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Found 23 results

  1. Hello! I am a 17 year old music student from Belgium. I recently wrote a concerto for double bass, and it turned out really well in my opinion. Now that it's finished I actually really want to write a new piece, but I can't find any themes. I was wondering, for those who don't really those "Aha! I've got a theme!"-moments at random, how do you find/look for a new theme? Where do you get your inspiration from? And how do you know if you didn't steal it from an other work? Thanks!
  2. Hi everyone! I started to research different ways of composing music and have came across the golden ratio/ Fibonacci sequence. I've watched numerous videos that explains it but they never showed me an example. May anyone show me how to compose step-by-step using the golden ratio/ Fibonacci sequence? Thank You! -Shamir
  3. Hello everyone, I have listened to Piano Concerto No. 5 in E♭ major, Op. 73, by Ludwig van Beethoven and, have fallen in love with it. After listening to this I have decided to write one of my own! Listed below are the characteristics of it. Key: A♭ major Tempo: 110 bpm Time Signature: 4/4 Instruments: 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets (in B♭), 2 Bassoons, 4 Horns (in F), 2 Trumpets (in B♭), 2 Tenor Trombones, 1 Bass Trombone, Timpani, 1 Grand Piano, Violins 1, Violins 2, Violas, Violoncellos, and Contrabasses. I have chosen these instruments based on other piano concertos that I have listened to in the past, like Tchaikovsky No. 1 and Rachmaninoff No. 2 and would like to imitate them. This is my first piece of music that is being written for full orchestra. Any and ALL tips and tricks about orchestration, writer's block, creativity, creating new themes, motifs, or writing fun and exciting and fun, new music are very well needed! Please feel free to comment below about any and everything about anything about the piece. Thank You!
  4. Note: This is a hypothetical situation: Say I was writing an orchestral piece, and I was planning to give it to my local orchestra. I know that the 1st clarinettist is brilliant, so I write an extended solo which I maybe wouldn't have done otherwise. What do you think about writing music for a specific orchestra, who will hopefully be able to play it well? When doing it, do you think about the players themselves and their standard? Or do you just compose for orchestra/ensemble without having anyone in mind?
  5. Hi, dear musicians! Some years ago I listened klassical compositions in jazz processig. It was Shopins waltz. Now I am interested: what about classikal music meet electronik, I mean processing. What you think about?
  6. I’d like to hear opinions about what would be the most simple and best way to write (notated) scores for pop / rock bands, classical / jazz ensembles and orchestras and create good audios "at the same time". I would like to record midi-instruments (which could be notated "automatically" when playing) and add on top of it some real instruments (guitars, bass, drums, winds, strings etc.,) which I could notate in the same session, after or before recording. I have Ableton Live 9 and Sibelius 7, but I’d prefer to work only with one program, since I’d like to edit the audio and notated score at the same time, to hear the good sounds and to see the score right away. The purpose is to create “demos” and a scores of my compositions for band members, artists and producers. I’ve heard Logic Pro might be good for this purpose? Experiences? I might not want to buy a new software right now and therefore would like to hear other suggestions as well. Any experiences with Livescore or Musescore (with Ableton)? How about Notion with Studio One? Is Garage band totally out of the picture? What’s the biggest difference between Logic and Garage band? I’ve understood they work in a similar way, so one option could be to use Garage band until upgrading to Logic. Please tell me about your experiences. This might not be the right forum for these questions, so any tips for other forums are useful as well!
  7. There you go, that's the two bars idea I came up with. It isn't harmonized or anything on purpose, the idea is to have every individual composer make a one minute piece out of this idea the way he sees it. We can mix them all together or make a piece with a few parts based on this idea. Good luck, I'm off to compose my own version of it.
