Archeo's Composition Experiment #1


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Archeo Avis
09-22-2008, 08:09 PM
The Introduction

My method of composition would likely be considered unusual by most of you. I've never been a fan of inspiration. Instead, I like to to take a more hands on approach. Before I even begin writing I develop a clear and detailed idea in my head of the type of mood and atmosphere I want to create or communicate with a piece of music. I've gone so far as to plat graphs detailing the rise and fall of tension and other aspects of the music throughout the song. Afterward, I'll start deciding on something slightly more concrete, like the structure of the piece, or the method I'll use to develop the main theme (which I generally haven't written yet). Only once I have the entire structure of the song planned out will I add the "decorations" like melody. The structure, the key(s), the time signatures(s), the rise and fall of tension, the length, and even the title are all chosen before I even begin to write.

The reason I do this is simple: When given the option of doing anything, I tend to do nothing. Working inside of a box keeps me focused and centered on what I'm trying to achieve with a particular work. Beyond this, it allows you to strongly develop both skill as a composer, and a unique style because you're forced to develop unconventional ways of utilizing various aspects of the piece. It's not uncommon for me to force myself to use musical concepts in strange or compositionally challenging ways, such as the use of lydian for a particularly sad piece (see Steve Vai's I Know You're Here), or rapid modulation through distant keys in a way that doesn't sound jarring.

The Inspiration

Some time ago I learned of an experiment in which Jordan Rudess challenged members of his forum to provide him each with several notes. Rudess would then take all of the notes received, in order, and compose with them. The result can be seen here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_sGCNAoK2U&eurl=http://www.jordanrudess.com/home/diary.php?year=2008). Being a fan of compositional boxes, my response to this was "why not force myself into an even smaller box, only instead of a box, it's some horribly constructed, jagged, arbitrary, three dimensional object, in which, if you stare long enough, you can see your own death?". Thus began the beginning.

I petitioned various individuals in the chat forum to send me, each of them, a single note. Unfortunately, I overestimated their lack of social lives and was only graced with four notes (more like twenty, but around seventeen of them were Bb). I took matters into my own hands and assigned each face of a 12-sided die a note of the chromatic scale. Six rolls later, and I had my ten note phrase (ten was arbitrary decided). I then used that same die to select a time signature, a subdivision, as well as various other aspects of the piece. The goal was to force myself to create something tasteful out of components that don't make any Goddamn sense. And then, it came to me...

The Point

There have been a number of threads recently all centered around the question "how do I compose?". I initially thought it would be a good idea to detail my approach to this little experiment, both psychologically and theoretically. I thought it would be education to have a thread where people could ask questions and throw ideas back and forth about the composition of a particular work. I would detail my approach to each section, and anyone with any questions or ideas could come forward with them, and they could be discussed as a group. But then I had a much more unbelievably awesome idea...

The Challenge

I challenge anyone interested to put themselves in an identical horribly constructed, jagged, arbitrary, three dimensional object, in which, if you stare long enough, you can see your own death. The purpose? To see how others approach composing within the same, limiting criteria. I honestly don't think that there is anyone on this forum that can't learn something from this.

The challenge is simple: I have constructed (in either a random or arbitrary fashion) a very rigid skeleton of a piece of music. This skeleton describes melody, meter, structure, and many other elements. Your task is simple: Compose, and detail the way you approached every little aspect of that composition. Through a combination of stream of consciousness ranting and standard notation (or tab, it really doesn't matter), explain why you did what you did, and ask others why they did what they did. There is no time limit, nor are you even required to complete the work. You can take part for as long (or as briefly) as you like. All I ask is that you abide my the criteria, and explain how you approached the composition.

The Rules

I had initially created guideline pertaining to every small detail of the work; after some thought, I decided to relax my standards and instead present you with a more general diagram, as well as a few more "abstract" suggestions. So, here is the box...

Form

The work will be in a mutation of ternary form: ABA. Generally, this consists of two very nearly identical sections separated by a contrasting one. We'll be doing something a little different. The work will consist of two sections (A and B) in contrasting styles. How these styles contrast is entirely up to you. If you want two heavy metal epics broken up by a ballad, go for it. If you want two stately classical symphonies broken up by meticulously composed baroque counterpoint, that is perfectly fine. How you want to separate the sections is also up you, whether you want to compose them as separate movements entirely, or as contrasting sections of the same piece. The rules I do have are as follows:

The main theme, which will be discussed next, must be introduced and developed in the first section. How you do this is entirely up to you. I was initially going to specify a key, but I soon became interested in seeing how each of you would treat such a highly chromatic melody. As such, should your music be tonal, I leave the key up to you.

The second section, in a contrasting style, has few guidelines. If you music is tonal, it must be in a key different than the first movement. If it is modal, it must be in a different mode. If it is atonal, it must utilize a different permutation of the theme. However, as this is not a suite, but rather one singular work, a sense of unity must be maintained through this and all movements. This is to be done by reintroducing the main theme in some new form. As to what this new form is, I leave that up to you.

The final movement should mirror the first and should be the ultimate result of the development you've been doing over the rest of the work. The main theme should return in similar form to the first movement, fully developed. I won't say anything more about it.

Theme

The main theme of the work must consist of the notes...

A
A#
B
D
G#
A
C
G#
F#
F

... in that order. In the process of developing the theme, however, it is entirely permissible to utilize other permutations of this "tone row" of sorts (permutation, inversion, etc). A Wikipedia search of "Schoenberg" or "tone row" should tell you all you need to know about this concept. As for how you treat these notes: I leave that up to you. You may base it on any key you wish, or no key at all. You may treat some of the notes as passing tones, or take a much more chromatic approach. Keep in mind that those notes dictate the melody. You may approach the underlying harmony in any way you see fit.

Hint: Before choosing a key, pay close attention to the chromatic tones you are creating. Those spare notes may be flat fifths in one key and major sevenths in another. Carefully consider the sound you are looking for.

Various miscellaneous

These are, as the title suggests, various miscellaneous points that you may approach in whatever way you see fit.

- If the work is tonal, it must make use of both major and minor keys. If it is modal, it must make use of both a major and a minor mode. If it is atonal, it must make use of at least one other permutation of the main theme.
- It must make use of both simple and compound time signatures.
- Regarding instrumentation: There is no requirement.
- Regarding genre: There is no requirement

You could conceivably switch to a compound meter for a bar and then spend the rest of the piece in 4/4, or open in a minor key and then spend the rest of the work in major, or something similar. There is no grading, and I can't stop you from writing, so feel free to do this if you must, but I would really consider it cheating yourself. The purpose of this is, after all, to challenge yourself as a composer.

<Continued>

Archeo Avis
09-22-2008, 08:10 PM
The Abstract

I'm not going to try to tell you what to convey with this piece, since that would defeat the purpose of the exercise. I am, however, going to share some of my more abstract thought processes during the writing process. A composition, for me, very often begins with a title, or a mental image. These are usually selected long before the writing process itself begins. I'm in the process (and have been for a number of years now) of composing a piece that I've affectionately called "Lost on a Train of Thought". The story behind this is a boring one: A good number of years ago, when I was only beginning to study music theory, I started a practice of forcing myself to apply every new I learned in a musical concept. In this instance, I was becoming familiar with chord construction and forced myself to come up with an interesting melody composed entirely of various arpeggios. I managed to come up with something vaguely interesting, and I wrote it down and forgot about it.

