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Questions tagged [composition]

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

7
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1answer
46 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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0answers
45 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
84 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
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5answers
163 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
2k 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?
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6answers
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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
70 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
58 views

Is this minimalist? [closed]

Can this piece of music be described as minimalist? Does it portray all of the appropriate characteristics?
2
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0answers
51 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. ...
2
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1answer
667 views

What is a fanfare and on which instrument would it be best to play it on?

I want to compose a song for a woodwind or a brass instrument. I am not too experienced at composing and am wondering what a fanfare is and what are some good and/or famous examples of them. Also, ...
4
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2answers
72 views

What is a traditional instrumentation for a Polka Band?

I'm a high school trombonist getting into composition. I've been writing stuff for a few years now, and I was posed a task by my band director to right a polka out of a piece I wrote this year. ...
7
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3answers
121 views

Which notes are skeletal?

I have been told to figure out which notes in Mozart's theme are skeletal and which ones are just embellishments before I develop my Theme and Variations. But I don't know how to tell if a note is ...
4
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1answer
134 views

How did composers use the technique of “fauxbourdon”?

I've recently learned of a harmonisation technique called fauxbourdon (or faux bourdon, fauxbordon or false drone), used in the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance, e.g. by Giullaume Dufay; you can ...
4
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3answers
621 views

Is divisi notation needed for brass or woodwind in an orchestra?

I'm composing for orchestra. I've read that divisions [of parts] should be notated using divisi. (or div.) above the staff. But I'm wondering whether this notation is mandatory for all instruments. ...
1
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2answers
46 views

How to get a satisfactory ending to a Theme and Variations?

I have always wanted to compose a Theme and Variations. I got the idea yesterday of taking a Mozart theme and varying it. Now I have gotten even more specific. Even though the Turkish March is not my ...
6
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7answers
304 views

Orchestral Composition Process

I'm trying to find out about the process of composing for the multiple instruments in an orchestra. Do you just write on the piano for all the instruments and then present the finished piece to the ...
0
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0answers
15 views

Tanglewood BUTI

Having just recently been accepted to Tanglewood BUTI composition, I was curious how competitive it was. How many apply to composition, and what is the admissions rate?
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3answers
36k views

Is there a simple way to transpose a song from one key to another? What is the methodology?

What is a simple way to accomplish transposing a song from one key to another key? In other words if I am looking at a song written in the key of C and can't sing it in that key and I want to ...
0
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1answer
29 views

Are there books specifically on the subject of modulation?

Questions concerning smooth modulations, especially how to effect them, keep coming up in my own efforts at composition. Apart from Max Reger's little treatise (which in some ways is and in other ways ...
1
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1answer
48 views

How should I got about re-creating a melody in chiptune?

I am trying to recreate "Pure Vessel"(A.K.A. Path of Pain theme) by Christopher Larkin in chiptune. However, my first attempt at it was awful(my failed attempt), and I would appreciate it if I could ...
0
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2answers
55 views

Nature 'composing' music? [closed]

Many of you may be familiar with the interesting musical piece, Birds on The Wires, created jointly by Jarbas Agnalli (arrangement), Paulo Pinto (photogrpaher), and birds (notes?) about 10 years ago. ...
12
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3answers
1k views

What's the “normal” opposite of flautando?

I'm writing a piece in which I need string instruments to switch regularly between flautando and normal timbre. How do I denote this? Basically, I need a word which means "normal" with regard to where ...
15
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12answers
6k views

Use of Music Theory in Composition

I've been told by many people that music theory is not normative; it doesn't tell you what to write or do in music to create something beautiful that sounds good. I've been told that it's strictly ...
10
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5answers
3k views

Many, seemingly arbitrary time signature changes

So, I'm an intuitive composer. I start noting the music down as it comes to my mind. I'm very, very exact in this, it has to be exactly as in my head. So I just have a score in 4/4 and set a tempo and ...
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6answers
2k views

How do I go about selling my musical composition?

I've been studying music on and off for several years now and I've finally composed a pop music like piece. It has no lyrics yet as I don't know how to integrate in the words yet. How do I seek people ...
14
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1answer
3k views

Why did John Williams use a march to symbolise Indiana Jones?

John Williams is famous for using certain styles of composition to represent characters (e.g. a military march style in Superman to represent freedom/USA etc.), but why was Indiana represented by the ...
1
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2answers
402 views

minimalist compositions [closed]

Thanks for all the responses. It struck me that the work of Reich and Glass was/is mathematical in arrangement. If LaMonte Young and Terry Riley started the movement on the coast then Reich and Glass ...
6
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5answers
2k views

Melody Writing - Tension & Release

I'm back with a more specific question. I read in a book entitled 'Complete Idiots Guide for Music Composition' which has a detailed discussion on writing melodies and techniques to do so. As I have ...
0
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4answers
86 views

Time signatures and verse

Recently I challenged myself to set a piece of religious text to music for SATB. However, I encountered timing issues caused by irregular numbers of syllables in verses, and when to break off phrases. ...
2
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1answer
114 views

What technique was being used in composing this background music for a film?

