#1
Do any of you lads compose and arrange music, like for wind or stage band?

Any stories, info, tips etc. to share?
#2
God did (still does?).

And by God I mean Corwinoid.


Here's his epic tale: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showpost.php?p=14532008&postcount=3591
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”


-Max Planck

☮∞☯♥
Last edited by metal4all at Nov 27, 2008,
#3
I do just for the hell of it, and for my AP music theory class. I do a lot of violin stuff, a lot of orchestra stuff and some guitar when I feel inspired.

Programs like Finale are great for composing. I don't really know if I have any other tips than listen to what you feel, and reproduce what you feel.
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#4
I find it very difficult to compose and especially to arrange with Finale - having it play stuff back in its strange MIDI manner destroys my ears and their ability to tell good from bad.

I draft everything with a mechanical pencil and heaps of staff paper. Try it on a piano, revise, revise, revise, see if I can find people to play me some of it on their instruments, revise, revise, at some point end with something that I don't quite feel negative about. Then I Finale-ize it so it can look nice.
#6
Quote by JakdOnCrack
I use Finale 2007. I have some samples in my profile.

I normally take melodies and such that i use when i dick around on my guitar and compose around them. I break most of the rules i learn in theory class.

Theory is really around to explain why, not how. If you follow the rules of theory, you'll never be a good artist. It's useful to know, but not as a guideline for composition.

I compose mostly choral and other vocal genres (I'm working on a cantata at the moment... 4 movements in).
The medium is the message!
#7
Quote by Nick_
I find it very difficult to compose and especially to arrange with Finale - having it play stuff back in its strange MIDI manner destroys my ears and their ability to tell good from bad.

I draft everything with a mechanical pencil and heaps of staff paper. Try it on a piano, revise, revise, revise, see if I can find people to play me some of it on their instruments, revise, revise, at some point end with something that I don't quite feel negative about. Then I Finale-ize it so it can look nice.
Any suggestions for anyone that sucks at piano and doesn't feel like learning?

I arrange and stuff. Sort of, I need more time to do some serious arranging and writing.

If you follow the rules of theory, you'll never be a good artist. It's useful to know, but not as a guideline for composition.
What's your opinion on counterpoint?
#8
Make friends with a talented and nice piano player who doesn't mind playing them for you.

On counterpoint: It's a great study of the fundamental relationships between two lines. If you extend the harmony a bit, you can really view anything with a moderately polyphonic texture through its lens. But don't go composing your stuff with strict species counterpoint.
#9
Quote by Nick_
On counterpoint: It's a great study of the fundamental relationships between two lines. If you extend the harmony a bit, you can really view anything with a moderately polyphonic texture through its lens. But don't go composing your stuff with strict species counterpoint.
What about free 18th century florid counterpoint in 3 parts?
#10
It'll sound nice, so can species, so can a computer. But it's dated and it's been done. Take the knowledge and do new things with it.
#11
I do quite a bit of composing for fun; I'm working on both a string quarter and a nocturne as we speak.
Quote by Nick_
But don't go composing your stuff with strict species counterpoint.

It would be ridiculous to approach everything in such a manner; species counterpoint is intended for didactic purposes. It's the "learn the rules so you can break them" idea.
#12
Isn't everything? I can't tell if you're agreeing or disagreeing.
#13
Quote by Nick_
Isn't everything? I can't tell if you're agreeing or disagreeing.

I'm agreeing with you. Not all musical devices were created for a directly educational purpose; species counterpoint was created as a way to teach the fundamentals of harmony and voice leading.
#14
Counterpoint is by definition combining two melodies. The way to do counterpoint effectively is by following the rules. Most rules in free, 18th century counterpoint can't be broken without causing you music to sound cluttered.

Although I completely disagree to counterpoint becoming the main means of composing instead of a mere tool, I also disagree to the "learn the rules so you can break the rules" aproach. If modern counterpoint teachers intended this, they would note which rules can be broken (which they actually do, they say might say "avoid" instead of "forbidden")

tldr; counterpoint is still completely usefull
#15
Nick_:
you said you do all your work on pencil and paper, which i completely admire, an dive been trying to do that more myself. But when you try it out at a piano, that can cause huge problems. Im just in the editing phase of a nice stage band christmas medley that works at a piano, but didnt quite fly with mixed tone colour.

But ya thats what i do, with paper, and then finale.

WHen you guys finish what do you do with the pieces?
#16
Quote by demonofthenight
Counterpoint is by definition combining two melodies. The way to do counterpoint effectively is by following the rules. Most rules in free, 18th century counterpoint can't be broken without causing you music to sound cluttered.

Although I completely disagree to counterpoint becoming the main means of composing instead of a mere tool, I also disagree to the "learn the rules so you can break the rules" approach. If modern counterpoint teachers intended this, they would note which rules can be broken (which they actually do, they say might say "avoid" instead of "forbidden")

tldr; counterpoint is still completely usefull
Por qué?

That sounds boring. That's like staying strictly diatonic when you know adding in a #4 and going Lydian on the song's ass would be awesome.
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”


-Max Planck

☮∞☯♥
#17
Quote by The Rambler
Theory is really around to explain why, not how. If you follow the rules of theory, you'll never be a good artist. It's useful to know, but not as a guideline for composition.


There are no rules in theory so it is impossible to break them, theory is merely descriptive.

Anything you write in the western tonal system can be described by theory and if it sounds good then there is probably some theory that will tell you why it sounds good.

Name me one artist that has broken the "rules" of theory.
#18
Quote by demonofthenight
If modern counterpoint teachers intended this, they would note which rules can be broken (which they actually do, they say might say "avoid" instead of "forbidden")


If they did that you wouldn't be breaking rules when you did that.

* "rules" is a poor word to use but I feel it gets the meaning across. Theory is descriptive, but its study automatically creates a system which resists challenge. Break that system.
#19
Theory might only be descriptive, but writing conventions actually do have rules which you must either break tastefully or not at all (like in modern counterpoint). Most people fail at the "tastefully" aspect of breaking rules.
#20
Quote by demonofthenight
Most people fail at the "tastefully" aspect of breaking rules.

In my experience with counterpoint, the reason people fail at this is because they don't understand the rules completely. This is why I strongly advocate the "learn then break" style.
#21
This whole conversation seems to lend to the fact that there are solid rules...

my opinion is that its entirely acceptable to break the rules if:

a) you know which rules your breaking
and
b) your music sounds better for it.