How do I get started with composing?

Chords, scales, harmony, melody, etc.
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fmr
KVRAF
10336 posts since 16 Mar, 2003 from Porto - Portugal

Post Sun Jul 25, 2021 1:25 am

JerGoertz wrote:
Sat Jul 24, 2021 11:22 am
fmr wrote:
Sat Jul 24, 2021 11:11 am
Chord progression can«t be copyrighted because THEY ARE MEANINGLESS, not because of anything else.
Huh? I-IV-V is meaningless? Pretty sure it has a very definite meaning.

Getting the chord progression gives you a *basis* on which to add rhythm and melody.
Are you sure? What about those people that do that by just SINGING? What "chord progressions" are they using?

And try to play I-IV-V over and over, and then come back to me to tell what meaning did you extract out of that (except that it becomes boring after the third repetition) :hihi:

Did you ever try to come up with something without "chords"? I suspect you would find that extremely liberating.
Last edited by fmr on Thu Jul 29, 2021 7:25 am, edited 2 times in total.
Fernando (FMR)

KVRAF
1790 posts since 2 Jul, 2010

Post Sun Jul 25, 2021 4:05 am

In principle you are right, atonal and other experimental music forms exist and we should not treat chord progressions as inevitable.

But in many musical contexts (e.g. western folk music) you really can infer an accompanying chord progression from a solo voice. Do you think when people sing "Happy Birthday" unaccompanied there is no chord progression? It is very clear that it ends on a Perfect cadence and this is why the end of the tune sounds so "final". People might not know the names of these things, but they still hear it and understand it.

KVRist
172 posts since 4 Aug, 2020 from Montreal, Canada

Post Sun Jul 25, 2021 6:34 am

Also check out "Melody in Songwriting" from Berklee Press. The second half of the book is dedicated to harmony-melody relationship.

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KVRian
887 posts since 6 Jun, 2016 from San Marcos, Texas

Post Sun Jul 25, 2021 10:56 am

imrae wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 4:05 am
In principle you are right, atonal and other experimental music forms exist and we should not treat chord progressions as inevitable.

But in many musical contexts (e.g. western folk music) you really can infer an accompanying chord progression from a solo voice. Do you think when people sing "Happy Birthday" unaccompanied there is no chord progression? It is very clear that it ends on a Perfect cadence and this is why the end of the tune sounds so "final". People might not know the names of these things, but they still hear it and understand it.
Right, it's the models which try to describe these things which falls short. Firstly, because the models are esoteric and require education to even approach. Secondly, because--and most importantly--the models will never be able to truly match reality.

Turns out we're better at understanding these things on the fly, intuitively, just by listening. As well as playing around with it as performers.

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fmr
KVRAF
10336 posts since 16 Mar, 2003 from Porto - Portugal

Post Mon Jul 26, 2021 6:42 am

imrae wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 4:05 am
In principle you are right, atonal and other experimental music forms exist and we should not treat chord progressions as inevitable.

But in many musical contexts (e.g. western folk music) you really can infer an accompanying chord progression from a solo voice. Do you think when people sing "Happy Birthday" unaccompanied there is no chord progression? It is very clear that it ends on a Perfect cadence and this is why the end of the tune sounds so "final". People might not know the names of these things, but they still hear it and understand it.
I don't know what you are thinking about when you mention "western folk music", but you would be surprised about how much of it is NOT tonal. I am talking about European folk music, which is what I understand by "western". Europe is very diversified, with lots of cultures and traditions, and many musical folk traditions date back to pre-tonal periods.

Regarding the tonal, yes, you can easily devise an harmony behind it. That fact doesn't mean it can't be harmonized with other chords (sometimes they can), and that it wasn't thought OUT OF the chords. They can be tonally harmonized because they are tonal, not because they were composed thinking in chord progressions.
Fernando (FMR)

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KVRAF
3713 posts since 25 Jan, 2014 from The End of The World as We Knowit

Post Tue Jul 27, 2021 10:09 pm

FYI, Jamiroquai (Jay Kay) sings the parts for each song to each band member.

