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SSC last won the day on August 26 2018

SSC had the most liked content!

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About SSC

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    LOL Dispencer

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    Attack on Alpha Base! Captain Starr's Last Stand!!
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    The Threat of the inviso-vampires from Jupiter XII!!
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    Amazing! The First Voyage of the S.S. Proton!
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    Peril in the Caves of Planet X!
  • My Compositional Styles

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  1. and Oh boy, my favorite discussion: Psychoacoustics! Before we get started, I must ask anyone wanting to debate this with me to read up on the scientific literature on the topic! An acquaintance of mine actually did us a solid and put a rather extensive list of peer-reviewed papers published on this exact topic, most of which are ground-breaking and first to document such things. Here you go: http://www.stefan-koelsch.de/papers.html That's a lot of reading, so start with the 10 most cited papers he suggests at the start. Have fun!
  2. SSC

    Tonal teachers in europe?

    I don't get the criticism then, if they were able to help you out, then weren't they doing their job?? Just because someone likes to write in X language doesn't mean they're incompetent in everything else. In fact, I'd say my teachers who pushed for really modern stuff were both extremely well-versed in tonal music in general. Like I said at the start, any competent composition teacher should be able to help you regardless of what language you want to use. It matters much more that they're not stupid and anti-pedagogic.
  3. Ah yes! Exactly as Chapter 5, paragraph 3 line 4 of the sacred book of "Rules for Good Art" clearly states!
  4. SSC

    Tonal teachers in europe?

    That's like saying you'd rather study with someone who can only teach you how to paint using the color red. You'll be just much poorer for the experience even if "that's what you want." Often, what you want and what actually helps you improve are two very different things and a good teacher will know this. He can keep writing tonal stuff, nobody can take that away from him, but trying out other stuff is what makes you, you know, grow as an artist. PS: I also think that if anyone is going to "force atonal music theory" (whatever that may be) down anyone's throat, they aren't a stellar individual in the first place. That's not how you teach anyone anything.
  5. SSC


  6. SSC

    When do you get melodies?

    Let me stop you right there. The questions were pretty nonsensical, what you actually want to know is how to get your stuff going when you're actually able to write it. Well, now there are a lot of exercises for "loosening your hand" so to speak, so that you can actually start putting stuff down on paper rather than sit there feeling miserable. However, I've found that often what happens is that people START feeling bad after a few moments of compositional ineptitude and that sets the tone for the rest of the attempt, which leads nowhere. Instead, how about you take it less seriously? Just write down whatever, wherever, even if it's not "creative", since I highly doubt you are not creative in some fashion. In fact, I'm willing to bet you are being way too harsh on yourself for your own good. Let yourself write crap, dude, let yourself just suck at composing. That's the honest path forward, since eventually you'll have gotten all your trash out of the way and you can start writing cool stuff. That's just how it usually works with these creative things, so give it a shot. Don't stop writing, just write even if it sucks and don't set yourself up for "Failure" before you even start.
  7. Yes, experimentation is a horrible thing and should be avoided at all costs. God forbid people actually stumble onto something they enjoy by trying things they see others do! This must be stopped and we should do everything we can so that those accursed .... POLYCHORDS (barf) don't fall into the wrong hands and hurt someone! There are nights where I wake up in cold sweat just at the thought of what some random... kid, is going to do with their new found knowledge of CLUSTERS! Oh the humanity!
  8. SSC

    Tonal teachers in europe?

    I think everyone who's a proper teacher can teach you to write any kind of language, if that's your thing. You should make a list of people you get along with, since that's much more important in a teacher. What's the use of someone who can teach you X, if they're insufferable idiots?
  9. SSC

