Harmony Central Forums
Announcement
Collapse
No announcement yet.

The Composition Thread

Collapse



X
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Originally posted by Smokin-Man
    To those of you who compose music for film/video, what programs do you use to watch/sync video etc and record to?
    (hope this question makes sense)
    I use Logic and just open up a Quicktime movie as a floating window. Couldn't be easier.

    You can also spit the QT movie out to another monitor via firewire. It's dead simple to do; you just need the right box.

    Comment


    • It's been a while, and I haven't been thinking about composition much... but I just had a thought recently.

      I was thinking about cool chord combinations - or more accurately, cool chord successions. What do I mean? Quite simply - two or three chords that sound cool when played one after the other. Some examples:

      Cmaj -> Bbmaj -> Fmaj
      (repeat).

      Cmaj -> Gmin

      Cmaj -> Ebmaj

      Cmaj7 -> Cmin7

      Cmaj -> Abmaj

      I've started all these on Cmaj so they all have a common base reference. It's not the notes or keys themselves that are important. What's important is the relationship between the chords. As far as I'm concerned, Cmaj -> Abmaj is the same as F#maj -> Dmaj. Obviously, I don't have perfect pitch.

      Another note before I continue - I'll be talking about chord combinations that I consider to be "cool". It's totally personal taste. I don't know if anyone else gets the same kick out of hearing those sequences.

      Anyway, I looked at two-chord sequences, and discovered that a difference of a tritone (A.K.A. augmented fourth, diminished fifth) often plays an important role.

      For example, Cmaj -> F#maj is a cool sequence. but let's not stop there. I also found that the tritone doesn't have to be across the same degree of the chord. What do I mean? Well, I'll go through some examples:

      We start with Cmaj (our universal point of reference). The first degree is C, the third degree is E, and the fifth degree is G.

      So let's start with the first degree - C. A triton from C is F#. Now, in the first example I used F# as the tonic, or first degree for the subsequent chord F#maj. What if we use the F# for the third degree? We have Dmaj (cool) and Ebmin (not so cool). What if we use the F# as the fifth degree of the next chord? We have Bmaj (not so cool) and Bmin (not so cool). If we write it out in a table, we get this:

      (tritone of first degree C is F#)
      Cmaj->F#maj (cool)
      Cmaj->F#min (cool)
      Cmaj->Dmaj (cool)
      Cmaj->Ebmin (not so cool)
      Cmaj->Bmaj (not so cool)
      Cmaj->Bmin (not so cool)

      hmm...

      Taking the same approach with the other degrees of Cmaj, we get:

      (tritone of third degree E is Bb)
      Cmaj -> Bbmaj (cool)
      Cmaj -> Bbmin (not so cool)
      Cmaj -> Gmin (cool
      Cmaj -> F#maj (cool)
      Cmaj -> Ebmaj (cool)
      Cmaj -> Ebmin (not so cool)

      (tritone of fifth degree G is C#)
      Cmaj -> F#maj (cool)
      Cmaj -> F#min (cool)
      Cmaj -> Amaj (cool)
      Cmaj -> Bbmin (interesting)
      Cmaj -> C#min (not so cool)
      Cmaj -> C#maj (not so cool)


      Interesting.

      Notice also that so far I've only used a major chord as my starting point. If we take a minor chord as a starting point instead, there are two effects:

      The first effect is that we get a different set of chord sequences for the tritone of the third degree:

      (tritone of third degree Eb is A)
      Cmin->Dmaj (cool)
      Cmin->Dmin (not so cool)
      Cmin->Fmaj (cool)
      Cmin->F#minj (cool)
      Cmin->Amaj (cool)
      Cmin->Amin (not so cool)

      The second effect is that it may changes the "coolness" factor of some of the other chord changes.

      I'm tired. That's all for tonight.

      Forever,




      Kim.
      The Composition Thread is sticky!
      There is no heavier burden than a great potential.- Unknown source

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Jeez

        I was thinking about cool chord combinations - or more accurately, cool chord successions. What do I mean? Quite simply - two or three chords that sound cool when played one after the other.


        Havent experimented with the stuff you detailed yet, but thought I'd mention these are commonly termed 'chord progressions'. Or is this something different?

