87 Answered Questions for the topic songwriting


Method to develop a key change?

I know this question may seem broad, but I am a very mathematical person, I've never had much "ear" for these things. I have a slow tempo song, about 90bpm with a VI - I - IV chord progression for... more


How best to coordinate parts spacing when composing by hand?

Forgive my enactment, but it seems like the easiest way to explain: Let's say, hypothetically, it's a piano piece. I'm on a train, composing on paper, no piano in sight. I have a strong idea for a... more


Audiation: dealing with key changes when you hear in terms of solfege?

So, I'm a musician who believes very much in the value of audiation: that is, not only hearing pitches in my head, but also hearing them in terms of both the current harmony and the current tonal... more


How do I find suitable chords for a melody or a song? Or How do I come up with chord progression?

I have spent some time reading a book that taught me different types of chords and different scales and I understand them very well. But the book didn't really expand on how to actually use these... more


Is it acceptable to change tempo in the middle of a song or is this a bad idea?

I wrote a song that could be classified as Pop or Country that starts out at a medium slow tempo in the first two verses and bridge. Then there is a section after the bridge that can best be... more


Can someone explain the rhythm of a Mazurka?

While perusing some Chopin and Liszt sheets, I tried to play a Mazurka or two. But, I simply don't understand how the rhythm works. It feels awkward and unbalanced when I try and I just don't *get... more


Will there come a day when there is no more available music to write?

For music, there is 12 notes, so I suppose one day every combination of notes will be used, and so there will be one day with no more music to create, because they will be all already created, am I... more


What is so special about the devil's interval?

I'm interested in learning more of the Devil's interval, how it originated, some of its uses and what exactly about the interval of a diminished fifth makes it sound ominous?


Optimal harmonic audiation techniques?

I am trying to learn to audiate harmonies in order to be able to compose without instruments. I can already audiate melodies, but harmony is a real beast. (*Edit: To be clear, I can recognize... more


B5 power chord in A minor?

I'm trying to write a rock/punk song in the key of A minor and the chorus goes: B5, C5, G5, F5. The B chord in A minor is B diminished, does that mean I have to use the diminished chord or can I... more


Composing a song in Cm with major chord substitutes?

I am composing a song in Cm with a very basic chord progression of I-IV-I. So, normally, in Cm, that would be Cm7-Fm7-Cm7, but I am actually playing Cm7-F7-Cm7. First of all, why does this work?... more


How are the 4 French Horn parts in an orchestral piece paired/arranged range-wise?

I am composing a piece for full orchestra and want to make sure that my parts are conventional. I know that there are typically four horn parts, but are 1 and 2 high parts, 1 and 3, or something else? more


How do I get out of my song writing rut and compose something new and fresh for a change?

I have been writing melodies for my original lyrics since 2008 and have written quite a few songs in that time. But the more songs I write, the more difficult it becomes to write melodies that... more


Which chromatic passing tone to use?

I'm wondering if there's certain chromatic passing tones that are used more than others. Especially in classical or pop improvisation/composition. For example in the key of C, each of the five... more


How do I write an original melody?

I'm trying to write a song, and I keep thinking of a melody, but they have all been taken. How do I find a melody that hasn't been taken?


What is the range for the flute for a high school band?

I'm writing a song for a high school band, but I'm unsure of the range for flute players. I know flute players play really high, but I'm not sure where the limit is (both high and low). What range... more


How to determine which (slash) chord to use?

I usually notice the patterns of making chord progressions with defining its root notes. These root notes actually the main notes that I will sing in and from there I can decide to use which chords... more


A total newbie wants to learn how to write songs. What does he need?

I am recently being interested in writing my own songs/my own music. However, I'm a newbie when it comes to music. I am not really musically talented nor inclined. I only know basic guitar chords... more


How do I compose idiomatically for brass instruments?

I'm thinking of composing pieces for small ensembles with varied instrumentation. Typically I compose on a keyboard. How do I determine if the musician can easily play on brass instruments such as... more


How can you tell the chords of a piece of music if you can only hear bass and melody?

How can you tell the chords of a piece of music if you can only hear bass and melody? There are a lot of possibility that it can be more than a single chord..Also, would be better like this.. To... 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... more


How to notate a time signature that alternates every few measures?

I was playing an original song in 4/4 but noticed if I instead played the first 3 bars as 3/4 and kept the last 4 chords one per beat in a bar of 4/4, it seemed more interesting. How would this... more


What key to use for a certain meaning or theme in the song?

I know this might be considered a very vague question, but I don't know where else to go. I've started songwriting recently and I'm still a beginner. I was wondering, what key(s) should I write my... more


The Chords in this progression sound great but don't belong together - so why do they work?

I am a songwriter and compose my own music to go with my lyrics. Most of my chord progressions follow common patterns like using a I V IV or I IV V with an occasional ii or iii or vi chord thrown... more


How do I go about selling my musical composition?

I've been studying music on and off for several years now and I've finally composed a pop music like piece. It has no lyrics yet as I don't know how to integrate in the words yet. How do I seek... more

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