Bjork did an album that way

Jacob Collier improvises harmonies :singer:
buying happiness

KVRAF
22778 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from not here

Post Wed Jul 28, 2021 8:12 am

"atonal and other experimental music forms exist and we should not treat chord progressions as inevitable."
neither of these applies to the question particularly. Once upon a time there were no chords. Chords come more or less out of a more linear way of thinking about music, at least in terms of so-called art music. I'm not versed in the history of folk musics at the time where *composers*, individuals as a whole eventually transitioned to more block chord definitions, but before you have harmonies codified as chord names and such, harmonies were got by lines forming a harmony, eg., plainsong and more and more action in additional voices.

So we really need imagine a whole other world than that limitation would appear to demand, and centuries before there was any such concept as avant-garde in art, before even proceeding to discuss such. The practice of considering chords as primary is not reflective really of the majority of the world of music.
Last edited by jancivil on Wed Jul 28, 2021 9:42 am, edited 2 times in total.

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KVRian
700 posts since 4 Feb, 2021

Post Wed Jul 28, 2021 8:35 am

To the question: Make music like Bones says, or if you want to go classical, read and rehearse Fux, the teacher of Mozart, Bach and Haydn and move on from here. If you want to compose music, never believe anything Jan and Vurt may tell you, they are experimentalists and thus bad company. I speak from experience.
Tribe Of Hǫfuð https://soundcloud.com/user-228690154 "First rule: From one perfect consonance to another perfect consonance one must proceed in contrary or obligue motion." Johann Joseph Fux 1725.

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addled muppet weed
82556 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Post Wed Jul 28, 2021 8:43 am

TribeOfHǫfuð wrote:
Wed Jul 28, 2021 8:35 am
To the question: Make music like Bones says, or if you want to go classical, read and rehearse Fux, the teacher of Mozart, Bach and Haydn and move on from here. If you want to compose music, never believe anything Jan and Vurt may tell you, they are experimentalists and thus bad company. I speak from experience.
fux you!

i did say earlier, it depends what your goals are musically, that will drive how much theory you need :)
i may enjoy experimentaling but i know other people have different goals :tu:

im an awesome influence!
just at things no one wants to do!! :band:

KVRAF
22778 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from not here

Post Wed Jul 28, 2021 9:32 am

my thinking and activity musically is, as far as the world of serious music (heh) is not really that extraordinary. I would say I am a 21st century musician if only because of the tech. if there's anybody here to listen to here, it's me, you reprobates :D

I would say don't listen to anyone insisting on Fux.

I kid, there's probably some utility in it somehow but it can be well avoided.
Last edited by jancivil on Wed Jul 28, 2021 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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addled muppet weed
82556 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Post Wed Jul 28, 2021 9:37 am

i don't think of myself as a musician
im an audio artist :oops:
i do use "music" within that ocassionally, but more often than not im painting with layers of sound.
it just sounds really bloody pretentious, so i never say it out loud :hihi:

KVRAF
22778 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from not here

Post Wed Jul 28, 2021 9:39 am

ya know Varese eschewed the identity composer sometime I think in the 20s, as an organizer of sounds instead.
Zappa appreciated that, but when Connie Conehead's parents asked him his occupation he replied "musician".
https://youtu.be/QncixNL-eiQ

it doesn't sound pretentious for Varese to have done, you (or me) is another story :D

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addled muppet weed
82556 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Post Wed Jul 28, 2021 9:41 am

yeah, he earned the right to say what he wants :tu:
ill keep at it!!! :hihi:

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KVRian
700 posts since 4 Feb, 2021

Post Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:54 am

Anarchists :D
Tribe Of Hǫfuð https://soundcloud.com/user-228690154 "First rule: From one perfect consonance to another perfect consonance one must proceed in contrary or obligue motion." Johann Joseph Fux 1725.

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addled muppet weed
82556 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Post Thu Jul 29, 2021 9:02 am

TribeOfHǫfuð wrote:
Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:54 am
Anarchists :D
there's apps that can do your bit, ai doesn't have imagination and free will yet :P

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