answers
107 views

How to learn from other composers? [closed]

For a while now, I have been trying to think of ways of learning musical ideas through composers I admire. Just like in visual arts, an artist would copy someone’s style or idea and then create their ...
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7answers
426 views

How do I get started again when I've lost heart? [closed]

I used to compose at the piano when I was younger. When I got married and had children, it was diminished. Then, when I lost house, wife, child 1, 2, then 3 (the last), it was really hard. After ...
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1answer
83 views

How can you compose for an instrument that you play shabbily? [duplicate]

Is Adams just effacing himself and being humble? If not, please explain this apparent contradiction? Adès and Adams: Big Composers With Simultaneous Big Premieres - The New York Times “I can’t play ...
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5answers
115 views

Can an original composition be an arrangement part 2

I had written awhile back, and raised the question - "can an original composition be an arrangement.” I don't think I was clear. I found this article that may help someone understand my question: ...
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1answer
70 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 ...
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6answers
6k 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
129 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 ...
3
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1answer
115 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.
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5answers
683 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
70 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
50 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
92 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 ...
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4answers
161 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 ...
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4answers
342 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 ...
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3answers
138 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
103 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
68 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 ...
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5answers
845 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
123 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
122 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 (...
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1answer
115 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 ...
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2answers
347 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
74 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
65 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 ...
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2answers
728 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 ...
3
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2answers
270 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
102 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
115 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
139 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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2answers
79 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
70 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
721 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
103 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
158 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 ...
5
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4answers
425 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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