Questions tagged [composition]

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

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2
votes
1answer
60 views

Where Xenakis used intersection?

I understood intersection in Xenakis sieve theory, as he explained himself here. But can anyone provide me a musical example from its production where he effectively used this?
0
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3answers
105 views

Choosing appropriate accompaniment chords for a waltz melody

I wanted to write a simple 'classical sounding piece' of music and I find that waltz is the easiest as I have trouble finding chords. I wrote this simple meoldy in A melodic minor but I can't seem to ...
1
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3answers
114 views

I have a problem understanding Mono and Stereo

So I have some gears and instruments and they say that one Synthesizer I have should be connected in Stereo and not Mono, so I want to connect it in Stereo but the sound-system in the bar I want to ...
0
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1answer
79 views

So how can you tell if music is good or not? How can you compare between two pieces of music? [closed]

So if we talk musically in terms of harmony and melody (apart from lyrics) how can you tell if music is bad or good when all music are just different chord progressions and different melodies? If you ...
3
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1answer
42 views

Is there a way to record music with a collaborator remotely and live?

Is there a way to record music with a collaborator remotely and live? Appreciate the help!
1
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2answers
103 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 ...
2
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1answer
54 views

What makes a piece a bagatelle?

Now I know length is part of the answer. Nobody wouldn't consider a 10 minute long rondo to be a bagatelle. Bagatelles tend to be around 3-5 minutes in length. Also, from my experience(though this is ...
3
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2answers
77 views

Do I have to prepare and resolve non-chord tones in certain ways?

I keep getting feedback from certain people on a classical music forum that I prepare and resolve my dissonances wrongly and that my counterpoint is off. And this is regardless of what type of ...
20
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3answers
2k views

What does it mean to be able to write a fugue?

My theory teacher told me once in passing that she had written fugues. Later on people let me know that to write a fugue you need to be somewhat of a theory genius. Why is this so? What makes the ...
6
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2answers
289 views

Is 2 measures sufficient for a fugue subject?

I know what a fugue is. I also have been reading up on the form of the fugue and how to write in counterpoint. I wrote a canon and I have written a sonatina using sonata form. So theoretically a fugue ...
3
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4answers
275 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 ...
14
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1answer
2k views

What do these symbols mean?

This is part of Hasse's "Mea Tormenta, Properate". I think the one on the second staff is some sort of repeat sign, from the research I've been able to do, but I have no idea what the one on the ...
2
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1answer
153 views

Do scales have a relation to certain genres or themes?

If someone was creating music to fit a genre or to match a certain theme/mood would this influence their choice of which scale to use? Are some scales used more than others within a genre of music?
4
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4answers
374 views

Relationship between woodwinds and brass in a marching band? [closed]

In a marching band I noticed there's three main components: percussion, woodwinds and brass. I was wondering what the relationship between brass (eg. trumpet) and woodwinds (eg clarinet) in a march. ...
14
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4answers
5k views

Why doesn't a marching band have strings?

In a regular orchestra the violin takes an important role. Why is it that in marching bands there are no strings usually? To give some context I'm working on a march composition and I like strings ...
17
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1answer
1k views

Locrian Harmony

I like utilizing modes in my the pieces I write, but there is one mode I've never been able to fully grasp and utilize and that is the Locrian mode. The chords that naturally occur in the Locrian ...
2
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5answers
136 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
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1answer
126 views

What types of cadences work well in natural minor?

I am currently interested in writing a piece in natural minor, and it seems like "v - i" cadence does not quite work as well as compared to harmonic and melodic minors, which use "V - i". How can I ...
5
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5answers
946 views

How can I make 12 tone and atonal melodies sound interesting?

I have recently started learning about serialism (12 tone melody writing) and atonal music. When I attempted to write a short melody, it didn't sound quite pleasing to the ears. Yes, I know atonal ...
4
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3answers
734 views

Opposite of “Concerto Grosso”?

Sounds like a joke, but in fact asking for a friend who is not a musician. Was there ever a "Concerto Piccolo" or some such contrast to the "Concerto Grosso" format?
7
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3answers
351 views

Learning the concept of Serialism from its basics - where should I start from?

I am completely new to the concept of Serialism. A music theory workbook I have only mentions about the concept in short, with an example of Schoenberg's Variations for Orchestra. It also mentions ...
11
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4answers
400 views

How can I make two chords on the ukulele sound interesting for a whole song?

I'm accompanying my friend on one of her own songs with my uke. However, the song only has two chords the whole way through! The chords are Dm and Am - eight even beats of each. It's mostly slow and ...
6
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4answers
4k views

Scales, modes, techniques for writing “Super Mario” style music

I'm looking for a push in the right direction as to how to go about writing Super Mario type video game themes. What scales/modes work best, time signatures, etc... Examples of where I'm trying to go:...
3
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1answer
353 views

How do video game music composers make so many songs for one game? Are all of them some sort of musical talent / genius?

I love video game soundtracks from to 8-bit ones to the very orchestral pieces but it's not clear to me how they can make so many songs for one game. Even if there are motifs which can help make ...
5
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2answers
276 views

Why does a Serialist composition sound like a random one?

Why can random notes and a structured Serialist composition sound the same? This Reddit comment cites Ligeti: The irony, noted Ligeti, was that the kind of music pioneered by Boulez and ...
14
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6answers
10k views

How to Write A Ragtime Piano Piece?

I tried writing a ragtime piece several months ago and wasn't successful. What defines the ragtime style? Are there known go-to theoretical resources that discuss how to compose ragtime music? My ...
2
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4answers
68 views

What would be the effect of a modulation downward by a small amount?

Imagine one plays a chorus in, say, A major, then repeats it later for the second chorus, but this time in G major. What would that do? I know that moving upwards by a whole or half step usually seems ...
4
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3answers
132 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 ...
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1answer
105 views

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

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 ...
3
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2answers
90 views

Composition by Hand: Workflow, habit, and handwriting [closed]

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
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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
68 views

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

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
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1answer
85 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
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3answers
666 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
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4answers
900 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
963 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
65 views

Can you arrange choral music from a classical string section? [closed]

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
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3answers
198 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
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8answers
680 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
360 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
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6answers
16k 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 ...
2
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6answers
738 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
57 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. ...
-8
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1answer
161 views

Jaws vs. Dvorak [closed]

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
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2answers
235 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?
8
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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
187 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
15k 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
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1answer
40 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
112 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 ...