A long while later, I was creating title for various hypothetical works and came up with "Train of Thought". It was, like all of my titles, chosen strictly for the aesthetic quality of the words. Rather than thinking "What does this title mean?" I tend to think "When I am pronouncing these words, what does their sound suggest, independent of their meaning?". I very quickly decided on the overall mood of the piece. In considering the structure, and this runs contrary to most of my other work, I actually did develop something that was appropriate considering the title (this was coincidental). I decided on a very long piece in a non-repeating form, in which a series of themes, only vaguely related, would appear, one after another, before a peaceful and anticlimactic finish. The structure would, in a sense, resemble a "train of thought". Making this work in a way that allowed the song to progress without become tedious and boring is another subject entirely. The principal theme of this work, and the one that sets the tone for every other theme to follow, was, in fact, taken verbatim from my earlier arpeggio exercise. This melody became not only the basis of my theme, by one of the pieces many underlying chord progressions as well.

In creating that progression from that melody, I was forced to expand the concept and create a number of new themes that both extended logically from that progression and blended smoothly with it, even when modulating to distantly related modes and keys. The nature of the work did not allow me the liberty of simply introducing new material. I was forced to take a short and simple theme and expand it in a was both capable of filling over ten minutes of music, and musically interesting. The work is still not complete (though I do have it planned out in its entirety), but sitting down and working on it is still, by far, the most difficult compositional task I've ever had, and every time I do, I'm forced to apply concepts that should have long since become boring in the work in new and, frankly, strange ways. That is the entire point of this exercise.

I'm going to leave you with something vague and abstract to consider when writing. This is something completely subjective and unenforceable, so it can't be classified as a "rule". It's merely something you might want to think about.

In planning out how I was going to approach this work, I found myself attempting to summarize the atmosphere I was attempting to create with a single word (again, with their aesthetic quality, not literal meaning). I came up with the following...

Movement 1: Hall
Movement 2: Orion
Movement 3: Castlevania (you heard me)

I encourage you to try doing the same. If not with words, than with some other abstraction. It's something to keep in mind and keep you on track.

Archeo Avis
09-22-2008, 08:11 PM
I'm going to detail my own thought process in this post. It will be updated as I see fit. If there are any questions at all, feel free to ask.

<Entry I> I've decided that a good place to begin is with the notes I've been given. I've made a lead sheet with Sibelius consisting of the sequence of notes, in order, as well as various permutations and inversions. I'll upload this later today for anyone who may find it useful. There are two things you should know about transcriptions of my work: One, I very rarely use key signatures. Two, notes are meant to be played as written. I do not (or not always, and not in this case) use natural signs to cancel out earlier accidentals. If a note is meant to be played sharp, it will be labeled as sharp. If it isn't, it won't.

Working with the notes was difficult at first, and hearing them without context was nothing short of unpleasant, but after developing the skeleton of a progression and hearing them in a rough context, I've stumbled upon an interpretation that not only sounds acceptable, but borders on pleasant. I'm having some difficulty dealing with the two final notes, the F# and F, but I think I've thought of a way to make my quirky time signature work to my advantage by using both those notes and the beat as a sort of "transition" back to the beginning of the theme. As for the "process", there's not much to be said. At this early stage, all I've really done is improvised with the melody. Once my recording gear is up and running, I'll post a soundclip.

The4thHorsemen
09-22-2008, 08:27 PM
this looks higly interesting... I might try it, but I doubt if I'll get very far

Archeo Avis
09-22-2008, 08:31 PM
this looks higly interesting... I might try it, but I doubt if I'll get very far

It's not a competition (despite my explicitly describing it as a competition). The purpose is just to force people to approach songwriting a different way and maybe help people on the way to composing their own work. You're not obligated to see it through to the end, nor will you be "graded" if you do. I encourage even the people who don't participate to keep track of what everyone is doing and ask questions.

Galvanise69
09-22-2008, 08:46 PM
Applause!

I was just browsing UG for some new information, Jordan Rudess'ess compositional technique does indeed look interesting, if you make any changes, or definatley additions, you couldent PM me so I dont miss out on anything?

However, if you dont mind me being a bit of an ass (you are after all :p: )

You might want to correct this sentance "Instead, I like to to take a more hands on"

and

"I've gone so far as to plat graphs"

In the inrtoduction, other than that, I see absolutley no grammatical errors.

Im not a grammar nazi, just caught my eye. :peace:

I would definatley like to participate (is that an option?) Ive only just got the information, and will read it in class

I (for one) am definatley looking forward to your analysis. :D

Ænimus Prime
09-22-2008, 08:50 PM
I'll be interested in reading it, but won't be participating - I'm working on other songs at the moment. I could write some stuff about them if it's got a place in this thread

Archeo Avis
09-22-2008, 08:53 PM
I could write some stuff about them if it's got a place in this thread

Couldn't hurt. Just make sure to mention that the songs are unrelated to my horribly constructed, jagged, arbitrary, three dimensional object, in which, if you stare long enough, you can see your own death.

se012101
09-22-2008, 08:56 PM
Fantastic! Highly interesting. I'll be checking in here often. Good luck.

Galvanise69
09-22-2008, 08:57 PM
So, Im a little puzzled.

The challange is to compose a peice, based on your idea.

Taking random notes from random people, choosing the order at random, using something un-predictable to decide the meter, key, ect.

And force yourself to create inside a box, so it gets you used to working with that you have, than post it here?

You could definatley do a a lot of things concerning numbers.

Clocks, Phone Numbers, I.P adresses, Die (as you stated), Coin Flip, ect

Archeo Avis
09-22-2008, 09:01 PM
Everyone uses the same criteria. The notes are...

A
A#
B
D
G#
A
C
G#
F#
F

...in that order. I will post the rules in-depth later tonight.

20Tigers
09-22-2008, 10:02 PM
I'll give it a go sounds interesting and challenging. I've already started playing around with making the notes work together. Can't wait for the rest of the rules. hopefully they're not too restricting.

Archeo Avis
09-22-2008, 10:05 PM
Can't wait for the rest of the rules. hopefully they're not too restricting.

To give you a taste, the main theme of the work must utilize those notes, in that order, in 10/4 time, subdivided as 4+3+3. I'm considering dropping the subdivision requirement, though. I've set up extremely rigid requirements for myself, but I'll probably make some slightly less insane for everyone else. The rest of you can set up whatever framework you see fit beyond what I give you. I'll have the definitive rules up later tonight.

Galvanise69
09-22-2008, 11:10 PM
Notes: A A# B D G# A C G# F# F
Time Signature: 10/4
Sub-Dividing: 4 + 3 + 3

Hmm, can I ask how you decided the order.

Im not trying to be an arse or anything, quite the opposite, but what IS there to be learned in doing this, Im not trying to suggest that there isnt anything, but I cant particularly see any musican skill to be gained here, other than trial and error.

aetherspear
09-23-2008, 12:42 AM
This should be awesome. When you write the graphs detailing the emotion of the piece and the titles of the sections, do you usually think of these in a story sense with maybe a basic story line?

If I were to compose like that I would find it difficult to relate and draw inspiration from if there was no narrative or story line. I find that it's tough to relate to an emotional piece if there is nothing behind it.

Galvanise69
09-23-2008, 12:48 AM
I guess I wonder how creative we can really get, considering were all using the same notes, in the same order, with the same meter, with the same phrase of meter.

Obviously we wont come out with the same song (yeah right) but how creative can we get the only things that can be varied are

- The Phrasing and Rhythm

- The Harmonies we put with the Melodic aspects of the line

- The other istruments

- Instrumentation

- Polyrhythm

Just a side note to you Archeo: When you compose, do you know exactally how it will sound, before you play it, put it into GP whatever.

How do you know what it will sound like, can you melodically sing all intervals you write? Can you simply hear it in your head.

How much of a detailed story line do you write to a composition?

I would really appreciate it if you could write a detailed analysis of what you do & how you do it when composing, in hopes that by doing it myself, I could gain more satisfaction with my compositions.

The4thHorsemen
09-23-2008, 12:51 AM
ok, unless someone can explain 10/4 time sig in a way I can get it in my head, I'm demoting myself to spectator.

also, what does subdivided mean?

demonofthenight
09-23-2008, 01:04 AM
ok, unless someone can explain 10/4 time sig in a way I can get it in my head, I'm demoting myself to spectator.I think thats the same same as 5/4?

