111 Answered Questions for the topic songwriting
What is the best DAW to use for home recording?
DAW stands for Digital Audio Workspace. Popular DAWs include Logic Pro X, Pro Tools, FL Studio, and Ableton.
Have you heard music in your favorite movie?
Choose a movie of your liking. Explain to me where you hear music throughout the movie. Choose a particular scene. How does this music make the scene you are referring to more important, more... more
is there a name in music when the melody changes the chord name or function?
I notice in some chords the melody actually starts on a note that is not in the chord itself. For example, a song in C major, the song might start on the C chord but the melody on the D (9th). Is... more
Piano Concertos: Why is Brahms 2 considered more mature than Rachmaninoff 3?
**I'm not completely satisfied with the answers so far, so more answers please! There's a nice bounty to be had!** These two titanic concertos are two of the most difficult often played concertos... more
What exactly is the difference between C Ionian and D Dorian?
Both modes have the same notes. But why do they sound different. How to approach while composing a song in a particular mode as opposed to a key. Is it the harmony or the pivoting root? I read few... more
Parallel Fifth in a Symphony Orchestral?
when writing for an orchestra can we use parallel fifth (Power Chord)? for example in game of thrones symphony for some part of string or another song for brass section because it is so powerful... more
Does a cadence cover all "punctuation marks" in a musical phrase?
If we compare it to English, then a cadence acts like a period. But what about other punctuation marks like commas, exclamation marks, questions marks, etc. Are they also called cadences?
Ritardando, Rallentando, and Allargando?
Three common musical markings for gradual slowing down are ritardando, rallentando, and allargando. How do these differ from each other in interpretation and execution? For example, I was taught... more
What is the difference between harmony and consonance in music?
I am new to music theory and I was wondering what the difference is between harmony and consonance/dissonance. What are the reasons behind these terms and how can you apply it in practice if, for... more
What makes a Turkish March a Turkish March?
I can only find 2 pieces called Turkish March. There is the 5th movement of The Ruins of Athens by Beethoven. Then there is the infamous Rondo Alla Turka by Mozart. And when I search Turkish March... more
Is there a simple way to transpose a song from one key to another? What is the methodology?
What is a simple way to accomplish transposing a song from one key to another key? In other words if I am looking at a song written in the key of C and can't sing it in that key and I want to... more
In a TTTTBBBB arrangement, what do you call each group of singers?
I can assume the BBBB can be divided into Baritone I & II and Bass 1 & II, but what about tenors (assuming they’re all tenors and not countertenors)? Is there another name or does it go... more
Accompanying a RH melody (improv/comp)?
Are there any interesting rhythms/patterns for accompanying the melody (because I can play those by ear), such as breaking chords or etc. For doing piano covers of pop music, I am able to play the... more
Is a chromatic mediant considered a modulation?
Say I go from a C major chord to an E major chord. I understand that this is a chromatic mediant. Does this change my key from C to E though? said differently, does non-functional harmony change... more
What are the methods used while writing pop music that make it so recognizably pop?
I used to think that it's the four chord structure. But in reality many genres have four chord songs (e.g. Rock and Country) and pop isn't always limited to four chords (e.g. 2U). I used to think... more
Why aren't songs with 11 beats 13 beats, common?
I wonder why haven't I heard songs that have 13 beats or 11 beats (or may be 17 beats or other complex number) per measure. Are there any songs like that and why don't people and music directors... more
Is writing important for electronic composition?
I am an electronic producer, and I was wondering if electronic music producers even write down their music on scores? Is that important enough to do for this category of music genres? Or should I... more
Layering multiple instruments?
I am very new to the song writing process. In a section like the chorus, how do you get the layering of many instrument to get that full and rich impression? For my first composition, I just had... more
What are some effective ways to use a key change during a song?
In my own songwriting, I might change keys to reinforce a change in the direction of the lyrics. For example if the first two verses are first person but the last verse is 3rd person, I might... more
Shostakovich uses his monogram in his symphony no.10.... DSCH. This equates to the notes D Eflat C and Bnatural. The H I understand as Bach used B natural to spell his name, but how does S turn in... more
Audiation, Mental hearing, Composing/Reading scores without sound reference?
Many composers in the past (as well as the present) were known to do that. So, are there any ways in order to achieve this? Any exercises and so on?
Expanding chord progression repertoire when composing?
I'm working on writing some sad sounding songs. Every time I'm jamming by myself on the guitar, I can play a few chords and sing or whistle what the leads could be. Leads come to me easily, and I... more
Compose with pencil and paper?
I see many composers argue that one of the best ways to compose is with pencil and paper, without using an instrument. What is the process for composing this way? Does one have to imagine a fairly... more
How can you get a Country and Western sound with just a guitar and vocal?
A glimmer of a song idea I have feels like it might fit a C&W style. But I have no idea how that would be achieved and I'm not really a big C&W fan. Is it a musical thing with the... more