  8. EDIT: This survey is now closed, thanks to all who took part. I may publish the results in February, and if so, I will add a link here later. Hi folks - first post, so apologies to the mods if this type of post is not allowed! I am a composition student at the University of Surrey and I am throwing around a survey across the internet to gather some data on how musicians write music with music notation software - this forum seemed very lively, so I'm very interested in your thoughts. If you are someone that composes/arranges music with music notation software (Sibelius/Finale/MuseScore/etc.) I would be extremely grateful if you could spare 10 minutes to fill out this survey: https://freeonlinesurveys.com/s/eZTxmoaK At the end, there will be two participants chosen in a random raffle that will receive £15 via PayPal. The survey will close in 7 days (6th January 2018). If you have any questions/comments/discussion - fire away! Thank you and have a Happy New Year!
  9. Hi, I'm new at this forum and at writing music. Had a go on a orchestral piece about pirates. Please feel free to listen and criticize. Any input is very valuable :) Cheers!
  10. Hi all, After my secondary school I want to study either Classical Saxophone or Composition. When I am chatting with Composition professors, it seems to me that they prefer composing on paper and then they notate in a notation program. I have tried it several times to compose on paper, but I find it really hard. Not because I don't know what the music will really sound like, but because I make so many notation mistakes. Actually, when writing music on paper, my scores look like Beethoven's (see picture) and I cannot even read in myself. . . My question: ''Do you compose your music first on paper and then in a notation program? Or do you directly notate in a program, such as Sibelius or MuseScore? Why?'' I think the ''Why'' is the most important part of the question. Please let me know your opinions, experiences etc. Kind regards, Maarten
  11. For many living composers, the response to this question might be something like: "Short answer, 'no' with an 'if,' long answer, 'yes' with a 'but.'" But before we start assigning labels, let's discuss what terms like "tonal" and "atonal" really mean. "Atonal music" in its narrowest usage refers to those works of composers Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951), Anton Webern (1883-1945), and Alban Berg (1885-1935), composed in or after the second decade of the Twentieth Century, and pre-dating all three composers' adoption of the twelve-tone technique. Berg once attributed the coinage of the term "atonal" to the words of a newspaper critique, and the term itself has long since carried certain pejorative connotations. Another, somewhat broader definition, includes both these works and works of music composed using the twelve-tone technique. This technique was pioneered by Schoenberg and others in the 1920's, and was soon adopted by Webern, Berg, and later numerous composers of serious music in Europe and throughout the world of Western music composition. A third, broader still definition, includes all music in which tonal centers are sufficiently ambiguous. Under this definition, many works by Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky, Copland, Bartók, Shostakovich, and others are sometimes described as "atonal." This third definition is perhaps the most widely used, but also the most problematic. The term is not commonly applied, for example to noise music; nor music for unpitched percussion instruments; music composed using elements of chance and aleatory techniques; experimental music; microtonal music; or other forms of musical expression falling outside the dominion of Western art music of the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries. Its usefulness as an aesthetic term must therefore be seriously called into question. What is "tonal music"? The term as used today broadly refers to music composed with tonal centers, or one or more focal pitches considered "stable" with regard to the others. Often this also means the use of familiar harmonic patterns, or "harmonic progressions," typical of the music of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. The term as used today, though, perhaps only exists usefully as an antithesis to "atonal music"; as conventionally defined it does not include non-Western musics, nor Western music composed before the Mature Baroque, and its application in folk music traditions or popular styles is highly suspect. The one thing that all of these various definitions have in common is their emphasis on composer intent. "Atonal" and "tonal" do not necessarily represent meaningful expressions of listener experience, in my opinion, which I believe should be a part of any meaningful discourse about music. Instead, I advocate the adjudication of any musical expression on its own terms, in its own proper context, and with the use of descriptive terms such as "plaintive," "haunting," "lyrical," "energetic," etc. Needless to say, any discussion of music on these terms will be subjective to a greater or lesser extent; but the search for absolute, objective truths in a pursuit as rich as music will always lead to a dead end. A quote from the author George Orwell, originally written with regard to various conflicting philosophies of government in the Twentieth Century, seems uncannily appropriate if the words "tonal" and "atonal" are substituted for the terms "democracy" and "fascism": Leave a comment below and click here to continue the discussion!