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Neole


          Havent experimented with the stuff you detailed yet, but thought I'd mention these are commonly termed 'chord progressions'. Or is this something different?


          Possibly.

          I think of chord progressions as sequences of more than two or three chords (four, five, six, etc). The two-chord sequences in the previous post could be part of a chord progression.

          Forever,




          Kim.
          The Composition Thread is sticky!
          There is no heavier burden than a great potential.- Unknown source

          Comment


          • (in response to the question "Compositions Are Strong But The Samples Are Not The Very Best: How Forgiving Are You?", as posted by glasskangaroo)

            Music composed with unrealistic sounds is not a problem.

            Music composed with unrealistic sounds, that tries to create an illusion of realism can be a problem. However, the problem is not caused by any distraction, or anything like that.

            The problem is caused because the music was composed for certain instruments, but is being played back by different instruments (in this case, a rompler). This is a problem because the music does not sound as the composer intended.

            It's similar to a live band doing a cover, or someone arranging a piano score for an orchestra. It sounds different. Sometimes it sounds better, or worse. Always it is not what the composer originally intended, and thus the music is being misrepresented.

            My personal advice:

            If you're really into acoustic instruments, compose for them. Use the rompler to record demos to give to musicians who may be interested in performing your work. Don't give the rompler demos to your audiences - let them experience a performance of human musicians playing acoustic instruments (live or recorded).

            If you're not really into acoustic instruments, use the rompler as an instrument. Twist and distort the sounds. Compose parts that a human performer cannot play. Romplers are great for twisting sounds so they only just remain recognisable and familiar.

            Forever,




            Kim.
            The Composition Thread is sticky!
            There is no heavier burden than a great potential.- Unknown source

            Comment


            • Just to add to the above: if you like to record acoustic instruments and mangle samples of acoustic instruments and/or use electronic sounds within the same piece of music, go ahead. I recorded a duet for acoustic flute and mellotron flute, for example. Kraftwerk's "Autobahn" is a great example of an acoustic instrument (flute) integrated into an electronic composition.
              "Music is the best"
              --Frank Zappa

              For a good time, try http://analogkid.us/yabb/YaBB.pl

              Comment


              • As I am composing my first song I made in Storm 2, I have stucked by the dilemma of how long should write it. I am sure there are some restrictions and rules by the broadcasting companies for the pop music, but I have started with Chillout style. Now the song is already 4:20 and my friends says I should compose it up to 8 mins. This is not of course impossible, I just have to write (fill in) and (fill out) part and also (main part 2) where I am planning to add organ solo to fill the music. My question is, how long should comosition be? As I understand, dance/pop music can be short, around 3 mins (they can't dance too long, right?). What about Electronica, Chillout, Clubmusic styles? Any opinions?
                Audigy 4 Pro, BIAB 2007, Cameleon 5000, EZ-250i, JAMMER Pro 6, Juno-D, MAGIX music maker 11, MAGIX music studio 2005, PowerTracks 11, Rhino 2, RT-223;
                http://www.soundclick.com/bands/song...songID=4816736

                Comment


                • Length should solely be determined by your own instinct for whatever the ideal length should be based on your own personal aesthetics. Don't "fill in" anything. Instead, write music that demands length. Quality is all. If the song is fantastic it doesn't matter if it's technically too long or short. If you build it, and it's great, they will come.
                  "Music is the best"
                  --Frank Zappa

                  For a good time, try http://analogkid.us/yabb/YaBB.pl

                  Comment


                  • There is usually a trade-off between piece length, musical material, and interest level.

                    For example:

                    If you want to increase the length of a piece whilst maintaining the same interest level, you need to add more musical material.

                    If you want to raise the interest level without adding more musical material, shorten the piece.

                    If you make the piece longer without adding more musical material, the interest level drops.


                    Some things to think about.


                    Forever,




                    Kim.
                    The Composition Thread is sticky!
                    There is no heavier burden than a great potential.- Unknown source

                    Comment


                    • Birdie and Kim.
                      Thanks for the helpful reply!

                      I will keep your hints in eye while processing ahead. Actually I feel this thread most useful on th HC KSS forum at the moment.