    "Split personality" in music

    So, let me unpack this cuz that's a pretty long novel you wrote there. Why would you want to say either of those things? Is something or someone pressuring you to do so? It's OK to not define everything perfectly, specially since many things can't be defined. Maybe you have moments where one is true, and moments where the other is true instead. There is no way to think of a right perspective that works 100% of the time here because you can change as well and they change with you. I graduated from a conservatory in Germany but my teacher's approach to composition classes was, in a nutshell, "Are you being as effective as possible in writing what you think is best?" (trick question, only I could answer this and it's a tough question to answer!) This is agnostic to the type of music as sometimes I would show up with techno tracks I Was writing for a game project, or some music-concrete thing, or what have you. The first thing I learned was that "language is irrelevant," in the context of our lessons. Otherwise, this is like saying only the good painters use the color red, so everyone who wants to be good should paint stuff in red. I'm sorry that you had such a bad and distorted view of composition during your studies and I know you're not the only one, it's just that you can't "teach" composition and many teachers don't realize this. You can teach work ethics, you can teach patience, you can teach musicology and all that other stuff, but at the end of the day you are the boss of what you write and nobody can take that away from you. They can and will judge you, but that's part of being a musician so let's not be surprised nor hindered by this. My teacher, if anything, encouraged me to bring EVERYTHING I wrote to him, because it was all composition and it was all work. I never had to write anything in secret or feel I was being looked down upon if what I wrote was in a style or language he didn't like. His job wasn't to tell me what to write, it was to make sure I was conscious of what I was writing and to basically be someone I could talk to about stuff related to the process. This proved invaluable to me. and So, I'll tell you a little story from this very forum almost a decade ago. I ran a contest for who could write the worst possible composition. Literally, that was the thread. To participate, you just had to write something you hated, you thought was terrible and horrible and send it my way. You know what happened? That's the thread. It turns out, that it's very hard to write something you "hate" and keep hating it after you wrote it. It's weird right? It's as if, once you go through the trouble of putting it into paper and so on, composing it, you kind of start to see it in a different light. Stuff you hated, well, may not be that bad after all, maybe? I mean it IS your baby, terribly deformed and evil as it may be, it still is your baby. What you describe is really what happens. People's perspectives change, as you say, the way they listen to things is different and it depends greatly on many things that have nothing to do with the music. Sometimes people go to concerts expecting to hate something, and it colors their view of it. Sometimes they are surprised, but in the end all this affects what music does to you in quite a substantial way. I'm afraid in these matters there are no "answers," but rather you slowly grow to understand people (psycho-acoustics, cognitive science, psychology,) and can come up with a better understanding of how things work. It doesn't actually change anything, but it did help me come up with fun exercises that really did change people's minds on things they never thought they would. All they had to do was, you know, give it a shot. But I guess nobody teaches that, huh?
  10. Just open up your music notation software (or take a blank staff page and a pencil if you're ol'skool) and start writing. Just start writing. Don't stop composing, don't think you have "a block." No, maybe the ideas you immediately put to paper are trash (or maybe not,) but give it a few minutes! Keep working, and work hard. Even if you don't produce super masterpieces, the actual work doesn't go wasted as you may run into stuff you DO like that you wouldn't have written if you just sat around and asked these questions on internet forums, right? Composing is 90% sweat and 10% creativity. Work and work hard!
  11. SSC

    How to "practice" composition?

    This is a good question because it comes down how serious you are about actually "getting better." The key thing is to remember that "practice" when composing means a lot more than doing exercises or copying things, it means actually pushing yourself constantly out of your comfort zone. For that, you need to first find out where your limitations are and that's when exercises can be useful. Let's say, for example, that I give you an exercise as follows: Compose a bridge between piece A by famous composer to piece B by another famous composer. Let's say you do some Beethoven Sonata to some small piece by Satie. You have 20 measures to do it (and you can't cut or add measures) and the rest is up to you. This kind of exercise is a way to check your skills in many different areas and to see where you are lacking. Maybe your analysis technique is lacking, maybe you can't keep your ideas within a set limit, maybe your ideas are too short, and so on. Once you do this kind of exercise 4 or 5 times, bridging different kinds of pieces, you'll be much better equipped to see what you need to work on.
  12. SSC

    Prelude in E for piano

    I think you're in the wrong subforum!
  13. You misunderstood. I mean the actual performance itself. If I write something like a minuet in G major (19th century style), it's unlikely anyone will consider it experimental since the result is going to be very similar to other minuets written in a similar style. Now if I write a piece where it just says "Play this note for as long as possible," the actual performance has quite a few unknown elements to them. The latter would classify as experimental while the former would not, imo. I should also add that not because something has some predictable elements it takes away from the experimental nature of a piece. After all, if you wrote something for dog whistle, it's unlikely you could actually hear it, but it doesn't make the piece any less experimental since there are other (unforeseen) things that can happen because of this.
  14. SSC

    Depicting things in music

    Write "As Art" in bold type letters on your music score. Expert musicians will immediately recognize this and throw the piece in the trash interpret it as the composer intended: quite full of art!
  15. I adopted the following definition: This has served me pretty well since. It also avoids the problem of "experimental music" sounding like anything specific. Instead, the idea is to focus on the concept that in an experiment you aren't sure of what the outcome will be. This of course should be seen as extending beyond simply saying all written music is experimental because the performance may contain errors thus it is impossible to be certain of the musical result. On the other hand, it does highlight just how fragile the idea of music being this monolithic concrete thing is. Even playback from a CD that has the music with "No errors," can have an infinite number of variations depending on the speakers used and room acoustics, etc.