  12. Hi ppl! I am looking for a composition-software. I know programms which only allow you to type in notes in a notation view but I also need a piano-roll (like the one in Fruity-Loops or Logic, Garage-Band, etc..). It is also very important that I can integrate VSTs like "The Grand 3" or "Alicia's keys" because I hate that typical bad-quality-sound which programms like "Sibelius" have. I don't need any programms like "FL Studio" or "Logic" because I never use and don't want to pay for all of the functions beside the piano roll and vst-integration. regards alex2east :)
  13. Hello I am writing a piece for 4 flutes. Each flute moves up in glissando patterns to create microcanons. I was speaking to my tutor about this the other day and he said that simply going from a low not to a high note via glissando on flute is limited because of the fingerings. My original plan was going from a low F to a high D sharp. with all the tonal and microtonal qualities in between. What is problematic about this? If I am starting from an F what is the highest note I can reach via glissando? Thanks
  14. Hello everyone! I've found recently that my main problem when composing a piece is that I write small portions of it at a time, and end up having a hard time connecting the dots. For example, I might come up with an 8-bar melody as the main "theme," a development of that theme, and an ending, yet nothing in between to connect them. My question to you then is this: Have any of you experienced similar problems? How did you overcome this sort of "writer's block?"
  15. As many of us know, its really tough out there for a composer. The idea of a stable job is fleeting at best, and most will have to look towards an outside line of work to supplement the lack of financial stability. But do we truly know how hard it is out there? How prepared do you feel you are to make it as a composer? The following article expands upon just how hard the prospects of making composing a form of income is. It also offers a new way of thinking that may help in some small way: http://www.newmusicbox.org/articles/Composing-a-Life-Or-How-I-Learned-to-Stop-Worrying-and-Love-the-Dollar/ Respond to the article: do you feel he over simplifies a complex issue or did you learn anything new about this topic? And what about you, How will you (or how did you) face this situation?
  16. These are some things that I like to keep in mind while composing. I would like to get feedback on them. What do you think of them? Do you think they are good to keep in mind? Do you think there are problems with them? Is there something else that you think is good to think about? (I know it's long. Sorry about that.) There are three parts: big picture points, "small picture" (for lack of a better term) points, and creativity points. The big picture points have mainly to do with structure. I think of a piece like a play with act I, act 2, and act 3. The first act introduces the material which I think of as the characters. The second act "goes on an adventure." The characters do things. There are conflicts (tension) and they get resolved (released tension). The whole of act 2 has to have one general conflict that is bigger than all of the others and is introduced at the beginning of act 2 and resolved at the end of act 2. When that main conflict gets resolved, the piece goes into act 3 which is the conclusion. It should be climatic and "euphoric." It wraps up the piece by summarizing the material (all of the characters come together). It ends by leaving a sense of the entire essence of the piece in the listeners ear. We can represent the characters in the music with motifs. And we can represent their actions with melodies. The essence of the characters (the motifs) are moved by melodies (the bodies of the character). The melodies can move the motifs around in different ways to make the characters to do different things. Every character has a personality. They can share their general personality with something like a motto, or an action that tries to express their general essence. This is done with themes. A theme would be a melody that moves the motifs in a way that best bring them out. (I use motif loosely here: it can be more than just a simple melodic or rhythmic pattern, but it could be any small recognizable idea.) The introduction to the piece can best introduce the material by simply stating the themes (show off the characters' personalities to get the listener familiar with them before they go adventuring in act 2). In act 2, the characters do many different things. But just because the characters do different things doesn't make them different characters. Fundamentally they are the same character. The melodies can do all kinds of things while still containing the fundamental motifs. Act 3 is kind of like act 1. All of the characters get together and express their essence with themes. The themes pick at the listener's previous experiences with the characters in act 2 and sum them up. One thing I like to do in the ending of a piece is to find a way to harmonize all of the characters and have the melodies play on top of each other without changing them so much that it strays too far from the theme (sometimes I just compose the themes in the first place to be counterpoint-compatible with each other). It really unites them and gives that "euphoric" effect if done well. I like to imagine the structure of a