169 Answered Questions for the topic Composition (Music)

Can someone explain the theory behind the changes in Superstition by Stevie Wonder?

I'm learning Stevie Wonder's Superstition on guitar (an awesome song) and I'm really curious about the theory behind the changes in the chorus. The intro and verse are just a riff in E minor... more

Tips on counting and playing odd time signatures?

I'm pretty interested in learning, composing and playing along to songs using odd time signatures (3/4, 5/4, 7/8, ...) and I'd like some advice on how to wrap my head around all this stuff. For... more

What is the earliest known use or indication of "col legno"?

_col_ **legno** or _col_ **legno** _battuto_ meaning : strike (the string) with the **wood** (of the bow) is commonly found in 20th century chamber music. But I have heard it might have been used... more

Is there a term for this compositional technique?

There are many examples of a particular compositional technique, so I was wondering if it had a name. The example closest to me right now is Beethoven piano sonatina in F, 2nd movement (Anhang 5),... more

Which advanced chords can I use for a song composition in scale of G?

I am making a song composition in a scale of G. I have already used major chords **G, C and D** and in some places I have used **Am, Em and Bm**. I would like to make this composition richer with... more

Can I have two different instruments play the same melody at the same octave?

I am writing an orchestral track and so far I have written the melody of strings (violins and such) and I want to add trumpets and here are 3 things I consider.1) Have the trumpets play the same... more

How can I create loopable bounces for video games?

I'm writing the music for a video game. Much of the music is going to be looped indefinitely. How can I arrange my music and bounce audio files that can be looped effectively?A naïve technique is... more

Tips on counting and playing odd time signatures?

I'm pretty interested in learning, composing and playing along to songs using odd time signatures (3/4, 5/4, 7/8, ...) and I'd like some advice on how to wrap my head around all this stuff.For... more

Why use the key of C#?

I was reading about Brahms, and it was mentioned that he had composed a piece in C# Major. AFAIK, we generally don't use C# Major in jazz or rock music because the key signature has 7 sharps, so... more

How do I know what key to write in?

I've recently become obsessed with **Les Miserables** and **Miss Saigon**. The music has inspired me tenfold to compose, write similar music.I've posted on here before on how to compose, and I'm... more

What does an arranger do?

When you see the "arranged by" attribution on a score, what did the arranger (typically) do?

How to choose a key signature for a song that modulates often?

In jazz, let's say, how would one choose a key signature for writing a lead sheet for a song where keys change every few measures or faster? Is writing the key changes explicitly going to be... more

Piano - what is 'Improvisation'?

I'd like to ask what defines improvisation. I know that it revolves around playing without a score, but is the absence of a score the sole condition for improvisation? If I come up with a piano... more

What do I need to notate as I play?

I hope this isn’t a silly enquiry. My daughter improvises on our piano, classical style, and I would like to know if there’s a means to notate on computer as she plays. We bought Sibelius software... more

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... more

Most important musical concepts for writing songs on acoustic guitar?

I want to be able to write catchy/"cool sounding" guitar parts for songs. I am currently studying music theory extensively. I am just wondering, are there any guitar-specific musical concepts that... more

Fundamental and In-Depth Music Theory for an Absolute Beginner?

I know nothing about music theory, but I have been playing the guitar for over 5 years and have been only working with tabs. I want to learn music theory **from scratch, fundamentally and... more

Are doubly augmented and doubly diminished intervals practical?

In music theory when naming intervals, a lowered diminished interval is a doubly diminished interval (dd) and a raised augmented interval is a doubly augmented interval (AA). One example is a... more

Tonal harmony: 18th century counterpoint vs. Accessible contemporary harmony and composition?

I have a fair amount of knowledge when it comes to "rules" regarding music of the bygone days of the traditional prelude & fugue, the motet, and four voice harmony of the Baroque era.... more

How do I begin finally making music on the piano?

It's been almost 4 years since I had too much time on my hands while living in student dorms so I decided to learn to play the piano. I always loved listening to classical and suddenly listening... more

What is a parallel mode?

What is a parallel mode? How are the parallel modes used in composition and/or improvisation?

Elements of a horror musical song?

When composing horror music for musical drama in general, what does one need to consider as in harmony, melody and rhythm, etc.? For harmony, I am especially interested in what chords are normally... more

How to start making musique concrète?

This is probably one of the more obscure music styles, and some of you may not even consider it as a style of music. Music or not music, it is a form of art that I am interested in making. I am a... more

Why do some arrangements of notes make a good melody and some don't?

A note by itself is not always particularly pleasant to hear. Why do some specific combinations of notes make a good, pleasant melody? Why are some people good at coming up with such pleasing... more

Harmony or Melody First in Composition?

I'm wondering if when composing one would start with an idea for harmony such as a chord progression, or does one start on the melody side maybe developing a melodic motif. What comes first, or... more
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