Questions tagged [composition]

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

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2 votes
4 answers
216 views

Why don't musicians get bored of listening to their own song dozens of times over while composing and refining it?

I am not a composer, and I am sorry if the question seems overly daft or obvious. When a composer (I have in mind someone working on a DAW) is composing their own song, why don't they get tired of ...
0 votes
2 answers
142 views

Can a Harp Play This Melody?

I feel as though this is likely possible, and just rather difficult, but as someone who hasn't ever played one, I thought it was best to reach out and check! Tried to google it but didn't have much ...
2 votes
1 answer
84 views

Help reading music sheet [closed]

Could someone help me explain this music sheet of Frere Jacque? The is a Violin key, A mole on the A line and some notes. What do I habe to do with them in order to play this the correct way according ...
4 votes
4 answers
589 views

How would you analyze this chord progression and the function of Am7 here?

Disclaimer: Novice songwriter here. I've started to write a new song, started with a 16 bar funky bass line in C natural minor and kept adding some chords which I think might not be fully correct but ...
3 votes
1 answer
118 views

Is there a compositional term for an introductory variation on a larger theme?

I’ve noticed that in some music spaces, specifically entertainment and gaming, composers rely heavily on character or main themes as recurring motifs. One such instance I’ve heard recently involves ...
1 vote
1 answer
68 views

How to modulate from A minor to C minor? [duplicate]

I have one bar in a film score to go from A minor to C minor and have no clue how to do it! Plese help
2 votes
5 answers
948 views

How to modulate from Am to F#m?

I can't figure out what chords to use to get from Am to F#m. My modulation skills are awful, and I literally have no clue where to start. I can modulate to relative major/minor keys, but can't seem to ...
3 votes
1 answer
178 views

What methods can composers use to make the listener's perception of time feel slower or faster?

When composing or arranging, what methods can be exploited to affect the listener's perception of the speed they are moving through time?
2 votes
1 answer
184 views

What is the proper study of composition and arrangement?

I have been composing and arranging on my own for about 10 months now, i am confident that they sound good but i am not sure, how good, how to make them better and if taking the proper course will ...
0 votes
0 answers
62 views

What is covered in music GCSE?

I'm picking my GCSE options next month and I am considering music. Does anyone know what is covered in it and also what makes up the final GCSE grade?
2 votes
1 answer
102 views

How hard is composing a song like ancient Greek music today?

And by this question I mean a song that sounds like an actual ancient Greek song, with ancient Greek instruments (lyre, kithara, salpinx, etc.) being used.
2 votes
1 answer
123 views

What is the difference between background, middle ground, and foreground?

Is the idea of structural levels background, middle ground, and foreground only studied in schenkerian analysis? I’m still viewing the background as the simplest layer of a song, which to me would be ...
1 vote
1 answer
119 views

How to achieve a similar "vibe" to this song? [closed]

I want to write a song similar to "dumb dumb" by mazie. I want to achieve a similar feel of weird, dreamy nostalgia the song has. I know a lot of this feeling comes from dissonance between ...
11 votes
7 answers
3k views

How to organize/categorize compositions

When composing, my current process results in me stacking a lot of score paper into a folder. This works for now, but I can see that in the long-run, I will want some system of organizing my ...
1 vote
1 answer
67 views

How do I add another composition [closed]

For my music class, we had to make a minor melody and a major melody. For the final project, we have to put these together in ABA format, so either major-minor-major or minor-major-minor. In ...
4 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is there any benefit in trying to play a song by ear?

I started playing Take Me Out To the Ball Game by ear on the piano and I find that I have been making several mistakes in knowing what note comes next. I don't know the lyrics well but I am familiar ...
1 vote
0 answers
91 views

Was Bernstein's interpretation of Mahler's 9th Symphony correct?

During his fifth Norton lecture at Harvard University, Leonard Bernstein famously speculated that Mahler's ninth symphony was symbolically prophesying his own death, the death of tonality (the advent ...
2 votes
2 answers
213 views

Will this section be playable by a professional pianist and a professional violinist?

So I am composing a piece for a competition, and it has a strict criteria about the song being playable. I am looking for reviews for a section in my piece for playability. The piano part , 16th notes ...
4 votes
2 answers
495 views

Do composers arrange an entire score without parallel perfect intervals or is this only when you have few voices and need them to all be independent?

In harmony class one is taught not to use parallel perfect intervals as it undermines the independence of the voices. I have come to completely understand this and see why it is so important but when ...
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why do composers use fermatas?

I am taking part in a music theory course on Coursera, and I could not understand the difference between a tie and a fermata. Could someone please explain it to me?
0 votes
1 answer
195 views

How to compose for 5 notes/two octaves

I am playing a ngoni, a 10 string gourd harp. I have been happily playing various traditional African songs, but I want to progress to writing/improvisation. It seems like with the traditional setups (...
9 votes
4 answers
663 views

What makes the Hungarian rhapsodies sound... Hungarian?

More generally, how can a piece of music be made to sound, for want of a better word, foreign? I was listening to some of Chopin's mazurkas and the one that struck me the most was Mazurka No. 34 in C ...
38 votes
5 answers
49k views

How to turn any (pop) song into a jazz song?

