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32 votes
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When did the anonymous "you" become popular in western pop music?

I'm going to go with "it was always common". Certainly many Renaissance madrigals are written to "you" (or "thee", as the case may be): Come again! Sweet love doth now invite Thy graces that ...
Caleb Hines's user avatar
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26 votes
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How "hard" to read is this rhythm? A rhythmic comparison

Minor nitpick: in your first example, the semiquaver should precede the minim. That will improve readability: Major nitpick: The two rhythms are identical. A crotchet triplet can be subdivided into ...
endorph's user avatar
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23 votes
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Does the starting note for a song have to be the starting note of its scale?

Does a scale always have to start off with the note it is named after? A scale is a collection of notes with one of those notes designated as the 'home note'. When you're playing that scale in a ...
Нет войне's user avatar
22 votes

Do I need 88 keys to produce film soundtracks?

No, you do not need 88 keys. You could produce film soundtracks with 0 keys- everything can be programmed nowadays. Of course, many prefer to record MIDI, and 61 keys will be sufficient at that. How ...
Edward's user avatar
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16 votes
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What is the difference between 'chorus' and 'refrain'?

It gets more complicated. The term 'refrain' comes from a time when poems were routinely set to music, and it is more appropriately left for the discussion of Classical and Romantic songs. At the ...
Areel Xocha's user avatar
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15 votes
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what are the characteristics that define a "good" melody?

It does depend on the style of music, but generally speaking I think there are good rules of thumb which will yield good results in most styles. Keep it easy to sing and easy to remember. You want ...
ibonyun's user avatar
  • 2,420
15 votes

Do I need 88 keys to produce film soundtracks?

88 keys are very useful if you intend to PLAY the keyboard in a pianistic style. Otherwise your 61 keys will be fine. I wouldn't be surprised to learn of a modern soundtrack composer who didn't use ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 93.4k
15 votes

Writing songs on piano that are meant for a guitar-led band

What's happening at the moment is they're parroting your keyboard-based attempts to sound like the instrument that they play. They're not using their imagination nearly enough. I'd suggest presenting ...
Brian THOMAS's user avatar
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13 votes
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Layering multiple instruments

You really have two questions there. I'm going to answer this one: In a section like the chorus, how do you get the layering of many instrument to get that full and rich impression? Playing a ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
12 votes

Lead guitar improvisation strategies for young intermediate guitarists

Reading music - safe. Regurgitating others' riffs - safe. Both, when one is good at either (or both) have a certain authenticity to them. 'I play what's written - if it's written, it's probaably good, ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
12 votes

Writing songs on piano that are meant for a guitar-led band

The issue doesn't seem to be in the writing, it's in the translation. I guess it's stating the obvious that if the guitarists can't get it from you saying "It's reggae, a bit like this" then ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 27.9k
11 votes

How can you retain the melody or tune you come up with in your head?

I would recommend recording yourself. Recording devices are so cheap and common now, that it would be the easy solution. As far a recalling a song or tune, there probably is not that much difference ...
J. P. Petersen's user avatar
11 votes

Lead guitar improvisation strategies for young intermediate guitarists

I am not a music teacher, have not been teached by a music teacher and would not consider myself a 'good' guitarist. But I remember having similar problems in terms of improvisation. When I tried to ...
Olli's user avatar
  • 1,191
10 votes

Does a vocal melody have any rhythmic responsibility to the underlying arrangement in pop music?

No. It doesn't have to. If you want, it can; but if you don't want, it doesn't need to. I think the best thing you can say is that the good ones add up to a significant whole - something greater than ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 27.9k
10 votes

How to convert what I'm singing to notes

Your playing needs to be in the same key you're thinking about i.e. singing in, and there are basically two different approaches to do the coordination. A: playing adjusts to singing: find the key ...
piiperi Reinstate Monica's user avatar
10 votes

What are the key ideas behind a good bassline?

Do note that your question is really vague (and too close to the "opinion based" flag). As many rules, the first rule is that there is no absolute rule. Bass lines are fundamental (yes, ...
musicamante's user avatar
  • 6,851
9 votes
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What are the key ideas behind a good bassline?

The important thing about the bass is that it's the bridge between the drums and the other instruments. How it fills that role is massively dependent on the musical style, the conventions of that ...
Graham's user avatar
  • 4,792
8 votes
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What is the difference between harmony and consonance in music?

Harmony is a noun that means "simultaneous sounds." Consonant and dissonant are adjectives that describe harmony; think of dissonance as "tension" and consonance as "stability/release." In terms of ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 84.7k
8 votes

What is the difference between 'chorus' and 'refrain'?

Strictly speaking of pop/rock music I think there is a difference between chorus and refrain. A chorus is a full blown section that has harmony, lyrics, and melody that is repeated and generally ...
b3ko's user avatar
  • 7,110
8 votes
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Lead guitar improvisation strategies for young intermediate guitarists

I spent one year of my life designing a software training course called Improvisation By Degrees (link at the bottom) and answered thousands of support questions via email. From that, as well as from ...
MMazzon's user avatar
  • 6,339
8 votes
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How do I transpose an orchestral piece if it will push some of the instruments out of their range?

Transposing orchestral pieces mostly produces unsatisfactory results, but it's often done, particularly to accommodate singers. If you transpose up too much the result often sounds thin, and if you ...
PiedPiper's user avatar
  • 21.4k
8 votes

How to write long melodic licks on Guitar?

Sing! Try singing improvised melodies to yourself, in the shower or wherever you get spare time. The point isn't to be good at singing, the point is to get yourself fluently thinking in terms of ...
Esther's user avatar
  • 1,083
8 votes

Any tips on writing the structure of a song for a band which does not read music?

Rather than AABA, why not write "Verse Verse Chorus Verse"? Or even more descriptive, you could write "Verse (16 bars) Verse (16 bars) Chorus (24 bars) ..." Try that first. There ...
Edward's user avatar
  • 8,542
8 votes

If you write a song by doing the lyrics first isn’t that technically starting with time (rhythm) rather than with pitch? Is the term for it phrasing?

Starting with lyrics — and only lyrics — does not imply starting with time or pitch. Lyrics could have any duration or rhythm depending on the desires of the composer. As soon as measures, beats, or ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 89.5k
7 votes

Songwriting and improvisation HowTos

In the sense that music is art, there aren't rules. There are no music police who will put you in jail for parallel fifths. But, to the extent that musical art is about style, there are rules and ...
Michael Curtis's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Creating conga part in lilypond

I figured out how to create the effect I wanted: The secret was in using the Staff.StaffSymbol.line-positions property, so the code I have now looks like this: #(define mycongas '( ...
minseong's user avatar
  • 1,086
6 votes
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How do bands take notes of their songs?

I've been in lots of bands and it is indeed always different. The band I'm currently in consists of 3 Classically trained musicians and a relatively self taught singer/songwriter. While we have the ...
Basstickler's user avatar
  • 7,429
6 votes

If I just change the lyrics and flow (very slightly) of a song is it called a cover or a remix?

If you play and sing it yourself, then it's a cover. If you merely use editing tools to change it around, then it's a remix. A remix generally doesn't include a new performance or recording, it's ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
6 votes

How do I transpose an orchestral piece if it will push some of the instruments out of their range?

One option is to re-orchestrate the work; we also call this "arranging." By changing around the instrumentation, you can move the various lines to other instruments that might have different range ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 84.7k

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