So your whole bar would count like this: One Two One Two Three One Two One Two Three. Stressed beats at all the ones, so somehow arrange your notes so that the most consonant notes to your accompaniment land on the ones.

I'm also demoting myself to a spectator. I dont believe in this box. But I also dont believe in musical freedom and I dont believe you can write effective melodies/time signatures from a pair of dice. I do believe I can learn something from this though.
In a week of so I'll write a lesson/article on writing single melodic lines which will explain why.

To give you a taste, that melody lacks a strong resolution. Semitonal movement down is quite weak compared to semitonal movement upwards or tonal movement down, but stronger than a disjunt movement. Melodies need movement, purpose, resolution, intelligence, repetitve without sounding obnoxious and they need to be meticulous.

Carry on though. I'm very interested in these proceedings and I am willing to help anyone that asks for help.

20Tigers
09-23-2008, 01:14 AM
Galvanise, I guess either join in or wait and see what happens - you're kind of on a negative vibe man.

The4thHorsemnan, Ten Four time is ten quarter notes to the measure. It's pretty long so is subdivided so that it is easier to count. In this case it is subdivided to 4+3+3. This means for each measure you would count I assume with the accents falling on the first fifth and eighth quarter notes of the measure. So you would count...
1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 1 + 2 + 3 +

I have no experience writing or playing in ten four time. I have pretty much only written in four four, six eight, and three four time to date but I'm up for a challenge.

I have done the same thing when writing - plotting graphs on how I want the song to build in tension. When I read Archeo say he did that I was like "haha I haven't done that in ages!". I don't know how archeo does it but I never used a story per se. It is more of an expression of feeling, a story that can't be put into words. I got the idea by listening Pink Floyd and Radiohead loud with the lights off while I was high and loved the way they would make the music swell, build intensity, and really take you on a journey with the song. I wanted to do this and started drawing visual representations of how a song could progress - a kind of time line. I haven't done this in ages and at the time I did was a very poor musician so didn't have the skills to bring my ideas to reality. I think I will have to dig out my old notebooks and revisit my old ideas.

Archeo Avis
09-23-2008, 01:42 AM
After some thought, I've decided to relax the guidelines slightly. The notes are non-negotiable, since that was the whole point of the experiment in the first place, but I'm going to be less anal about things like the subdivision of the time signatures, which is, admittedly, absurd. I'm writing up the guidelines right now, and I think most will agree that it affords more than enough room for creative interpretation. I, myself, will remain inside my tiny little box, since the the origin of this experiment was a desire to challenge myself in the most extreme way possible.

psychodelia
09-23-2008, 01:55 AM
Obviously we wont come out with the same song (yeah right) but how creative can we get the only things that can be varied are

- The Phrasing and Rhythm

- The Harmonies we put with the Melodic aspects of the line

But therein lies the fun, no? :p:

Rhythm is such a strong (and, unfortunately sometimes overlooked) aspect of creating a good melody. It's much easier for us to talk about harmonic progressions, rather than the strength of a rhythm, so it's not always mentioned too much around here. If nothing else, this is a good exercise to get you in the habit of considering the importance of rhythm.

And plus, you're into all those weird-ass substitutions that aren't always practically applicable... here's a chance to try some out!


I know that this idea of chance in composition might run counter to the idea that YOU are the sole Creator of the Work, but putting a serious effort towards making it work will really push your creativity to unexplored places. Even if you don't like the end result, if you've actually put in a good effort, I don't think the result will be a failure from a standpoint of your progress as a composer.

Archeo Avis
09-23-2008, 01:58 AM
I know that this idea of chance in composition might run counter to the idea that YOU are the sole Creator of the Work, but putting a serious effort towards making it work will really push your creativity to unexplored places. Even if you don't like the end result, if you've actually put in a good effort, I don't think the result will be a failure from a standpoint of your progress as a composer.

And that is exactly the point. Confining yourself in a box forces you to use the few liberties you have in unusual ways you may not have thought of if given the freedom to do anything.

Galvanise69
09-23-2008, 02:16 AM
Galvanise, I guess either join in or wait and see what happens - you're kind of on a negative vibe man.

What exactally did you mean?

Im not up to the standards on joining? It would be horrible if I did? Negative Vibe from who?

Archeo: Had a few more questions about the rules (im aware there not up yet)

The only rules we have so far are

Notes: A A# B D G# A C G# F# F
Time Signature: 10/4
Sub-Dividing: 4 + 3 + 3

So, what about harmonies/chords for starters.

Are they to be taken from the above row of tones? Can they be chords from the above row of tones only in that order?

What about harmonies from a given instrument we might choose to put in there?

Would we only be able to harmonise from that tone row?

Polyrhythm also kinda defeats phrasing the bar, 4 + 3 + 3, or did you ditch that rule?

Archeo Avis
09-23-2008, 02:24 AM
I'm writing up the final rules right now. You'll be happy to know that I've eliminated the time signature requirement (or, at least, made it much less specific)

Galvanise69
09-23-2008, 02:30 AM
Yes, and no.

Im fine working with rules, without rules, it'll give me a new view point to look at composing from, new things to try out, new ideas to experiment with.

The4thHorsemen
09-23-2008, 02:50 AM
In a week of so I'll write a lesson/article on writing single melodic lines which will explain why.

To give you a taste, that melody lacks a strong resolution. Semitonal movement down is quite weak compared to semitonal movement upwards or tonal movement down, but stronger than a disjunt movement. Melodies need movement, purpose, resolution, intelligence, repetitve without sounding obnoxious and they need to be meticulous.

Carry on though. I'm very interested in these proceedings and I am willing to help anyone that asks for help.

I'd like to see that lesson/article when you're done.

Archeo Avis
09-23-2008, 03:12 AM
To give you a taste, that melody lacks a strong resolution. Semitonal movement down is quite weak compared to semitonal movement upwards or tonal movement down, but stronger than a disjunt movement. Melodies need movement, purpose, resolution, intelligence, repetitve without sounding obnoxious and they need to be meticulous.

The melody was selected, quite literally, with the roll of a twelve sided die. The purpose was to force people both to compose well outside of their element, and to make due with what they have when handicapped. If the melody itself doesn't offer a strong resolution, then create context that does.

Galvanise69
09-23-2008, 03:30 AM
I agree with what both of you are saying, the melody is very chromatic, to me, it feels like it resolves in the last five notes, of course, the phrasing has much to do with resolution too.

Its definatley a challange, I hope, at least, Ill learn a lot from, putting myself in circumstances which are unusual, and learning to compensate for them.

pandora_grunt
09-23-2008, 03:30 AM
I read your entire post and I'm very interested, but it's quite early around here now, and I have no clue what to do with the notes.

Are we allowed to make chords with them? Harmonize? Or are we only allowed to play those notes?

Anyway, If you could clear this up for me, I will join in.

Galvanise69
09-23-2008, 03:32 AM
^ Thats what I asked, harmonies would have a lot to do with it, are we restricted to harmones within that row of tones?

Are harmonies completley un-restricted?

(not to be an arse, I know your still writing up those rules)

Archeo Avis
09-23-2008, 03:53 AM
The rules are up. If there are any questions, just ask.

Galvanise69
09-23-2008, 04:09 AM
Cool, cheers, reading them now.

The4thHorsemen
09-23-2008, 04:37 AM
ok, a lot of what you talk about seems way over my head, but I'm gonna give this a try anyway, though it may not turn out anything near acceptable.

Archeo Avis
09-23-2008, 04:43 AM
ok, a lot of what you talk about seems way over my head, but I'm gonna give this a try anyway, though it may not turn out anything near acceptable.

