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

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

How should I write a SATB piece in Musescore with respect to its voice soundfont?

I'm currently writing a vocal piece for a high school SATB chorus in Musescore. Throughout the composition process, I've been using the Musescore playback, **which presents all voice syllables in a... more

Do classical pieces sound different today than the originals due to temperament?

I was reading how classical music used to not be in equal temperament. So each of their keys sounded completely different and that's why they named their pieces after the keys they were playing.... more

Natural vs tempered semi-tones?

I am reading "Fundamentals of Musical Composition" by Arnold Schoenberg. Chapter XI, page 99, states: > Chromaticism is difficult partly because the natural semi-tones differ in size from the... more

Over/under pitch note?

I know there is a quarter tone notation, but is there a symbol for music score that will simply say over/under pitch? I think quarter tone notation might be too strict/rigid in music arrangement... more

If A minor doesn't have any accidentals, is it still minor?

As part of a music course, we have to compose a 3 minute long piece based on a river's journey. Having finished the composition, we now have to write a set of sleeve notes - basically an analysis... more

Do piano composers often start out with C major?

I'm wondering if composers write their pieces starting with C major since it's just the white keys, and then later transpose the finished song to the key of their choice? Or will starting with the... more

How do you compose using the chromatic scale?

Writting a piece of music using the chromatic scale would be interesting, but I can't think of a way to start it? What kind of structure would a piece have? Is it all subjective and up to the... more

Are chord progressions used in classical music?

Apart from Pachelbel's Canon which uses (I V vi iii IV I IV V) I didn't see any other classical music that uses chord progressions (?) Think Bach, Beethoven, Mozart kind of classical. Would it be... more

How to tell the time signature of a song by listening?

Every song has some kind of time signature; even if different parts of the song have different time signatures, there is always a time signature. When learning a song by ear and no score, knowing... more

Why did composers write atonally?

Can anyone tell me the best justifications for writing atonally by the composers who did so? Did anyone, including Schoenberg, explain what "freeing the dissonance" means? Does it imply that he... more

Techniques for memorizing a musical idea and "saving it to paper"?

Sometimes I have a very nice musical idea, with orchestration too, and I clearly hear it in my mind as if I was listening to a CD.But I cannot retain it. The only way is to play it over and over in... more

What components make military music especially rousing?

If someone were going to compose a piece of military music to especially rousing, what components would they be looking to emphasize? Like is there a certain key or time that military music is... more

Statistics about the frequency of different type of intervals?

Do you know if any statistics about the frequency of different type of intervals in music (of a certain period or by a specific composer) exist? For instance, suppose you have this piece of music... more

Resources for "popular" counterpoint?

Basic "About Me:" I was a music and actuarial science double major, dropped the music major, and am now working as an actuarial educator full-time. I'd like to get back to composing. The biggest... more

Ending a song with a dominant chord?

As far as i know, almost all songs end in the tonic chord, because this is the most "stable" condition. On the other hand, a dominant chord at the end of a progression (or song) sounds... more

How to select a key-signature for a song?

There are so many songs in pretty odd key-signatures like 4,5,6 sharps or flats. At least this is my impression when I listen to songs on the radio/net while trying to follow them on my... more

When we play the C mixolydian mode, are we still in the key of C?

Whenever we discuss the key of a piece, we usually describe it as either a major or minor key. And then, based on the intervals of the major or minor scale and the root note we define, we can... more

To get to jazz do I just add a seventh?

I've been up until now just practicing triads on all major/minor keys. If I wanted to play jazz do I just add sevenths (ie dominant7, major7, minor7) to chords in my chord progressions or is it... more

Influences of Mozart?

[Wikipedia article](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfgang_Amadeus_Mozart#Influence) only mentions [Hummel](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Nepomuk_Hummel) from Mozart's childhood but gives no... more

Speed of playing notes in different octaves?

Is it common for pieces to have lower notes played slower? Do instruments with lower registers typically play slower? I ask because notes in lower octaves are closer together in frequency. For... more

How much are composers aware of the harmony structure they are using?

I am mostly referring to composers writing complex music, for example, classic composers. In particular, I am referring to change of harmony, and change of key. Let's take for example a fugue for... more

Examples of acoustic instruments producing sounds very close to pure square, triangle or sawtooth waves?

I've been able to find plenty of info about acoustic instruments that create sounds close to sine-waves, and I understand that sounds approximating square, triangle and sawtooth waves are produced... more

Understanding Time Signature: How do I identify the time signature of a song?

I have played music for years and I still don't understand what a time signature actually signifies. I understand it from a superficial sense. If given sheet music I could tell you what time... more
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