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Questions tagged [composition]

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

4
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3answers
117 views

Will this help me avoid parallel octaves in future fugue attempts?

So, I wrote a canon before I was even thinking about writing a fugue and I found it to be trivially easy. But then again, I did take the Pachelbel approach, decide on a bass line and then make ...
-1
votes
1answer
92 views

Is the “sad” side of a major scale the relative or parallel minor? [on hold]

I know that whenever anybody talks about happy/sad it gets downvoted. But please hear me out. I think that major/minor is so prevalent because as humans we tend to always be in a shifting state of ...
0
votes
0answers
63 views

Klezmer (how to compose) [on hold]

I am curious as to whether there is a specific "algorithm" to composing klezmer music. I like composing music that spans over a variety of different genres, and I'm interested in adding klezmer to the ...
2
votes
5answers
122 views

How to do songwriting starting from the lyrics, if I don't play any instrument?

I usually write new songs starting with a free backtrack. Then I imagine which words and melodies can go with it and in that way it's pretty easy to write a new song. Finally I can sing them at open ...
3
votes
2answers
76 views

Composition by Hand: Workflow, habit, and handwriting

I have been composing using the computer for over two decades. However, I think this is not a very productive approach and I now wish to compose more often. To my understanding, very little is known ...
28
votes
8answers
10k views

Are doubly augmented and doubly diminished intervals practical?

In music theory when naming intervals, a lowered diminished interval is a doubly diminished interval (dd) and a raised augmented interval is a doubly augmented interval (AA). One example is a C♯ ...
2
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0answers
61 views

What additional skills are necessary for a composer to transition to songwriting? [on hold]

I've been studying composition and theory for a few years now. I'm interested in attempting to write pieces with text for solo/small group that are of a duration typical of a pop song. Are there any ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

Accompanying a RH melody (improv/comp)

Are there any interesting rhythms/patterns for accompanying the melody (because I can play those by ear), such as breaking chords or etc. For doing piano covers of pop music, I am able to play the ...
3
votes
3answers
619 views

Are there any sonatas with only two sections?

In a classical sense, the Sonata is a structure composed of three sections: exposition, development, and recapitulation. Are there any examples of a Sonata with only two sections?
2
votes
4answers
236 views

What are these “advanced or unknown” nonchord tones that I haven't found out on wiki or other sites?

Nonchord tone (Wikpedia) is one of sources I've learned it from. I'm analyzing nonchord tones on Charlie Puth's song, Attention, to get used to them. However, some of them, I call "unknown" nonchord ...
2
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4answers
852 views

Stuck in composition

I've been giving composition a try lately. Something I've noticed, is that most stuff I do manage to complete, ends up being a mashup of really different ideas, with the similarity of being in the ...
11
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5answers
932 views

Can someone explain the theory behind the changes in Superstition by Stevie Wonder?

I'm learning Stevie Wonder's Superstition on guitar (an awesome song) and I'm really curious about the theory behind the changes in the chorus. The intro and verse are just a riff in E minor ...
3
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3answers
61 views

Can you arrange choral music from a classical string section?

For instance, can I take classical sheet music and assign the first violins to choral soprano, second violins to choral alto, violas to choral tenor, cellos to choral baritone, and double basses to ...
5
votes
3answers
197 views

What scales can I play over Maj7 with lowered ninth?

I know that I can play a b2 Dorian scale over a DomSus chord with a lowered ninth, but what about over a major7 b2?
11
votes
8answers
611 views

Is there a “fourth wall” to break in song writing or performing?

The "fourth wall" may be a concept more suited in movies, plays, video games or even literature. For instance, in a play the actors and actresses are not supposed to interact with the audience, ...
5
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4answers
355 views

How exactly tell the root of a song over a defined scale on ambiguous harmonic context?