There is no "acceptable". The whole point is to learn and share ideas. This whole project is directed at people who feel that stuff like this is "over their heads". Anyone who doesn't understand anything can simply post here and discuss it as a group.

Galvanise69
09-23-2008, 05:13 AM
Archeo, you mentioned a mutation of ternary for being A - B - A.

I always thought it was:

Binary: A B
Ternary: A B A
Rhondo: A B A C (A)

So far I only have a horn line, its hard finding things to put with this, its shit as :(

VIRUSDETECTED
09-23-2008, 05:30 AM
I'll give this a shot tonight when I get home. Seems very interesting.

The4thHorsemen
09-23-2008, 05:35 AM
ok, this is all I have going right now, I can't figure out how to make it all go together and make sense though...

edit: hang on, firefox is screwing with me.

doubledit: it won't let me attach it for some reason. it keeps opening the link to upload something in the same tab, so when I've uploaded it I can't go back to submit the post

demonofthenight
09-23-2008, 05:43 AM
The melody was selected, quite literally, with the roll of a twelve sided die. The purpose was to force people both to compose well outside of their element, and to make due with what they have when handicapped. If the melody itself doesn't offer a strong resolution, then create context that does.
And with that post, I am a whole lot more interested. Lets see, it resolves downwards semitonally, so would the majority of you do a sort of phrygian thing in the last couple of bars? That might be against the rules though, I think archeo might wants us to stick to the same key/mode.
If I can find enough ideas (doubtfull) I might write something up in fl

I'll have to reread the rule. Because I'm in holiday mode, thinking really hurts :o

Galvanise69
09-23-2008, 05:49 AM
Archeo: One question, are we allowed to phrase the ntoes of the main theme as tones of a chord, Im having trouble coming up with a melody that doesnt sound like random people farting : P

20Tigers
09-23-2008, 07:33 AM
We have to use the ten notes in that order, sweet as. Can we add notes after the ten when creating the main theme? Or is it just the ten to create a main theme and then we build around that?

demonofthenight
09-23-2008, 08:34 AM
^Dont add notes, thats cheating :eek:. I dont see why you cant write a second movement, but I dont think your allowed to write another phrase.Archeo: One question, are we allowed to phrase the ntoes of the main theme as tones of a chord, Im having trouble coming up with a melody that doesnt sound like random people farting : PTry to find a scale that the majority of those notes fit in and stress the consonant notes of both the scale and the melody rhthymically, and use the rest of the notes as if they're passing tones.

Now my question: Am I allowed to use development in this movement? Like repeat bits (as in not all) of the phrase with modulation or change it rhythmically.

And would I be able to modulate it when its being played the second time round?

Ænimus Prime
09-23-2008, 08:40 AM
I decided to have a quick try at making something of those godawful notes, and stumbled upon something pretty quickly. Of course, since I wasn't trying to write in 10/4, it was 4/4. So I plan to superimpose it over drums in 10/4.

I started out with the A A# B. I think there's a Hendrix song that goes something like A A# B, D D# E. So I basically stole the first half of that.
Then I had to find a way to fit a melodic tritone (D G#) into it. My solution was to all-but remove the obstacle by reducing the first note to little more than a grace note.
Then my subconscious took over. Not even thinking about rhythm or meter, I'm up to the start of the second 'bar' of 4/4, so for A C G# I use the same rhythm as the first half of the first 'bar'.
Finally for F# F, same deal, I subconsciously fit them into 4/4 with crotchets. This also sets up the descent back to A, by leading to the fifth, E.

So, just like that (it seriously took like 30 seconds max) I had my theme.
Now to add to it

I have no idea where the E Eb D harmony over the A A# B came from. I just heard it.
For the harmony over the last part of the melody (E Db D B Ab) I was just trying to adapt the same idea (descending chromatics) over the different notes, using my ear.
For the bass notes, I just played octaves of the main theme to accentuate that line. Only at the end I ascend chromatically towards A.

Then I introduced the upper and lower voices in an order that seemed slightly interesting and resolved to A5 at the end.

Anyways, here it is (if you don't have GP, I think you can use Tux Guitar)
It sounds like arse and I hate it. Any questions?

Galvanise69
09-23-2008, 10:19 AM
Mabey a one riff thing kinda quick, yeah its shit, hopefully it can be developed.

Still liked

Archeo Avis
09-23-2008, 11:05 AM
Aenimus: I eliminated the time signature requirement. For the rest of you that were wondering, I eliminate the key requirement as well. You can make the notes work in whatever key you want. Keep in mind that we're only talking about the main theme. It's not the only material in the entire piece, and the rest of it is at your discretion.

gonzaw
09-23-2008, 11:18 AM
Aenimus: I eliminated the time signature requirement. For the rest of you that were wondering, I eliminate the key requirement as well. You can make the notes work in whatever key you want. Keep in mind that we're only talking about the main theme. It's not the only material in the entire piece, and the rest of it is at your discretion.

Can we use whatever harmonies we want though?

I am sticking to 10/4, sounds better...

Archeo Avis
09-23-2008, 11:20 AM
Can we use whatever harmonies we want though?

Absolutely.

Ead
09-23-2008, 11:42 AM
I'm not gonna lie, this has got me pretty excited lol. All of my compositions never really go anywhere, the most I've got out of them is like 3 minutes tops. I think this will force me to expand and keep working on it. I'm gonna start soon, and I'll be working on it for a while because I want to attempt something truly epic .. and I have no idea how those notes sound right now lol. Awesome idea, Arch :peace:

Archeo Avis
09-23-2008, 11:44 AM
All I ask, beyond following my absurdly restrictive set of borderline arbitrary rules, is that you detail the thought and theory behind your composition. The goal, after all, is education.

gonzaw
09-23-2008, 11:45 AM
Absolutely.

Maybe something like this?

I don't even know what I did, I just went crazy (maybe it doesn't follow the rules though, I don't know anything about "tone row" or whatever)....

At times I guess it is more 5/4 with different tempo rather than 10/4, but I would have to change everything....


EDIT: I'll fix it later....

michal23
09-23-2008, 11:49 AM
Here's just a basic harmony I did using the notes and the time sig.

elvenkindje
09-23-2008, 11:57 AM
200 to 1 that the end results will sound like raped children. Action, anyone?

Archeo Avis
09-23-2008, 12:04 PM
200 to 1 that the end results will sound like raped children. Action, anyone?

200 to 1 that mine will sound like consensual sex with sexually precocious seventeen year olds who look twenty. I swear...I'm sure they're twenty.

elvenkindje
09-23-2008, 12:07 PM
Solid argument, almost got to my head ;)

But in all seriousness, you randomly rolled some dice to picked the notes and time and you try to make it work? Music isn't something you can randomly make like that. Sure, it's a nice experiment if you're into this thing but I doubt it will sound good in any way.

Archeo Avis
09-23-2008, 12:09 PM
Solid argument, almost got to my head ;)

But in all seriousness, you randomly rolled some dice to picked the notes and time and you try to make it work? Music isn't something you can randomly make like that. Sure, it's a nice experiment if you're into this thing but I doubt it will sound good in any way.

I'll take that as a challenge.
Everyone else: Suck, so that I look better by comparison.

GuitarMunky
09-23-2008, 12:14 PM
Solid argument, almost got to my head ;)

But in all seriousness, you randomly rolled some dice to picked the notes and time and you try to make it work? Music isn't something you can randomly make like that. Sure, it's a nice experiment if you're into this thing but I doubt it will sound good in any way.


You can make music like that, but there is a good chance that most people won't dig listening to it. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

elvenkindje
09-23-2008, 12:17 PM
Sure, there's nothing wrong with it and I'm sure archeo and the others like the challenge of trying to come up with something 'musical'. Hate to use that term because it's not a word at all but I really couldn't think of another word to pick in the spot.

