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Questions tagged [composition]

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

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61 views

Finding musicians to play new compositions

I've been composing for most of my life. Lately, I've started to accumulate a rather large number of completed pieces. I recently realized that it may be time for me to start looking for musicians to ...
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3answers
360 views

Does every phrase in music end with a cadence?

I'm just wondering if every phrase in music ends on a Cadence? Much like every sentence in English ends with a period? I am mainly talking about common music such as pop, rock, classical, traditional,...
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0answers
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Why is writing in free counterpoint so hard? [closed]

I have had this overwhelming feeling for weeks. 1 day I even had to listen to Mozart just to go to sleep because I was feeling so overwhelmed. I have tried everything I did in the past for composer's ...
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5answers
35k views

What notes to sing with chords

Ok, lets say you are playing a guitar and you have a song with 4 chords ( C D Am and F ). Should I sing the C note for C chord and D note for D chord and A note for Am and F note for F chord ? Or ...
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3answers
2k views

What are the different ways of adding non-diatonic chords? [closed]

I'm trying to add more detail to what I'm playing by using non-diatonic chords. So far the main ways I have found are: Borrowing chords from parallel key (mode mixture) Chromatic Mediants (playing ...
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1answer
98 views

Is this a reasonable start to my string quartet? [closed]

This is what I have of my string quartet so far. I am using Musescore for composing this, so I put in 100 measures because I didn't know how long the first movement of the string quartet would be. If ...
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1answer
129 views

Why are most string quartets in a key with few accidentals?

The most accidentals I have seen in a string quartet is 4 flats or sharps. Now I have been told that this is because C major, G major, D major and A major are the easiest keys on a string instrument ...
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4answers
384 views

Compose with pencil and paper [closed]

I see many composers argue that one of the best ways to compose is with pencil and paper, without using an instrument. What is the process for composing this way? Does one have to imagine a fairly ...
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1answer
986 views

Why is the final section of Liszt's La Campanella working so well?

The ending section of Liszt's La Campanella is the most beautiful I've heard so far. I'm referring to the change in melody, from this point all the way to the end: ...
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1answer
93 views

What are the common problems when it comes to ear training and how do I fix it?

I can think of a few, first in formost, there is 2 different type of struggles transcribing in real time which requires you to hear and identify chords and melody and improvising, which requires ...
3
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1answer
103 views

Messiaen Prelude Colors

According to wikipedia, each of Messiaen's 8 preludes is associated with various colors. 1 La colombe (The dove) Orange, with violet veins. 2 Chant d'extase dans un paysage triste (Song of ...
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3answers
606 views

Tension and Tonic

It is widely known that music "wants" to be resolved on the tonic. But does it mean that I can end with the tonic, let's say, one/two octaves higher or lower than the whole melody that is being played?...
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1answer
257 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 ...
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2answers
118 views

Formalizing “surprising, yet inevitable”

My music teacher told me that one property of great music is that it is both surprising and inevitable - you don't expect something, but looking back you see that it has been carefully prepared for. ...
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1answer
210 views

Is this melody aligned with this drum beat? If so/not - why (not)? [closed]

I wasn't entirely sure how to ask this question, so I'll use visual references. Please look at this piano roll picture: the green "blocks" represent the notes of a melody, the purple ones - the hits ...
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3answers
1k views

What exactly is the difference between C Ionian and D Dorian?

Both modes have the same notes. But why do they sound different. How to approach while composing a song in a particular mode as opposed to a key. Is it the harmony or the pivoting root? I read few ...
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4answers
452 views

Composing a song in Cm with major chord substitutes

I am composing a song in Cm with a very basic chord progression of I-IV-I. So, normally, in Cm, that would be Cm7-Fm7-Cm7, but I am actually playing Cm7-F7-Cm7. First of all, why does this work? This ...
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3answers
129 views

What are the appropriate/technical approaches that professional composers do to induce creativity in music making process?

I feel like I've already been "programmed" by pop songs when creating new sound. I always enjoy simply improvising on piano but I can never break through that musicality that is "programmed" in my ...
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4answers
240 views

Music and time, “natural” time

To play music rhythm in time it was always something difficult to me, with a metronome also. Basically I can not count time. On the other hand I have some intuition to compose simple music, and when I ...
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1answer
186 views

What are the elementary skills of composition?

I'm interested in learning music composition, but in spite of music being as old as time itself the majority of resources I've come across so far seem to suggest that a beginner learn sections of ...
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1answer
139 views

Are pieces for orchestra written mainly by pianists and keyboard players?

I'm just wondering if pieces for orchestra are/were mainly written on pianos or synthesizers. Is it just written on piano for all the instruments since on the piano it's easiest to play both harmony/...
7
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1answer
314 views

Solo Cello Composition: Double Stops Question

Can the G or D strings be muted by Cellist so that a double stop can be played on the G and A, or C and D strings? Would greatly appreciate a response.
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5answers
275 views

How does one teach a subjective art form like music composition in an objective manner?

As someone who has never taken composition lessons, I've always wondered how one teaches composition without straying into the purely subjective. In other words, how does one teach composition in a ...
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3answers
150 views

How to find counter rhythms for vocal melodies over dominant rhythms?

Most of the music theory I have learnt/encountered was focusing on chords and notes of melodies, but not on interplay of melody and backbeat, hence I'm asking this question. We are working on a song ...
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2answers
133 views

Best way to learn piano sheet music? [closed]

I've been playing piano for a little while for personal enjoyment. Due to my comfortable environment most of my knowledge of piano has come from what I've learned by ear and sight. Unfortunately, this ...
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2answers
961 views

Aiding the transcription of naturally occuring sounds. e.g. Horse whinnying, bird singing, etc

I don't have perfect pitch and badly trained and imprecise relative pitch. I only started two years ago to learn musical notation as a hobby and writing little stuff for myself and friends (For ...
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2answers
227 views

How does AMEB exams mark melody writing?