I play a song in either C major key or A minor key. Usually I determine the root (C or A) taking into account clues like: The happy or sad feel of it all The first chord (C or Am) Stereotypical ...
12
votes
6answers
15k views

Ritardando, Rallentando, and Allargando

Three common musical markings for gradual slowing down are ritardando, rallentando, and allargando. How do these differ from each other in interpretation and execution? For example, I was taught many ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

What do you call a lightwheight version of chorus inside a verse or in between them?

If you have two different choruses, where one is a more mellow version of the "real" chorus. What do you call it? For instance on this form: Verse, X, Verse, Chorus. What do you call X? It's not a ...
3
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6answers
709 views

Do chord progressions usually move by fifths?

I'm wondering if chords usually move down by fifths. It seems so by the diagram, so iii to vi, vi to ii, ii to V, V to I. etc. Other chords can also be thought of like that, because IV/ii and V/vii ...
2
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1answer
51 views

Thoughtfully Voicing Chords

I've begun to experiment with arranging for jazz big band. Something I don't quite understand is how to thoughtfully voice chords. I understand generally how instruments should be voiced in a chord. ...
-6
votes
1answer
125 views

Jaws vs. Dvorak

There is a worldwide-viral debate involving the Jaws theme as if it is a "rip-off" of the finale of Dvorak's Ninth Symphony. Some say if the theme is sampled from Dvorak. Did John Williams really ...
3
votes
2answers
191 views

What does “con piu fuoco possibile” mean?

Towards the end of Chopin's Etude No. 4 in C# minor, Op. 10 No. 4, it says "con più fuoco possibile." What does this mean?
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6answers
2k views

What's the difference between “con brio” and “con fuoco”?

Do they just have different names but are meant to be played the same? Also, it seems like if "con fuoco" never appears in major keys, except for Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 18.
2
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3answers
153 views

What other activities can I do to become a better musician and composer? [closed]

(Apologies for my bad English, I'm not a native speaker) What are the things that I should know to get better as a musician and improve my composition? I basically love pop/rock music and that's what ...
7
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3answers
14k views

Using multiple scales in one song

Currently I am in the process of learning theory to be able to compose rap beats more efficiently and I have one question regarding (minor) scales. I know the formulas for natural, minor and harmonic ...
3
votes
1answer
39 views

Rights on publishing music [closed]

I gather that, in the U.S. at least, any work created before ~1923 is in the public domain now. Does that mean that anyone can publish and sell, say, an unaltered sheet of Bach? What about ...
1
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3answers
97 views

How can I get started with melody writing?

I have a basis in music theory(took an AP course, read a few online texts) and now seek to create melodies, though am never able to start. I'm aware that this has been asked before, though have not ...
1
vote
0answers
44 views

Were partimenti purely improvisational exercises?

Burney describes Neapolitan conservatory students "pounding out" accompaniment exercises that were full of "jargon and dissonance" in his history of music and Robert Gjerdingen suggests that these ...
1
vote
4answers
897 views

How do pink floyd create their groovy basslines?

I'm heavily inspired by Roger Waters' basslines, and they are the reason I picked up bass - Yet, there's a problem -- I can't find any tutorial on how to create basslines like they do. For example, "...
11
votes
2answers
318 views

Piano Concertos: Why is Brahms 2 considered more mature than Rachmaninoff 3?

I'm not completely satisfied with the answers so far, so more answers please! There's a nice bounty to be had! These two titanic concertos are two of the most difficult often played concertos in ...
3
votes
3answers
496 views

start with lyrics or harmony?

I want to compose a song. I have composed some music harmony and lines. I need to write some lyrics but I have a question: When creating songs, generally we write the lyrics and then compose a ...
2
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6answers
114 views

Is there any point to regular phrase lengths?