Archeo, could you clearly define what the purpose of this experiment is? Ninjaedit: Before you all think I'm a retard that doesn't read the opening post, I meant to ask what he thinks will be the result of this experiment and I probably didn't make that too clear in the question.

Archeo Avis
09-23-2008, 12:19 PM
As I said...

Putting yourself in a box forces you to use the few liberties you have in unusual ways you may not have thought of if given the freedom to do anything.

demonofthenight
09-23-2008, 12:20 PM
200 to 1 that mine will sound like consensual sex with sexually precocious seventeen year olds who look twenty. I swear...I'm sure they're twenty.17? pfft too old. I'm almost 18 and my girl's what 15? Not to mention the fact I'm always hitting on my cousins friends (12yo's and 15/14yo's FTW) every chance I get. I think I'm a bit sick...

But in all seriousness, you randomly rolled some dice to picked the notes and time and you try to make it work? Music isn't something you can randomly make like that. Sure, it's a nice experiment if you're into this thing but I doubt it will sound good in any way.The idea is to force it to work. You might have to change key heaps, you might have to use the weirdest looking chords ever, you might have to use the weirdest looking phrasing, but it's doable. I might actually have a go now, if I can figure out fl within the week (after a month of doodling, it still makes no sense)

elvenkindje
09-23-2008, 12:57 PM
As I said...
Maybe you responded before my ninjaedit or I didn't made myself clear. Do you think the result will be something you're proud of? Do you think you'll enjoy listening to it? Do you think you'll use this method more after you did this experiment?

demonofthenight
09-23-2008, 01:07 PM
Maybe you responded before my ninjaedit or I didn't made myself clear. Do you think the result will be something you're proud of? Do you think you'll enjoy listening to it? Do you think you'll use this method more after you did this experiment?Well I doubt anyone enjoys listening to their species counterpoint exercises, but that doesnt mean its counterproductive.

J.A.M
09-23-2008, 01:17 PM
But in all seriousness, you randomly rolled some dice to picked the notes and time and you try to make it work?
Ask Mozart; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleatoric_music

Train of thought;

Wrote out notes in correct order as crotchets, 10/4 (140BPM) just to see what it sounded like. Sounded fine until the last note didn't resolve.

Hmm. Must work on this.

The4thHorsemen
09-23-2008, 02:22 PM
I'm actually liking Gonzaw's Madness, I'd really like it if you developed it more. It's just crazy and erratic and.... mad. but in a good way. it's like... nothing I've ever heard it before, but it holds your attention and makes you think wtf?

Freepower
09-23-2008, 02:27 PM
I'll see what I can do. I did Corwinoid's monstrous composition tasks a few years back, so this shouldn't be too bad. :)

And this is actually one of the few threads that have interested me in MT in a while. :)

Ead
09-23-2008, 02:45 PM
after much experimentation I believe I have developed my theme.. follows the chords Amaj7, Cmaj9 and Dbmaj9. kinda interesting :D and sounds pleasant enough.

I took the first four notes as being in A major with the Bb being a passing tone to B, I sat on the A and G# for a bit (I love maj7s). then I went to Cmaj9, drawing from that 6 1 thing that I find so common in blues and rock licks. then with some tomfoolery harmonisation I took the G# as a passing tone to F#, and settled on F for the Dbmaj9. At first I thought this was going to sound like junk but I'm slowly getting there. My theme is in 6/4 btw, just because of a nice sounding pattern I wanted to use for a second harmony.

it seems kind of drawn out though.. but I had to let everything sit for a bit or my harmony would probably sound messed up. this is a delicate struggle lol..

edit: the Cmaj9 to Dbmaj9 sounds very sweet to my ears for some reason.. could be the way I phrased the melody, it kind of makes the F at the end resolve. the whole thing gives a very peculiar mood, I think the real challenge is going to be expanding on it with other equally strange movements

J.A.M
09-23-2008, 03:54 PM
I've decided to make these notes sweet sounding, rather than an atonal mess :P

So far I've settled into D minor, originally from the point of F major, and I've got a V-I-V-IV-III progression.
I have a violin playing the melody, with piano the accompaniment.

For the melody, I really just looked at what notes were accidentals, and made these smaller than the normal notes. As for choosing the chords, I just chose the most fitting chords for the notes above them. They're nothing stunning, but I wasn't going for anything fancy, just enough to support the melody (I also suck at chords).

It's so damn short though, I really need to find a way of extending it.

Once we've established the main theme, can we add imitation and/or change notes?

Ead
09-23-2008, 05:36 PM
ok, since I don't recall any rule about not adding more notes in other sections and whatnot, I'm venturing into the key that my theme left me in, Db major, and going with some sweet ionian b6 (whats the name for that scale?) and jazzy diatonic progressions and melodies, and I have an idea to return to the theme that will sound strong. no idea what i'll come up with for the second section yet.. when I finish I'll upload it and give an analysis explaining my note choice and progressions and whatnot.

it's giving me a really mellow mood, kind of like kicking back in a hammock on a beach with a bright red orange sunset and calm waters and a smooth drink.. could be from the steel drums lol.

I think once this settles out, we should keep more going. I hope we'll hear lots of interesting stuff from everyone

Archeo Avis
09-23-2008, 07:34 PM
ionian b6 (whats the name for that scale?)

It would generally be called harmonic major. It's actually not terribly uncommon to use a minor sub-dominant chord in a major key, which, I guess, could be thought of as a borrowed chord from harmonic major.

It's so damn short though, I really need to find a way of extending it.

Keep in mind that those notes only dictate the main theme. You're certainly not restricted to them throughout the entire piece. You can develop the theme in whatever way you see fit, and you can certainly introduce other melodies.

gonzaw
09-23-2008, 08:29 PM
I'm actually liking Gonzaw's Madness, I'd really like it if you developed it more. It's just crazy and erratic and.... mad. but in a good way. it's like... nothing I've ever heard it before, but it holds your attention and makes you think wtf?

I don't know how to continue it (have to figure out some stuff about it first, I didn't pay much attention to it)
The piece has to have 3 movements right?

Archeo Avis
09-23-2008, 08:35 PM
I don't know how to continue it (have to figure out some stuff about it first, I didn't pay much attention to it)
The piece has to have 3 movements right?

They can be separate movements entirely, or a single piece with contrasting sections (as in verse-chorus-verse, or something similar)

Archeo Avis
09-23-2008, 09:16 PM
I've decided that a good place to begin is with the notes I've been given. I've made a lead sheet with Sibelius consisting of the sequence of notes, in order, as well as various permutations and inversions. I'll upload this later today for anyone who may find it useful. There are two things you should know about transcriptions of my work: One, I very rarely use key signatures. Two, notes are meant to be played as written. I do not (or not always, and not in this case) use natural signs to cancel out earlier accidentals. If a note is meant to be played sharp, it will be labeled as sharp. If it isn't, it won't.

Working with the notes was difficult at first, and hearing them without context was nothing short of unpleasant, but after developing the skeleton of a progression and hearing them in a rough context, I've stumbled upon an interpretation that not only sounds acceptable, but borders on pleasant. I'm having some difficulty dealing with the two final notes, the F# and F, but I think I've thought of a way to make my quirky time signature work to my advantage by using both those notes and the beat as a sort of "transition" back to the beginning of the theme. As for the "process", there's not much to be said. At this early stage, all I've really done is improvised with the melody. Once my recording gear is up and running, I'll post a soundclip.

gonzaw
09-23-2008, 09:22 PM
I decided the hell with pleasant I am doing some atonal stuff.....
Kind of resolves to A, or to F at times though...


EDIT:Kind of finished it...

I dunno if this is what you wanted it to be like (restrinction-wise) though....