Quite often there are pop songs wich get covered in a jazz style. These covers are seen from youtube to tv. Now I tried doing something like this, with for example Bad Day by Daniel Powter. It's ...
1 vote
2 answers
145 views

Beginner at composing - Harmonising a melody in imitation of Mozart's Klavierstück KV 33B

TL, DR : I don't know how to harmonize this melody (explained below) and need help deblocking (questions at bottom) I have been learning violin for a few years now and I wanted to learn how to compose ...
2 votes
2 answers
483 views

Proper way to notate a half measure rest in between sections

I'm working on a score in 4/4 and would like to insert a half-measure rest in between sections. What would be the most appropriate/readable way to do this? Switch to 2/4 and back, like this: Or just ...
3 votes
1 answer
70 views

How does swapping parts affect an arrangement

So, thinking about a typical arrangement structure, from what I know, is built from bass parts to effectively soprano ones. So within a group of instruments, let's say trumpets, you could have 4th ...
10 votes
1 answer
283 views

Rule on doubling the second rather than the fourth when using ligatures

I was going through the ligatures in 4 parts exercises from Fux's Gradus. On page 133, Aloys says, "Finally, in the sixth measure of the same example the fourth is doubled, although as a rule one ...
2 votes
3 answers
438 views

How do I define my own style as a composer?

Much has been said about the idea of a musical style. We can group composers of similar places and times together (e.g. the "Classical" style in Vienna), discuss groups of jazz musicians ...
3 votes
0 answers
60 views

Why does Schoenberg think of "'semi-contrapuntal treatment' of the accompaniment" as a way of adapting a motive's melody to changes in its harmony?

Schoenberg says that the melody of a motive may be adapted to changes in the harmony "[b]y transposition," "[b]y addition of passing harmonies," or "[b]y 'semi-contrapuntal' ...
0 votes
0 answers
32 views

Changing the harmony of a motive ''by additions at the end,'' according to Schoenberg

Schoenberg says that the harmony of a motive may be changed ''[b]y additions at the end'' (Fundamentals of musical composition, page 10). He cites examples 25c-i to illustrate what he means (see ...
10 votes
8 answers
5k views

Changing key in a song convincingly

Update 3 I have started to break down this broad question to specific, smaller questions. 1) Classical music example for seamless transition from one section to other with changing keys Say, I have ...
2 votes
0 answers
89 views

Can I use fast tremolo or triads on the third register?

When I compose music I always tend to avoid writing fast tremolo and chords in the low register as it can get really muddy, but where is the boundary after which I should avoid tremolos and chords? ...
4 votes
2 answers
398 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 ...
6 votes
4 answers
673 views

Why does this melody tend to be in the key of F Major rather than in the key of C Major

When composing, I generally start with C Major to be simple, but very often, I can hear that in the melody another key is suggested. Here is such an example : The melody starts by leaping to the VI ...
2 votes
1 answer
85 views

How can harmony be implied by melody [duplicate]

I'm just curious about allot of compositional techniques, and one of them is the concept of "implying" harmony because it can be useful for determining later harmonic lines for an already ...
7 votes
4 answers
556 views

How to decide between half-, quarter-, and eighth-notes when transcribing a song

I am trying to transcribe a little song and I am facing a problem: I am realising that there are several ways to write it, 2 ways to be more specific; Here are 2 images (I just wrote the first few ...
2 votes
3 answers
430 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?
3 votes
2 answers
265 views

How to score study for composition

Could somebody tell, step by step, what is the most effective way to study a score, if my goal is to copy a composer's "language" as an exercise: to create a similar piece and to learn from ...
1 vote
0 answers
47 views

Name of musical instruments in a bgm [closed]

What is the instruments used in this bgm
-1 votes
1 answer
175 views

Adequate chord progression for an intimate "bolero"-"jazz" song?

I am trying to compose an intimate song to be played by an acoustic guitar (and a piano at most) related to the genre of "bolero" or "jazz", perhaps with traces of "fado"....
1 vote
1 answer
57 views

I am unsure of what time signature to use for my piece, as I'm pretty sure it changes mid-way through

Here is my piece so far, as you can see in green, the melody is highlighted. It starts on beat one, but I need a write the repeat in a clearer way so that it starts on beat one the second time it is ...
1 vote
2 answers
131 views

Is there a way for one player to have a solo but the rest of the instrument keep playing?

I'm writing a piece where there is like a bass line which is made up of all 5 string section parts (orchestra) that each have a similar rhythm, and that all together makes a cool sound. I want to add ...
3 votes
3 answers
331 views

Composing for Clarinet - how many registers to use

I am starting to compose for clarinet and read that the clarinet has 3 different registers, which, it is said, are not easy to change between. Do composers only use one register or is it easily ...
0 votes
1 answer
182 views

Rationale behind the modulations in Alice Cooper's Poison

I was playing along to Poison and noticed a curious chord progression: [Verse] (in Dm) i VI III VII Dm Bb F C Your cruel, device, Your blood, like ...
3 votes
1 answer
424 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. ...
35 votes
6 answers
52k views

How do classical composers write music?

I am starting to learn about music theory and today it hit me how do classical composers such as Mozart and Beethoven are able to write music for instruments they don't play, such as (for example ...
4 votes
5 answers
1k views

Notating Augmented Chords

When writing an Augmented chord, which inversion of the chord should I use? The problem came up while I was composing (piano). I came to an augmented chord and couldn't think of which version to use ...
5 votes
2 answers
729 views

What is a "Bb Tenor"

I was overlooking Peter Tschaikovsky's 1812 Overture, and I came across one of the parts being the 1st and 2nd Tenors. May I add that there are already 1st and 2nd Alto Horns, so what is this ...
3 votes
0 answers
63 views

Trombone choir and French Horn choir

I’m interested in combining two instrumental groups: a trombone choir and a French horn choir. There seems to be a lot of compositions for either trombone choir, or for French horn choir, but not for ...
3 votes
3 answers
2k views

What is this 4 bar part of music called?

In the song Amie by Pure Prairie League there is a repeated section of muisc that is about 4 bars long(or 2 depending on how you count it). It occurs between every section of music except near the end ...

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