At around six minutes and 40 seconds of this Youtube video, this gentleman talks about using minor and major thirds and how it was supposed to mimic the sound of a ...
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0answers
139 views

How do I put the joke into the music? [closed]

This is my first phrase in my scherzo. The eighth notes in the right hand and the focus on Bb at first, making it sound like it is in Bb major instead of F major, despite the E naturals makes the ...
0
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3answers
52 views

Should I focus on the notes of the song and less on the rhythmic notation when learning a new song?

Curious about the best ways to practice songs written for piano, i pay too much attention to the written rhythmic pattern and then I get frustrated since the rhythmic value written is not what my ...
2
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3answers
101 views

How accurate can sheet music to the original composer be, if it has constant rearrangements? [closed]

For example, say I am learning how to play Cole Porter songs on piano (let's misbehave;de-lovely;etc) yet I come across other versions of the song, some have a higher level of difficulty and I feel if ...
0
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0answers
9 views

Playback Issue with Komp Create for iPad

After weeks of searching I finally found an app for iPad that I can write Music with and has a playback feature. But as my sheet got to like 5 measures the playback stopped working properly. Sometimes ...
2
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2answers
711 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 ...
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0answers
86 views

What types of cadences work well in natural minor mode?

I am currently interested in writing a piece in the natural minor mode, and it seems like "v - i" cadence does not quite work as well as compared to the harmonic / melodic minor modes, which use "V - ...
1
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2answers
82 views

Which chromatic passing tone to use?

I'm wondering if there's certain chromatic passing tones that are used more than others. Especially in classical or pop improvisation/composition. For example in the key of C, each of the five black ...
11
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2answers
4k views

Can someone explain the rhythm of a Mazurka?

While perusing some Chopin and Liszt sheets, I tried to play a Mazurka or two. But, I simply don't understand how the rhythm works. It feels awkward and unbalanced when I try and I just don't get it, ...
1
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2answers
49 views

Composition for Clarinet

I would like to write a song for a Bb clarinet. What is the easiest key for a clarinet player to play it in? Do I use the Treble clef register?
7
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3answers
666 views

Are non-diatonic chord progressions usually modal mixtures?

I asked a question in the past about non-diatonic notes. In the answer I got a progression of the form: IV Maj | ♯iv dim | I64 | V7 | I Maj IV Maj | ♯iv dim | V7 | V7 | ♯v dim ...
53
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11answers
23k views

Why isn't there a classical composer like Beethoven, Chopin or Mozart today?

Why there aren't composers writing in a classical style today? Why don't we hear of classical composers today like we do of Beethoven, Chopin or Mozart? My question may be strange, but I am really ...
1
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2answers
353 views

How are melodic sequences used?

I keep hearing about sequences. I know that there's both harmonic and melodic sequences. I am familiar with harmonic sequences I believe they're also called "basso ostinato" where you play a repeating ...
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3answers
141 views

Can a timpani player play more than one note at a time?

Is it possible for a timpani player to play multiple notes at the same time such as a guitar or piano player would do?
2
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1answer
326 views

What makes a piece a nocturne?

I am wanting to compose a second nocturne. I composed my first one about a year ago and pretty much all the feedback I got was that it should have been written in 3/4 instead of 4/4. I wonder if that ...
3
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2answers
631 views

What is the most convoluted standard musical form?

In musical composition, we tend to reuse sections of a piece in patterns that are referred to as "musical forms". Some basic examples of these that I know of are ABA, AABA, ABAB, and the rondo form ...
1
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1answer
73 views

Close transposition but want to avoid dissonance

So I had this idea to have a march in canon. So I would have a rhythmic cell like this: to give a march-like feeling. I have decided on 6 rhythmic cells before a note change and going up 1 note and ...
3
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2answers
249 views

Writer's block: how do you know when lyrics are “ready”?

After a writer's block of at least ten years, this guitarist is "ready" to move on with writing and recording the songs that lurk inside me. My initial approach is diving back into my folders of ...
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1answer
64 views

Who did introduce the mediant keys in to music harmony progression?

Which composer(s) introduced as the first time mediant chords and mediant keys in their compositions - or in which period the use of this kind of modulation was coming up?
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6answers
163 views

How is making music by software different than real instruments? [closed]

Do I need a real keyboard, drum machine and other instruments to make music, or do you think software nowadays are able to generate the same sound? What would be the difference, and would the quality ...
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0answers
77 views

Freestyle Advice for Beatboxing [closed]

So I have been beatboxing for a couple of months now, got inspired by GBBB battles. I can do the basic sounds (kick drum, hi hats, (inward and outward) K snares, pf Snare, throat bass, lip ...