EDIT2:Added MIDI

Ultraturtle0
09-23-2008, 09:50 PM
Not sure if I'll participate in this yet, but I just wanted to say that this is a pretty cool project.
I listened to some of the work so far and it's nice stuff. I honestly don't think I would have the discipline to undertake something that restricted though... I'd get an idea halfway through then go off on a tangent.

Also, after reading your first couple of posts Archeo, I also have a title and atmosphere even before I start to write. I finished a prog/jazz piece a few days ago off of a title and numerous mental images that had been swimming in my head for months. It feels good to get at least something that's in your head out into music, but it usually ends up completely different than I originally imagined.

But yeah, just trying to add to the conversation. I'm excited to read and listen to what people come up with; especially the thought process.

ramm_ty
09-23-2008, 10:07 PM
Half Joking.

But seriously, I might try this.

edit: Errrr, those are the notes in order. Am I breaking rules?

Ead
09-23-2008, 10:21 PM
that was interesting to listen to, gonzaw.. all I can say is it's pure madness lol. I really liked how menacing the timpani sounded, and that weird guitar kinda caught my ear.

anyway, I've gone the pleasant route, and this is what I have so far. the second time I do the theme I varied it and it sounds smoother, but I took the liberty of adding a note or two on the Cmaj9.

might as well explain what I've done so far..
to choose my harmony, i looked at the notes and grouped them into tones that would sound pleasant (enough) over chords I like, being maj7s and maj9s. i took the A, Bb, B, D, G# and put them over an A G# string harmony. of course the Bb is pretty much unusable there, so i made it a grace note. I may be taking shortcuts, but i'm in the spirit of it, right? :p:
then A and C for Cmaj9, pretty simple.

now i couldnt figure out what to do with the G#, F# F, but of course it's that cliche phrygian thing. I like to end melodies on the third of a chord, and in a I or V chord that melody ends on the phrygian or locrian "note", respectively. So I said what the hell I'll move the Cmaj9 up to Dbmaj9, making the phrygian melody land on the third of Db. I made the Ab (G#) into a passing tone into the F#, which wasn't really neccesary because it's the 5th of Db, but I wanted the F# to line up with that repeating harmony line I have in the background and it flowed quite nicely.

Anyway, that's my theme.. i did all this in guitar pro, now it was time to get extra creative so I hauled out my Kelly :D the mood my theme left me in gave me a clear idea of where i wanted to go next, and that involved b6's in the key of Db. so I came up with the little lead in lick, going up from Db to A, the b6. now i find b6's make for very bittersweet or haunting harmony and melodies, so I formed harmony based on the b6. it goes Fmaj7, Dbmaj7, A+, Dbmaj7.

Return to the theme: The last time the Dbmaj7 rolls around, i sat on Db (enharmonic to C#), and switched up the repeating harmony line, which was repeating on G#/F, Db (C#), to G#/E, C# (Db), which is what I had going at the first to back up my Amaj7. then i repeated the theme, but with improved phrasing. I spaced the notes out this time and added an A and a G to make the G# F# F sound more like a chromatic line and have more downward pull.

After that's done again i go into my B section, which is happier.. still working on it. features the iiadd9, V, iii, I6 progression i mentioned in the chat thread.. I'm thinking the I6 resolves as a vi on it's own though. It definitely resolves as a I the second time because I made a an epic melody ending on Db. :p: Nothing complicated about the melody there, just hitting chord tones on the downbeats and making it flow.

anyway hope you find it interesting and maybe pick up a quirk or two of mine :P more to come

guitar pro and midi file attached

Thursdae
09-23-2008, 11:32 PM
I'm quite intrigued with this, I'll have to get Guitar Pro or, preferably, Sibelius, on this computer.. but who knows if it will run it (slow POS). I'll hopefully have something up with a few days but I'll be keeping an eye on this thread. Nice post Archeo.

The4thHorsemen
09-24-2008, 12:02 AM
I decided the hell with pleasant I am doing some atonal stuff.....
Kind of resolves to A, or to F at times though...


EDIT:Kind of finished it...

I dunno if this is what you wanted it to be like (restriction-wise) though....

wow, I love that! see, something actually good came out of this! I love how in the second movement you had that french horn then the timpani come in, that timpani sounded evil as shit.

GuitarMunky
09-24-2008, 01:07 AM
I gotta say, you guys did a great job. I listened to Gonzaws and Eads....... both sounded very cool. You guys really put something into this. Nice work

Archeo Avis
09-24-2008, 01:11 AM
I'm honestly impressed by how much some of you have done. I'm lucky if I can even decide on a melody in that length of time (I have, by the way, decided on the melody. I'll record my rough interpretation of the main theme and post it tonight)

psychodelia
09-24-2008, 01:15 AM
Gonzaw (and anyone else) could you also add a midi sequence for those of us not using GP?

Archeo Avis
09-24-2008, 01:48 AM
Unfortunately, I picked up the wrong audio cable and can't record my take on the theme (Easily correctable. I'll pick one up next time I'm out). I took the liberty of creating a short MIDI file though. It was difficult to get anything even remotely resembling the sound quality of my keyboard, but it gives you a rough idea of where I'm going with it. It goes on further, but I didn't want to have to punch everything in by hand so I'm loading only the most essential part of it now. It sounds like it resolves terribly, but I've actually developed a a way to treat the dissonance so that it sounds quite pleasant. You'll get a better idea of where I'm going with it when I upload a recording, but for now...

http://www.yousendit.com/download/bVlDNWN0NEgwZ2xMWEE9PQ

The4thHorsemen
09-24-2008, 02:10 AM
here's mine, but I don't know how to make it into a midi file.

does this abide by the rules?

edit: I guess I'll try to explain how I wrote it. I mostly just tried to find a way to play those notes that didn't sound completely retarded, then I added in the choir ahs a tritone above to give it a creepier atmosphere, and then added in that galloping drum to give it a little something extra.

For the second part I actually did something not completely stupid, I decided to just take all the notes from those random ones, got rid of the A# and made a scale, then I used this to come up with that riff, and added the galloping drums in again. When I revisited the main idea I kinda took it and just changed around the rhythm and put it in 9/8.

For that weird little outro thing I thought "hm, I bet I just used minor triads for those notes and played it in a weird way it would sound fucked up and creepy... let's see what it sounds like." so I tried it, kinda liked it in an extremely add way, and left it.

what do ya'll think? to me it's kinda *shrug* idk. I'm just proud of myself for being able to come up with something remotely musical out of that.

branny1982
09-24-2008, 03:22 AM
archeos midi
that sounds quite cool actually!

Galvanise69
09-24-2008, 04:18 AM
With this riff, is still horrible.

Archeo, or somone else, can you tell me if Im breaking any rules?

As far as writing this, the main thoughts were

Chromatic Run should be fast, I didnt want to hang onto the cromatic tones, as the last times I had tried, it sounded pretty bad.

The first long note was the D, the B - D being a minor third interval, wchich sounds "normal" not atonal.

Harmonized the G# - A - C bit in thirds, G# being on the bottom, added a Major 3rd harmony on top, being B# (C) which worked like-wise for the first and third note.

The A- G# harmony was passed over pretty quick, plus there was drums and guitar underneath.

With the G# - F# - F bit.

Thought of it was Ab - Gb - F

Put it in Db Major, and applied sixths harmony, which sounded alright, ending on a Minor 6th.

Freepower
09-24-2008, 10:28 AM
Some of you guys have done beautiful work (the composition of destiny, particularly, was full of destiny and reminded me a little of Steve Vai - actually, would you mind if I covered it sometime?). It makes me feel a little bad that I did such a lighthearted and strange piece.

Ah well, might do another. I realised at the very end I'd missed a requirement. Which made me feel pretty stupid. I probably missed others, it never rains. However, I'm pretty happy with this.