                      God bless you!
                      TT
                      Audigy 4 Pro, BIAB 2007, Cameleon 5000, EZ-250i, JAMMER Pro 6, Juno-D, MAGIX music maker 11, MAGIX music studio 2005, PowerTracks 11, Rhino 2, RT-223;
                      http://www.soundclick.com/bands/song...songID=4816736

                      Comment


                      • Dear posters in this marvellous thread - I hope it's not a terrible lot to ask from you, but you could you delete a few of your "bumps" or "fantastic/great idea" posts without further text to shrink the number of pages? (well, if it does actually shrink a number of pages). I can't do it myself, you don't have to do it if you don't want to, but it'll make it a bit more convenient for people browsing the thread .

                        Thanks so much in advance .
                        "Part of an instrument is what it can do, and part of it is what you do to it" - Suzanne Ciani, 197x.
                        Synthesizer Programming Megathread - add your tips & tricks or ask how to recreate sounds!

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Jeez
                          Ladies and Gentlemen! Step right this way - Tonight I present to all our loyal readers - The Composition Thread!


                          yessss- it's back in super sticky form. we loves it! now when do we get to shamelessy promote our compositions?

                          /johnny
                          boy eats drum machine (.com)

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Jeez
                            It's been a while, and I haven't been thinking about composition much... but I just had a thought recently.

                            I was thinking about cool chord combinations - or more accurately, cool chord successions. What do I mean? Quite simply - two or three chords that sound cool when played one after the other. Some examples:

                            Cmaj -> Bbmaj -> Fmaj
                            (repeat).

                            Cmaj -> Gmin

                            Cmaj -> Ebmaj

                            Cmaj7 -> Cmin7

                            Cmaj -> Abmaj

                            I've started all these on Cmaj so they all have a common base reference. It's not the notes or keys themselves that are important. What's important is the relationship between the chords. As far as I'm concerned, Cmaj -> Abmaj is the same as F#maj -> Dmaj. Obviously, I don't have perfect pitch.

                            Another note before I continue - I'll be talking about chord combinations that I consider to be "cool". It's totally personal taste. I don't know if anyone else gets the same kick out of hearing those sequences.

                            Anyway, I looked at two-chord sequences, and discovered that a difference of a tritone (A.K.A. augmented fourth, diminished fifth) often plays an important role.

                            For example, Cmaj -> F#maj is a cool sequence. but let's not stop there. I also found that the tritone doesn't have to be across the same degree of the chord. What do I mean? Well, I'll go through some examples:

                            We start with Cmaj (our universal point of reference). The first degree is C, the third degree is E, and the fifth degree is G.

                            So let's start with the first degree - C. A triton from C is F#. Now, in the first example I used F# as the tonic, or first degree for the subsequent chord F#maj. What if we use the F# for the third degree? We have Dmaj (cool) and Ebmin (not so cool). What if we use the F# as the fifth degree of the next chord? We have Bmaj (not so cool) and Bmin (not so cool). If we write it out in a table, we get this:

                            (tritone of first degree C is F#)
                            Cmaj->F#maj (cool)
                            Cmaj->F#min (cool)
                            Cmaj->Dmaj (cool)
                            Cmaj->Ebmin (not so cool)
                            Cmaj->Bmaj (not so cool)
                            Cmaj->Bmin (not so cool)

                            hmm...

                            Taking the same approach with the other degrees of Cmaj, we get:

                            (tritone of third degree E is Bb)
                            Cmaj -> Bbmaj (cool)
                            Cmaj -> Bbmin (not so cool)
                            Cmaj -> Gmin (cool
                            Cmaj -> F#maj (cool)
                            Cmaj -> Ebmaj (cool)
                            Cmaj -> Ebmin (not so cool)

                            (tritone of fifth degree G is C#)
                            Cmaj -> F#maj (cool)
                            Cmaj -> F#min (cool)
                            Cmaj -> Amaj (cool)
                            Cmaj -> Bbmin (interesting)
                            Cmaj -> C#min (not so cool)
                            Cmaj -> C#maj (not so cool)


                            Interesting.