piece in two dimensions: horizontally being time and vertically being counterpoint (in a generic use of the term). The three acts are ordered horizontally. A majority of the time will (probably) be spent on act 2. Vertically is all the different parts that are happening at a given time in the piece. It would be more abstract then real counterpoint, because counterpoint has to do with melodies. The different parts can be anything, whether it serves a melodic purpose, a rhythmic purpose, a texture purpose, a harmonic purpose, etc.. When these parts are layered, the listener's ear should be guided to a certain level. The parts can be anywhere on the line from being in the background to being in the foreground. The foreground is what the listener pays attention to at any given time (leads, etc.). The background still influences the listener, but is not necessarily in the conscious attention of the listener. The foreground is where the action should take place (the characters interacting and the story being told). The background is where the setting is established. That would include emotion (guided by harmonic progressions), intensity or energy level (guided by rhythm), and general feel of the setting (texture, timbre, etc.). Now, background elements aren't necessarily characters. For example, harmony doesn't exist on it's own, it is just a property that comes from the relationship of different parts playing simultaneously. So you could create harmony with simple absolute bass notes and the setting would get the emotional feel. But you can also have motifs in the background elements. This gives the setting more personality. Not all motifs have to represent foreground characters. They can represent settings as well. On the other hand, characters themselves can give personality to a setting by going into the background. If you have several melodies playing, you can phase different ones in and out of focus. The ones that aren't in focus contribute to the setting. There are three small picture points. They have to do with the content that goes into the framework provided by the big picture points. They are harmony, balance, and simplicity. Harmony is simply keeping in mind the harmony that is going on at the moment. Pretty much a no-brainer, but I like to keep it in mind. Balance has two parts: unity and diversity. You can say something is balanced when it has unity and an interesting amount of diversity. Imagine a bare white plane. This is unity without diversity. Every part of it is the same: unity. Now if we add a little dot in one corner, we have something different. Now we have a little diversity but no unity. We don't have unity because something strange has interrupted the perfect white plane. To fix it, we have to add a counter to the little dot. Perhaps, on the opposite side. This cancels out the disruption in unity, and unity is restored. That's how you get both unity and diversity and thus balance. Balance can apply in many ways on many levels. Structurally there needs to be balance. You don't want too much or too little excitement near the start or the end of the piece because it will sound out of place. This happens in the details as well. Rhythm should feel even overall (unity) but with interesting things happening in the gaps (diversity). The last one is simplicity. Don't put anything in that doesn't adequately accomplish a meaningful task. It can also mean elegance. Try to do do things efficiently. Music theory really helps with this kind of thing. That way you don't scrape your brain out trying to find the sound that has the purpose you are looking for. All of the above is an intellectual framework that lacks actual creative content. I find that to get the actual content, you have to do the opposite: not think. Creativity seems to diminish when you try to intellectualize it but seems to come out when you let it speak for itself. It's as if it's a different person than your self and you have to be quiet and let it talk. Just think about when you dream. You are asleep and not thinking. Nothing makes sense, but it is extremely creative. I often wake up and write down my dreams so that I can possibly incorporate the dream content into some kind of project of mine. The project puts an orderly framework around the creative chaos. To get the creative juices flowing, I usually listen to lots of music. Especially music that I haven't heard before, and I really pay attention to it. This puts a lot of new ideas on your mind. But because it's new and you only heard it once, you can't remember the pieces as the were. So it's hard to remember it the right way but easy to remember the wrong way. Remembering it the wrong way gives you your own creative ideas that are the result of chaotically trying to synthesize the small chunks that your brain was able to catch. All you have to do at this point is listen to the noise in your head. If you can't hear anything, then try to recall something and try to get it flowing. Once you get it flowing, you can start jotting down ideas that come to you. Once your piece gets started, and structures start appearing, the creative process becomes even easier because you aren't totally building music out of silence. You are now building it off of real music. These are the main points that I like to think about when I am composing. Comments? Thanks if you read all of this. It's long, I know. Sorry. :P