Here's what I wrote as I composed -

Okay, first thing that popped into my head was that the first four notes are an absolute gift to me. I have a kinda funky riff based on just those notes, so with some moderate difficulty I extended it. I paid very little attention to harmonic function, preferring humour and rhythm to drive the piece along.

Speaking of humour, I thought it’d be funny to just wallop audience expectation on the head by sticking a huge distorted, down-tuned chord on the end of the funk section. However, this quasi-serialist compositional box we’re in reminded me of the gradual introduction of tones in the chromatic tremolo theme from Meshuggah’s Catch 33. This led to the next section. Pretty much channelling the doom theme music and Meshuggah-lite I just felt the drums go half military march snare and half death metal dirge, so I let them go that way. The high theme over the riff is based on a transposed version of G# A C G#, part of our theme. I decided to introduce the rest of the notes through a warbly, vibrato laden solo.

Actually, before I do that, allow me to consolidate A and B a little more by adding a part for the funk’s rhythm guitar.

Ahh, now what’s happened is I’ve got so caught up in composing a working solo (I’m relying on special effects and not note choice to get it to work) that I’ve missed a huge chunk of the creative process. I’ve tried to imply some more interesting chord movement in the “meshuggah” guitar parts. I got what I was looking for, but didn’t realise I’d have to compose myself back to section A.

In the end I’ve gone for a cheap “jump straight back in with some call and response to link back to previous section”. Actually, I’m going to get me a drum fill for between B and A2… that’d help.

Alright, that actually got developed into something resembling the opening bar and the transition is a fair bit smoother now.

As you can see, my method of composition is to rush in blindly and make things that amuse me or sound cool (ie, like early 90s PC games), and then try and patch it up. See if you guys like the piece, I’ve taken the liberty of including my work in progress files.

(ah shit, after having finished it and quite liking it, I’ve missed out the compound time requirement – I don’t want to do anything cheap – like a single fill in 12/8 – so I’ll just leave it as it is. Thank god this isn’t graded :( )

Ead
09-24-2008, 11:03 AM
damn freepower, that's absolutely diabolical :devil: very cool to listen to. I'm pretty impressed with your funky interpretation of the theme, that part I love. The ending was great, it gave me a chuckle lol. Your variation of the theme made me think of how Atheist mixed some jazz and metal elements on the Elements album.. kickass album..

anyway, I second that everyone else upload midi files as well, for those who don't have GP. I do, but a lower version so I can't hear everyones.

PSM
09-24-2008, 12:16 PM
Maybe you responded before my ninjaedit or I didn't made myself clear. Do you think the result will be something you're proud of? Do you think you'll enjoy listening to it? Do you think you'll use this method more after you did this experiment?
You're like the guy that was in my Atonal Theory class that, no matter how the teacher and other students tried to explain it, kept coming back and arguing that "there is such a thing as factually good and bad music, and this is clearly bad music, or just not music at all."

Open up your mind a little bit, dude. Clearly you've never studied or had any sort of real experience with serial or atonal music.

sock_demon
09-24-2008, 12:53 PM
You lost me at Rudess.

Yes he used his Jew magic to divert my attention.

demonofthenight
09-24-2008, 12:59 PM
You're like the guy that was in my Atonal Theory class that, no matter how the teacher and other students tried to explain it, kept coming back and arguing that "there is such a thing as factually good and bad music, and this is clearly bad music, or just not music at all."

Open up your mind a little bit, dude. Clearly you've never studied or had any sort of real experience with serial or atonal music.There are some things that are inheritly bad in music. Extremely chromatic lines are one of them. If you dont force it (with alot of effort) to sound good and resolve, its going to sound like crap.

And I agree with your friend. Atonal music is either really, amazingly good (schoenberg and... nope just schoenberg) or so horrible that your ears will bleed (everyone other than schoenberg).

I might have a go when I get around to it. Chances are I'll be pretty busy doing nothing.

J.A.M
09-24-2008, 01:15 PM
Keep in mind that those notes only dictate the main theme. You're certainly not restricted to them throughout the entire piece. You can develop the theme in whatever way you see fit, and you can certainly introduce other melodies.
Nice. I think I'll fiddle with variations, including going into 6/8 from 4/4, maybe try retrogrades and inversions of the melody; perhaps trying something like Rachminov's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, 18th variation(?)

Archeo Avis
09-24-2008, 02:17 PM
There are some things that are inheritly bad in music. Extremely chromatic lines are one of them.

Counter argument: Liquid Tension Experiment - Paradigm Shift

RCalisto
09-24-2008, 03:16 PM
^ period

ps: ead's song, just ****ing rocks.

Archeo Avis
09-24-2008, 03:48 PM
I just listened to Ead's composition. I really enjoyed that chord progression. I might have to try to incorporate it into one of my works somehow. From 1:01 onwards was just fantastic.

PSM
09-24-2008, 03:50 PM
There are some things that are inheritly bad in music. Extremely chromatic lines are one of them. If you dont force it (with alot of effort) to sound good and resolve, its going to sound like crap.

And I agree with your friend. Atonal music is either really, amazingly good (schoenberg and... nope just schoenberg) or so horrible that your ears will bleed (everyone other than schoenberg).

I might have a go when I get around to it. Chances are I'll be pretty busy doing nothing.
You're missing the point. Everything you just stated is your opinion and will vary from person to person, just like the impression certain music has on someone will vary from person to person. You will get people arguing that rap is "bad" music, or someone who likes rap might argue that country is "bad" music, or someone who likes metal might argue that classical is "bad" music. But what it all comes down to is that everything is opinion.

Go to a region of the world where microtonal music is the norm and you'll probably think that all of their music is "bad". Meanwhile, they'll think the same thing about the bands and composers YOU like. It's all opinion and what our ear is trained to hear (or open to hearing).

To state that a piece of music is "good" or "bad", or to state that a certain technique or phrase or idea in music or composition is "good" or "bad", is to state an opinion, not a fact.

My argument to you would be to PROVE to me that an extremely chromatic line is "inherently bad" in music. A fact can be proven, so you should have no problem doing so. But coming back with something along the lines of "just listen to this song" will only be proving my point because, in my opinion or someone else's, that song or phrase just might sound good, even if you think it's the most godawful noise you've ever heard. :)

PSM
09-24-2008, 03:55 PM
There are some things that are inheritly bad in music. Extremely chromatic lines are one of them. If you dont force it (with alot of effort) to sound good and resolve, its going to sound like crap.

And I agree with your friend. Atonal music is either really, amazingly good (schoenberg and... nope just schoenberg) or so horrible that your ears will bleed (everyone other than schoenberg).

I might have a go when I get around to it. Chances are I'll be pretty busy doing nothing.
Oh yes, and you DON'T agree with my friend because in his opinion, ALL atonal music was horrible, bad music, including Schoenberg, Berg, Webern, and the other major atonal/serial composers.

GuitarMunky
09-24-2008, 04:17 PM
There are some things that are inheritly bad in music. Extremely chromatic lines are one of them. If you dont force it (with alot of effort) to sound good and resolve, its going to sound like crap.



^what's good or bad is always a matter of opinion. BTW I dont think most composers say.... "hmmm I really have to do something chromatic"..... and then force it to work. its more likely that they use their ears to create something that sounds good to them (not forced at all).... and it just happens to be chromatic....... or whatever.

btw EAD, I really like what you did with yours. It sounds like you used your ears rather than just theoretical concepts alone. I could listen to yours all the way through, and to be honest I wasn't expecting many, if any to be something Id want to listen to (no offense intended). nice!

gonzaw
09-24-2008, 04:49 PM
I just listened to Ead's composition. I really enjoyed that chord progression. I might have to try to incorporate it into one of my works somehow. From 1:01 onwards was just fantastic.