I just did an AMEB music theory exam online, since it is a practice exam it doesn't get marked (music theory from grade 4 and up is manually marked, instead of marked by a computer). One of the ...
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1answer
326 views

Who composed “And the Waltz Goes On”? [closed]

I listened to "And the Waltz Goes On" played by Andre Rieu's orchestra a while ago, in the video Andre say it was composed by Anthony Hopkins and never have been played until he did so in Vienna, but ...
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3answers
151 views

Method to develop a key change?

I know this question may seem broad, but I am a very mathematical person, I've never had much "ear" for these things. I have a slow tempo song, about 90bpm with a VI - I - IV chord progression for a ...
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4answers
9k views

Are chord progressions used in classical music?

Apart from Pachelbel's Canon which uses (I V vi iii IV I IV V) I didn't see any other classical music that uses chord progressions (?) Think Bach, Beethoven, Mozart kind of classical. Would it be ...
4
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3answers
12k views

How to make a melody line more full and interesting (piano)?

I'm a beginner piano player and just for fun I like to cover cool songs for piano. I can find chords for left hand and I can find melody line (single voice) by ear, but the problem is how to make ...
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6answers
2k views

How to create harmonic dissonance/tension?

If I'm playing in a major scale, would a harmonic dissonance be caused by going to the minor side of the chords (ii, iii, vi) or would it be created from going outside my scale? And if it's going ...
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0answers
50 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?
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1answer
79 views

Has anyone else composed for the Mahler Hammer?

The title pretty much sums it up: Has anyone else (other than the composer for whom it's named) written music that incorporates the "Mahler Hammer™"? Some more links: Walt Martin's blog about ...
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2answers
339 views

Is there any compendium mapping chord progressions to mood and sentiments? [closed]

Came across an Android app that enlists chord progressions with a mapping to mood or sentiment that it conveys (or expected to convey, I presume to certain audience). For various reasons, I am bit ...
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1answer
148 views

How to write in counterpoint for a sonata? [closed]

So yeah, just as it sounds like, I will be composing a sonata. It will be in the style of Beethoven. The first movement will be slow and quiet mostly. Of course I will be using dissonance such as a ...
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7answers
1k views

Who do I write music for? [closed]

I've been playing keyboard for eight years now. As much as I adore music I can't find the real answer to who am doing it for? Who am I writing music for? I'm very much interested in art rock and ...
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3answers
101 views

Does a cadence cover all “punctuation marks” in a musical phrase?

If we compare it to English, then a cadence acts like a period. But what about other punctuation marks like commas, exclamation marks, questions marks, etc. Are they also called cadences?
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2answers
95 views

Determining if string instruments can play more than one note at a time

I recently started writing a string quartet recently and I want the cello to play two notes (B and C; G and A) simultaneously. How do I know if that is actually playable (not on the same string/...
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5answers
258 views

Name for ensemble of the same instrument

When arranging music, is there a commonly accepted or easy to understand name for an ensemble (be it a trio, duet, quartet, etc.) which contains all of the same instrument? For example, how could you ...
8
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1answer
1k views

Guidelines for piano composition and transcription

I'm a classical guitar student but I always loved the piano. Though I never owned one, most of my musical ideas come to me as harmonies on the keyboard so I often have to translate that into something ...
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4answers
502 views

How can different compositions use C Major?

Pardon what I know is an embarrassing question - I am at the very basics of learning music theory. If a scale such as C Major is an exact pattern of intervals, how can multiple songs be composed with ...
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2answers
589 views

How did classical composers learn piano improvisation?

https://ericbarnhill.wordpress.com/facts-about-improvisation/ I just came across this old yet interesting article about the improvisation stories of certain classical composers. Since classical ...
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4answers
3k views

Can learning music theory from “Music Theory for Guitarists Volume 1” by Bruce Arnold teach me enough to start composing?

I am a guitar and bass player who has played pop/rock/blues for 15 years. Like a lot of other users I am music illiterate. I am a fan of Frank Zappa, Grateful Dead and am interested in composing rock ...
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2answers
104 views

Difficulties to compose since I've stopped taking piano classes

I have been playing the piano for 7 years now, and I always loved composing. I've stopped to take piano lessons two years ago because of my studies, and since this, it's getting really difficult to ...
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1answer
57 views

I read an effects chain in a video, can someone explain what it means?

I read an effects chain in the description of this video. It said, "The stutter effect on the strings is accomplished with a hard compressor sidechained to an inaudible source." Can someone explain ...
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4answers
582 views

Why aren't songs with 11 beats 13 beats, common?

I wonder why haven't I heard songs that have 13 beats or 11 beats (or may be 17 beats or other complex number) per measure. Are there any songs like that and why don't people and music directors ...
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2answers
329 views

How do you actually learn how to compose music? [duplicate]

How do you compose a rock song like the person in the video? I've gone through all the books and video tutorials and I still don't know how to make music. I just want to make songs like the person ...
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3answers
667 views

Are augmented fourth allowed in second species counterpoint?

I'm trying to learn counterpoint with the help of the Gradus. I think I've made many mistakes but I'm not sure if they're allowed or not. At bar 62 (upbeat) you may see an augmented fourth, used as ...
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1answer
3k views

What are common compositional elements of 80s synth pop?

I was just wondering what defines this style of music. I mean it is pretty obvious that a lot of the soundscape is occupied by rather bassy pianos or synthesizers with driving lines. But are there ...