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Studying Compositions - How Do You Do It?

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#1
Caladluin

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Hi everyone!

I was curious how you study other people's compositions when you're trying to understand them better(wherever it is to increase your ability or to help others), and how you use other's compositions to learn to compose/orchestrate better yourselves? And do you find this is an important skill?

Caladluin

#2
treehugger1995

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read a score and go "OMG THAT'S AWESOME" also, look for the big ten, and observe how they are used:
melody, harmony, rhythm, timbre, form, tempo, dynamics, text, texture, and context
HEY!! PRESS THIS LINK AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!!http://dream-music.b.../sound-of-stars WHOA! IT'S MUSIC I SHOULD LISTEN TO!!

#3
BigDrumMachine

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When I study other composers music i try to focus on how they produce and expand on their material. Once I have pointed out the certain aspects the music that makes their piece intresting and desireable, I then attempt to mimic their sound with my own twist. Allow yourself to apply one composers technique into your own bag of tricks. I am not saying take Beethoven's fate theme and put it in your piece. I am simply saying, be aware the ways he expands and allows the motif to grow, and apply it to your own pieces in your own way. Also, take a look at the cadences, chords, and chord vocings used in different pieces and the color they produce.

Mike

#4
Longa

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It depends on what aspect you are studying. I'd say knowing what you're looking for is an important first step.


What is the first thing we should look for?

For example, Holst's Planets.

What gives each one its personality?

#5
burnor

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I usually analyse the piece to find out why I think the composer has done such a good job. When I analyse I try to find out what the composer has been thinking, I especially lay weight on the harmonic analysis to find out why he has chosen the chords he uses, but also I focus on which form he<s writing in, an what he has done whit this form to make the piece special and memorable.

If I find something of interest, I get inspired and use some of it in my pieces, but of course with my own twist.

#6
Beginner

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I usually use a piano, even if it's a big orchestra score. Though if it is really big I might write in what the sonorities are so I don't have to line things up over and over again. Anyway, I think this helps me absorb the style. Also, having listened to it a bazillion times is important for me....I mean, might as well. I might go over it without a piano beforehand though.

I guess I put disproportionate attention on harmony. Usually I try to steal the harmonies in my own music, but also sometimes the large-scale formal structure I steal as well.

I think this is really important. Though transcribing is also just as important, IMO.
"Those who control their passions do so because their passions are weak enough to be controlled".

- William Blake

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#7
Kvothe

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Before doing this, I recommend knowing theory, counterpoint, and orchestration; then how to do a proper a score study. Thus, begin with these topics!

#8
gigeorge17371

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Research, Annotation and Write-up.

Research the composer and stylistic characteristics such as form, harmony and melodic characteristics from books, annotate the score in order to spot typical and atypical stylistic and composer traits within the piece, possibly influences from other composers and other things I find through the annotation that may or may not link to the research and then because I remember things better when I write them down I like to write an essay or something of the sort.
G. Marshall

'At a glance beauty can be missed.'




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