                            Notice also that so far I've only used a major chord as my starting point. If we take a minor chord as a starting point instead, there are two effects:

                            The first effect is that we get a different set of chord sequences for the tritone of the third degree:

                            (tritone of third degree Eb is A)
                            Cmin->Dmaj (cool)
                            Cmin->Dmin (not so cool)
                            Cmin->Fmaj (cool)
                            Cmin->F#minj (cool)
                            Cmin->Amaj (cool)
                            Cmin->Amin (not so cool)

                            The second effect is that it may changes the "coolness" factor of some of the other chord changes.

                            I'm tired. That's all for tonight.

                            Forever,




                            Kim.


                            Interesting that you like Cmin to Dmaj, but on the tritone of the third degree table you got Cmaj to Bbmin as 'not so cool' (=Dmaj to Cmin for those of us without perfect pitch). Then in the next table you've got Cmaj to Bbmin as 'interesting'. How much were you separating the changes or is there an effect carried over from the previously played sequence which then provide a context that your analysis ignores?. Try changing keys. Does it make a difference? i.e. does the way a piano/keyboard is stretch-tuned affect things? How does Cmaj to Dmaj compare to F#maj to Abmaj where the tuning might significantly affect the actual interval relationships? Does the inversion matter?
                            Just curious.
                            Peter

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by WRGS
                              what about music of the likes of Iannis Xenakis'. Some of his compositions are studies in the most atonal sounding stuff unless you either have a natural disposition to that music or you deeply study it to understand.


                              When I first wandered into university (c.1988) the suggestion was that people didn't know how to listen. That they used less than ten percent of their hearing capacity or something. But the approach was something along the lines of the ideas expressed here about isolation (sorry if I'm skewering what you mean but it'll serve for my purposes) - rather than gradually developing students hearing so that they had the capacity to hear what is going on in Stockhausen or Birtwistle, we were just thrown in the deep end. I've since found my way into moving 'outside' in jazz solos only by developing my hearing. You can't just reproduce licks learnt on paper or through theory. I think you have to be able to hear what you want to play, and it doesn't matter whether you're improvising or playing something that has been composed by someone else. You have to be able to really hear it. The reason for the present state of pop music then maybe has to do with our listening habits, like music being on all the time in the background so that we are in habit in fact of having this 'white noise' going on all the time which affects our habits of perception and attention. Most people have great difficulty listening to anything - I mean paying attention - for any length of time. Maybe because music is everywhere we don't know how to listen in the way that people did when the performance of (composed) music was say once a month. So it was more valuable. Music generally has a totally different role in today's society and it has more in common with comfort food that anything.
                              Just my thoughts.
                              Peter

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by niacin


                                Interesting that you like Cmin to Dmaj, but on the tritone of the third degree table you got Cmaj to Bbmin as 'not so cool' (=Dmaj to Cmin for those of us without perfect pitch). Then in the next table you've got Cmaj to Bbmin as 'interesting'. How much were you separating the changes or is there an effect carried over from the previously played sequence which then provide a context that your analysis ignores?. Try changing keys. Does it make a difference? i.e. does the way a piano/keyboard is stretch-tuned affect things? How does Cmaj to Dmaj compare to F#maj to Abmaj where the tuning might significantly affect the actual interval relationships? Does the inversion matter?
                                Just curious.
                                Peter


                                Wow. Lots of questions there. Good to know someone reads this stuff.

                                You're right - there are some inconsistencies there. There are probably two reasons for that:

                                1) I was partly making it up as a went. In other words, it wasn't greatly thought through before I posted. I was trying out combinations as I was typing them.
                                2) I was pretty tired. That might explain why the same chords sounded different and I didn't notice.

                                You're probably right - the sound of the chord pair was probably influenced by the sound of the previous chords.

                                However, I'm not so sure about the idea of the chords sounding different depending on the key. I don't have perfect pitch, and I generally don't notice a difference between different keys (apart from any obvious frequency changes - especially in the bass). Interesting point about stretch tuning, and again - I don't think I'd notice enough difference to bother taking it into account.

                                On the other hand, I think inversion WILL make a difference. Maybe not so much in the "interestingness" of the chords, but in the voicing and "melody" of the chords. Definitely an issue when it comes to actually using the material in music.

                                Forever,




                                Kim.
                                The Composition Thread is sticky!
                                There is no heavier burden than a great potential.- Unknown source

                                Comment













                                Working...
                                X