126 Answered Questions for the topic songwriting


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


Significance of pop songs with progressions that alternate one chord with one that's three semitones below it?

I've noticed a couple of pop songs that use one chord progression that alternates between swapping one chord (either fifth or fourth) with one that's three semitones below it (to third or... more
Songwriting Composition Cadence


What types of cadences work well in natural minor mode?

I am currently interested in writing a piece in the natural minor mode, and it seems like "v - i" cadence does not quite work as well as compared to the harmonic / melodic minor modes, which use "V... more
Songwriting Composition


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


Books on composition as insightful as Goeschius?

I've been a magpie for books on composition/orchestration, and it seems to me that the books written by Percy Goeschius are the best, most insightful and well-written that I've come across. Hia... more
Songwriting Composition Dynamics


Dynamic markings and relative sound levels of instuments?

In an orchestra, various instruments have different "perceived output volume" capabilities and these change across registers. For example, flutes get louder in their higher register, bassoons are... more


Orchestral Composition Process?

I'm helping my daughter research the composition process for composing for an orchestra. What we are trying to find out is about the process of composing for the multiple instruments in the... more
Songwriting Composition Intervals


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
Songwriting Composition Fugue


How to Write A Fugue?

I am having trouble composing a fugue. I would like someone competent in fugue writing or knowledgable about fugues to suggest resources I can consult to improve for the particular problems I am... more
Songwriting Composition Chords Key


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

Is it possible to describe how referees in composition competitions (typically) work?

Would it be possible that someone having a working knowledge in these matters (ideally, someone who has much experience being a referee in composition competitions) to give an overview, to a person... more
Songwriting Composition


Where Xenakis used intersection?

I understood intersection in Xenakis sieve theory, as he explained himself [here](https://monoskop.org/images/7/74/Xenakis_Iannis_Formalized_Music_Thought_and_Mathematics_in_Composition.pdf). But... more


How to write in counterpoint for a sonata?

So yeah, just as it sounds like, I will be composing a sonata. It will be in the style of Beethoven. The first movement will be slow and quiet mostly. Of course I will be using dissonance such as a... more
Songwriting Composition Harmony


Help with multiple voice harmonization?

I recently started composing using software, before that I only used guitar and memory, so this opened up lots of new possibilities with voices, intervals, ranges, etc. I started composing a... 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


are there piano pieces where the hands play in different keys?

Do you know music for piano where the two hands don't have to play in the same key?


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?


Why do EDM musicians often create an intro that is 15/30/45/60/120 seconds long?

Not all tracks have intros, and usually those are extended mixes that have them (sometimes can be original mixes and remixes). However, I notice that often their intros are 15/30/45/60/120 seconds... more


Countersubject strategy, is my strategy a good one?

Introduction So, I have always been kind of on and off about writing fugues. Bach keeps encouraging me to write a fugue and when I am in fugue mode, Bach is all I listen to. After all, who better... more


Is 2 measures sufficient for a fugue subject?

I know what a fugue is. I also have been reading up on the form of the fugue and how to write in counterpoint. I wrote a canon and I have written a sonatina using sonata form. So theoretically a... more

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