The funny thing is, most of the piece is in Db major (at least the ending), but you didn't put Db/C# in your rules :p:

Archeo Avis
09-24-2008, 05:17 PM
The funny thing is, most of the piece is in Db major (at least the ending), but you didn't put Db/C# in your rules :p:

I didn't put any key in my rules. It doesn't concern me what key you use.

Ead
09-24-2008, 05:29 PM
thanks for the compliments, fellas :)
GuitarMunky: I'm glad you liked it and thought it sounded more like an ear piece instead of a theory peice, because that's what I try to aim for when I compose. I might pick a scale or something, like for my 'other theme' I guess you could call it, I wanted to have the b6 in there. I wasn't really conciously thinking strictly in harmonic major, I just picked up my guitar and the melody came out.

and yea, the way I interpreted the notes brought my last chord in the theme to Db major, and to me it sounds like it resolved there so I expanded on it.

I think that chord progession is instantly likeable :) I realized why it sounds so familiar.. its a slightly different version of a short jazz thing I came up with that's in my profile.

sadly I've run out of steam :( I really want to add more but I have no idea what to do with it now. I might try jam something up later

RCalisto
11-25-2008, 11:06 AM
so... has everyone forgot about this?

Deep-Sea-Seamus
11-25-2008, 11:23 AM
im gonna make one

Deep-Sea-Seamus
11-25-2008, 11:51 AM
thats actually a great theme and if you dont think so maybe you should kill yourself

Thursdae
11-25-2008, 01:14 PM
^ Uhh.... what?

And yeah I think everyone did forget about this..

Deep-Sea-Seamus
11-25-2008, 01:48 PM
^ Uhh.... what?

And yeah I think everyone did forget about this..

its a beautiful melody, mate

Peaceful Rocker
11-25-2008, 01:54 PM
thats actually a great theme and if you dont think so maybe you should kill yourself
....................................................

Deep-Sea-Seamus
11-25-2008, 02:00 PM
....................................................
u mad?

20Tigers
11-25-2008, 04:27 PM
I certainly forgot.

I had a part written but had trouble moving it to the next part so abandoned the project without ever posting my progress. I had all my train of thought written down too. I thought I had done well with what I had. I think I'll have another crack at completing it.

Freepower
11-25-2008, 05:25 PM
Yeah, get submitting, I'd actually like to archive this when everyone's finished.

Seamus, try and remember what I PM'd you about.

Deep-Sea-Seamus
11-25-2008, 05:41 PM
I didnt get any pms and there arent any in me box. Perhaps there was an error

Freepower
11-25-2008, 05:47 PM
Resent.

Deep-Sea-Seamus
11-25-2008, 05:53 PM
oddly its still not showing up

JakdOnCrack
11-25-2008, 06:32 PM
I just saw this. I'm going to do it now, this seems fun.

JakdOnCrack
11-26-2008, 10:56 PM
My .zip that has only the mp3 is too big to attach, what should I do?

Freepower
11-26-2008, 11:35 PM
UG mp3 player?

JakdOnCrack
11-26-2008, 11:36 PM
Oh yeaaah. It's uploaded now as Modern Day Charlie Chaplain in the Grocery Store

20Tigers
11-27-2008, 01:21 AM
I'm nearly done I haven't done more with it yet apart from thinking about it and listening to what I've already got. I need time to work so maybe later tonight.

20Tigers
12-03-2008, 04:39 AM
Done. Making Sense of Chaos (Archeo's Crazy Experiment) (http://artists.ultimate-guitar.com/20tmtprojects/music/all/play477360)

I wrote down my process you don't have to read it all, just listen instead and let me know what you think.
NOTES: A A# B D G# A C G# F# F

My initial approach was to find tones close to each other that are common to a chord. I was looking for fifth and third intervals and trying to use the in between notes for passsing tones between chords, extensions, or other kinds of embellishments. I played around with a number of different ways to arrange the random tones into a useable melodic and harmonic theme. - Many of the results were pretty ugly.

After a bit of playing around trying to make the progression sound fit my theoretical conceptions I realized I was forcing the notes and that they wouldn't cooperate if I did that. So instead I embraced the chromaticism and decided to use it to make the music swell. This was achieved through a line of chromatic whole notes

I saw the C and F as an opportunity for a cadence with some G# F# lead in from the C to F.

The arrangement of the notes then let me use the initial chromatic line to swell from an A up to the C where I could then create some tension and resolve down to the F.

After playing around with different chords I decided that with so much chromaticism present in the melody I felt clear simple harmonies would be most effective in the melodic theme I had created thereby allowing the ear time and room to get familiar with the melody. Since I was planning to resolve to F I decided to harmonize the opening A with an F and C making the first chord F then climbing chromatically through F# to G and then jumping to C before falling back to the F. Then start again.

Opening with the trumpet playing the melody and a couple flutes for harmonic backing keeps things clear and obvious for the listener.

The main theme is repeated while new layers explode on the scene - Bass, Electric Guitar, and Drums. I also pulled out the microphone and played with some ideas before distorting my voice for a line "Making Sense of Chaos". That is what I felt I was trying to do with this insane line and it was what I would title the effort if I had to.

I repeat the trumpet and flutes again with all the new layers to steady things. Then I tried to renew the interest with some slight variation on the main theme with a pop flute. The variations are basically a fusion of new chord tones with the original theme.

I wanted a second section that was quite distinct from the first part and I couldn't find anything that would work. I put in some bass drum and left it at that.

Then the thread surfaced again and I pulled the work out to finish it. I played around with the second section and got frustrated. I thought **** it I'll just stick in some random soundtrack from a classic movie. I searched Steve McQueen but had trouble finding a good sound track. Then I thought of Full Metal Jacket cause it has some great lines.

I pulled off some of the soundtrack and stuck it in and it just stuck. Underneath the section of soundtrack I pulled there is a F - B tritone bass pulsing. I went with this and just used the guitar and bass to elaborate on a diminished F chord.

To finish I returned to the previous variation on the theme underneath with electric guitar and then the same guitar riff with the main theme. I finished on the F then threw in a bend up to A to give a cowboy feel as the Drill Instructer enters and tells everyone to get back in their bunks.

That's it.

There's lot's I could polish up but it's just an exercise. I had fun doing this.


P.S.
200 to 1 that the end results will sound like raped children. Action, anyone? I'll take that bet. I honestly think the main theme hear sounds musical.

Johnljones7443
12-03-2008, 04:46 AM
The FMJ **** is awesome.

20Tigers
12-03-2008, 04:50 AM
Can't really go wrong with that movie can you. It's a classic.

RCalisto
12-03-2008, 05:57 AM
i liked the song. i really did.
i didn't understand where the FMJ thing started and ended though
was it that part where it got really quiet?

branny1982
12-03-2008, 05:57 AM
great song.

Freepower
12-03-2008, 07:17 AM
Very nice. We're just waiting on Archeo now. :p:

20Tigers
12-03-2008, 03:58 PM
i liked the song. i really did.
i didn't understand where the FMJ thing started and ended though
was it that part where it got really quiet?It's just a section of soundtrack inserted in.

It starts earlier on you might hear Leonard say "Hi Joker" Joker saying "Are those, live rounds"... and Leonard's response "7 6 2 millimeter full metal jacket"

The first section ends shortly after that.

Then the middle section where the trumpets and main theme are left behind for an exploration of ideas in F°7 and you can hear the exchange develop as the they discuss being in a world of shit.

Then everything jumps back in for a couple of bars as we head towards the end while Leonard goes through his gun drill "Left Shoulder huh! etc etc This is my rifle....blah blah."

Then the Drill instructor enters. So yeah the FMJ stuff is present throughout most of the piece and can be first heard shortly after my corny "Making Sense of Chaos" introduction. You can hear the odd click of bullet into magazine but I mostly decreased the volume of the track between the dialogue in the first section so you could hear the dialogue but it wasn't too distracting.