  17. hi guys i want to compose my first string quartet to this date i only compose for piano which is my own instrument i need some advice or anything that could help thanks
  18. I have been to countless numbers of recitals, concerts, and performances. Though majority of them were very good musically, I have noticed is that there is no real consensus on what is acceptable and what is not acceptable when organizing a concert. This is especially true, it seems, for composers. As composers we deal with more performers, more equipment, and so many other things beyond just the music. So what are the do's and don'ts of putting on a concert? Here are some question that one might ask themselves when during the process of putting on a concert; Answer those you have an opinion on. Performers When is the latest you should be handing out music to performers? If you are paying your performers, when should you pay them? If your performers are volunteers, how do you thank them; gifts, dinner, a thank you note? If concert is several miles away in another town, state, or countries and you are paying your performers, should you include travel expenses in their payment or pay for their travel and possible hotel stay? If concert is several miles away in another town, state, or countries and you are NOT paying your performers, should you pay for their travel, possible hotel stay, and/or other expenses? If you were a part of a concert with multiple composers, after performer, should you performers acknowledge you or should you walk up on stage and bow along with your performers? Or should they just bow and leave the stage? Should you be responsible for any other extra equipment your performer needs, such as electronic equipment, stopwatches, tuning forks, things for prepared piano, or foot pedals for live electronics and ect., or is that a responsibility for you the composer? Equipment If you are responsible for recording, when do you go into the venue to set up your equipment? If you are not responsible for recording, when should you talk to the recording tech people? If their is a video element or a lighting element, when should you it out? If their are electronic components to your music, when should it be set up in the venue? Pre-Concert Should you have a stage crew, or should you do any back stage preparations and duties yourself? How soon should you have the dress rehearsal? If you have a large ensemble performer a work of yours, how often should you attend rehearsals? If a piece is not up to your standards the day of or the day before, should it be removed, replaced, or allowed on the program? Should you make a poster or flyer, and if so when do you post them up? What is the appropriate attire for you and your performers? And what is not acceptable to wear for you or your performers? Should you make programs, if so what are some basic information that should be in them? Should you make any pre-concert announcements or speeches? When should you let the audience into the space? During the Concert Who should cue to lower the house lights and cue performers to go on stage? Where should you as the composer be during the concert; in the audience or back stage? Who should monitor the audience coming in and out during the concert? If an audience member becomes distractive, who should be responsible for asking them to leave; you or a recital/stage crew? If someone is arriving late, when should you allow them into the venue? If your concert has a mix of pieces that are solos, and pieces for larger ensembles that require the stage to be set up, which pieces should be first? How much time should you allow for setting up the stage for a piece? If you know a piece take a long time to set up, should you make the set up time the intermission, a slight break, talk about the piece to the audience while it is being set up, or just allow the audience to watch the set up? When should you have an intermission? After the Concert During the final applause, do you take your bow from the stage or from the audience? Should you have a reception after the concert? If so what should be served at a reception, if not why? How long, as the composer, should you stay after the concert? Who is responsible for cleaning up the stage, the house of the venue, and the lobby of the venue? Should you give your performers a copy of the recording? How do you thank your performers? If you were not pleased with the performance, does any of the following questions change? Are there anything else one should think about?
  19. Greetings fellow composers! I would like to find out from you all if anyone here composes by hand. I have always written my compositions by hand and I think it is a far better way of composing for the following reasons: 1. Developing your inner ear and being able to hear the composition in your head 2. Far more freedom in what you can do e.g. Graphic notation, complex polyrhythms 3. It's cheaper 4.I find it quicker. None of the 120 something compositions I have written (I have been composing for almost four years now) were written entirely on Sibelius or Finale or whatever. This post i'm writing isn't saying that notation software is bad, cos I think that they can be great for making parts and scores, but I think that everyone would benefit from using the good old fashioned quill and parchment (or pencil and paper) from time to time.
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