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Writing Music?

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How many of you are skilled or have much experience in writing your own musical pieces?

Can you share your experiences/composing methodologies?

I’m currently taking a music theory class, and have been learning about such matters, and am highly interested in what other alternative music composition rules exist aside from the classical.

 
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I make my own music with a completely different mindset. I don’t think anyone can be skilled at writing music. Music is subjective, after all. No composition is better than another composition.

 
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look a lot at the chords. theres a lot of common progressions that help, I, IV, V is a very notable progression for example. i try to use chromatics in the bass line when i can, i just find that sounds good. also cadences are important. generally will end with some kind of authentic cadence (V-I). and for in transitions, half cadences are good (generally I-V). you can also do a lot of cool things with a deceptive cadence (V-vi). also look at leading tones, and make sure they lead back to tonic. basically what you should do is start with a key. lets say u choose a minor, and easy key to work with. generally it’ll be harmonic minor, so share the g’s. and look at some chords that’d fit good. fourth and fifths are good like i said, so d minor and e major are good. idk if you learned about secondary dominance yet. to simplify, its a mini key change, generally in the key of the fifth. for example, V/V is used a lot, fifth of fifth. fifth of a minor is e major. fifth of e major is b major. i like to us those a lot, especially in a bridge section. then it’ll probably resolve to the fifth again. I’d suggest doing chords first, then build a melody (some people would say otherwise). I like to have ideas like this in my head, BUT like edeslash said, music is subjective. i like to just play around and find things that sound good. then analyze it theory-wise, which helps to improve parts.

Ps. This kind of turned into ramble…. so i’ll clarify things if you need me to

 
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I write a lot of electronic music and I’ve done quite a few metal projects.

I find when writing its best to start from the ground up.

So for example when composing an electronic song I’ll often start with the ambient synths or samples and build them up. After that writing rythms and basses sort of comes naturally as you can have them play within the notes of the background synths. For drums I usually use a simple beat to back everything until I’m at a point where the basses are done, then I change the drums up to accent fill the spaces.

Usually at this point I begin working on the melodies and leads for the song. Having them play with the empty parts or imparting mood over the not so empty parts. After this I begin adding layers to the song. A second bass with a different tone or register over the original. Additional sets of pad synths playing with the original and usually a second lead tone to fill out the first.

The same steps work for all types of music and like OiiO said the chords play a big part. Actually they play every part in setting the mood. A lot of musicians feel that theory limits them but really in a lot of cases you can adapt what you already have to a scale with little to no change at all. Feeling things out can often let you create uninhibited.

As far as rules go you can follow them as little or as much as you want. I find in the end what sounds good usually follows the rules. Knowing the rules just helps you get to that sound faster.

 
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I write both electronic and I guess a little classical music. It’s just a matter of what you think sounds good. There’s no “correct” way to write music. It’s all about taste. Being theoretically correct is a different matter. Make sure that stands in your pieces. Other than that, music is free game to do whatever you want. Like I said before, I don’t write much, but I do like to arrange and transcribe a lot by ear to develop my relative pitch. Here’s one of my favorites that I’ve done completely by ear. Here’s a dubstep song I’m currently working on. No drop yet, just the intro.

Also, don’t exclusively listen to one style of music or genre. It’s good to get a variety of sounds in your ear so you can take bits from here and there and then develop a style of your own. I incorporate a lot of classical music characteristics into my electronic music and vice versa. Listen and appreciate as much as you can. There’s too much good music out there :D

 
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most of my tracks start of as just patterns hummed and then i drum some basic pattern on my chest and leg (with my chest acting as the bass drum and leg acting as the snare)
from here i will replicate it in in FL studio 5 (i know its upto live version 12 now, but im used to version 5, and besides i would have to re-purchase it….)
from here i will add other instruments and try and create melodies that compliment the original one. I will often reuse one part for 2 instruments.
I then (attempt) to write lyrics onto the top of it (wherever i can really)

 
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Originally posted by 1337al:

most of my tracks start of as just patterns hummed and then i drum some basic pattern on my chest and leg (with my chest acting as the bass drum and leg acting as the snare)
from here i will replicate it in in FL studio 5 (i know its upto live version 12 now, but im used to version 5, and besides i would have to re-purchase it….)
from here i will add other instruments and try and create melodies that compliment the original one. I will often reuse one part for 2 instruments.
I then (attempt) to write lyrics onto the top of it (wherever i can really)

What she said, lol.

 
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Originally posted by listle6:

Being theoretically correct is a different matter. Make sure that stands in your pieces.

But dissonance can sound gorgeous too.

 
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Dissonance is within theory. There’s a difference between dissonance and noise.

 
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You have to consider that the modern musical theory takes everything from the classical and makes lots of excpetions. For example, in classical music you can never use a chord like Bm5b without a preparation chord. So before you can really write something I think you must have a firm base of the classical theory. After that, everyone develop a particular style of composition. I start from improvisation. I play some riffs or licks and when I find something I like I keep writing according to what I’ve started with.