I have gotten several comments on my scores saying that they would be better if I had regular or at least even numbered phrase lengths. But what is the point of say sticking to 8 bar phrases for a ...
0
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1answer
70 views

Tips on writing 12 bar or 16 bar melodies

I need to write 12 bar or 16 bar melodies for my Grade 8 Music Theory exam. I know how to write melodies, which didn't require any modulation. I am new to the concept of using modulation in melody ...
2
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2answers
138 views

Transitioning from music theory to composition

I have a good foundation in music theory (ABRSM grade 7 and currently studying grade 8) but don't know how to begin when composing my own works. My main emphasis is Baroque music. Are there any ...
2
votes
5answers
406 views

I'm stuck in diatonic land. How do I get out?

I've been playing a lot of diatonic everything. So basically just staying in the scale as I improvise with melody/chords. I play alot of songs by ear and I notice when they use accidentals but I don't ...
0
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4answers
141 views

How can someone mentally improvise music? [closed]

For a long time I have wondered how musicians have been able to create music internally without the use of an instrument i.e improvising physically or in some other real way. I think the idea that ...
13
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6answers
13k views

Why have I never found any music written in the key of C Sharp Major?

Music is written in almost every key that corresponds to every note that is on my piano keyboard. There is clearly a C Sharp (black key right of C) on my piano keyboard but I don't recall ever seeing ...
3
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1answer
463 views

How to compose a Shout Chorus

How do you compose a Shout Chorus? I don´t know how to start and I need to compose one for Wine and Roses.
8
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1answer
102 views

Did Stravinsky and Craft have a dual piano built?

I remember being told 20 years or so ago that Igor Stravinsky used to compose with Robert Craft as an in-person assistant to play things together as they were being composed. I also remember being ...
12
votes
9answers
3k views

Which advanced chords can I use for a song composition in scale of G?

I am making a song composition in a scale of G. I have already used major chords G, C and D and in some places I have used Am, Em and Bm. I would like to make this composition richer with some ...
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votes
1answer
46 views

What are the instrument parts, that goes under the song lyrics

What do we call the instrument parts, that goes under the song lyrics? The parts that doesn't equal to the melody of the lyrics but add lot of fullness. EDIT Here I am talking about music parts ...
7
votes
1answer
45 views

Duration of lexical directives like “dolce,” “espress.,” and “marcato?”

What is the duration of lexical directives like "dolce," "espress.," (espressivo) and "marcato" when they appear in a written score beneath a bar? Is it until the end of the bar, for the remainder of ...
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vote
0answers
39 views

Did Beethoven write any modes other than the Ionian / Aeolian / Lydian modes?

The Ionian and the Aeolian modes are considered major and natural minor keys, and all composers used these modes all the time, including Beethoven, who also wrote Lydian mode in one of his string ...
2
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0answers
74 views

How did Nadia Boulanger teach students? [closed]

What was the general method that Boulanger utilized when teaching composition students? Please be specific, what exercises did she use? What books did she prefer? etc.
2
votes
5answers
147 views

Does this song have a tempo or time signature?

Does this song have a tempo or time signature ? How do you write and play this kind of music ?
18
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2answers
1k views

What is a Neapolitan 6th?

In studying music theory I have heard the term Neapolitan 6th quite a few times, but I'm not quite sure what it is. What is a Neapolitan 6th and how is it used in a composition?
8
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6answers
8k views

Ending a song with a dominant chord

As far as i know, almost all songs end in the tonic chord, because this is the most "stable" condition. On the other hand, a dominant chord at the end of a progression (or song) sounds "incomplete". ...
0
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3answers
61 views

To compose music, do you have to be able to hear?

I am asking this question out of sheer curiosity. Ludwig van Beethoven was deaf but still made some amazing songs. Just like Beethoven, do your ears have to work normally (Like not deaf), to be able ...
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1answer
57 views

Is this minimalist? [closed]

Can this piece of music be described as minimalist? Does it portray all of the appropriate characteristics?
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0answers
50 views

Kinetic Rhythm in Pop Music

This is something I've noticed that I don't hear anyone really talking about... Essentially it's the way that separate rhythmic elements of most pop songs interact in a kinetic way with one another. ...