#1
Lately I've been having a huge psychopathic freak/killer study kick. I've been looking up random informational videos of killers like Ed Gein, Albert Fish ect, and I found a bunch of A&E biography videos on youtube about them. One video in particular caught my interest, not because of the information in the video, but the ambient background music in the video. If you look up A&E biography - Ed Gein - part 3 (this video im watching while i type this), listen to the background music. It's very creepy and mysterious. What kinds of chords, progressions, and arpeggios are being used? If there are any tabs you could make up or link me to, that'd be awesome, even though majority of that stuff is being played on the piano ect. I'd like to apply some of that stuff to metal . Thank you!
Last edited by Watterboy at Mar 24, 2009,
#2
More of that "creepiness" is attributable to the actual instrumentation used, or any reverb or other effects used.
#3
use diminished and augmented chords/arpgeggios in my opinion. Throw in some minor seconds, sounds kinda creepy and very dissonant
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#4
I notice that each time they play a little lick, theres one note that really stands out that makes for a sharp and deathly ending. It must be some sort of diminished thing, but I'm not very good with diminished.,
#5
Something I posted in a recent thread:

Do a short simple melody, just a couple bars long, any notes you like. Then do the exact same melody, only one half step higher. Very common technique in horror movie music (the theme from Halloween for example).
#6
There is no such thing. The sound of a chord is determined entirely by context.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#8
Quote by Archeo Avis
There is no such thing. The sound of a chord is determined entirely by context.


Well the context was people being murdered and cannibalized and having their skin worn over the face of a mad man. Once again, the degree of the morbidity here is based on peoples' perception of the subject matter. However, if you made a poll about this, or even if you did a little research on this "context", you would learn in no time at all that while a vast number of people find these subjects fascinating, a majority of that number will agree that said "context" is indeed "f!cked up" or morbid in nature. That being said, and assuming you can be reasonable enough to agree that the subject matter was matched with suitable compositions of music, and not the theme song to Barney the purple dinosaur for instance, the context is very apparent. I'm not asking about your everyday major or minor chords. I already use those a lot. This thread is still very much alive.
#9
Quote by Watterboy
Well the context was people being murdered and cannibalized and having their skin worn over the face of a mad man. Once again, the degree of the morbidity here is based on peoples' perception of the subject matter. However, if you made a poll about this, or even if you did a little research on this "context", you would learn in no time at all that while a vast number of people find these subjects fascinating, a majority of that number will agree that said "context" is indeed "f!cked up" or morbid in nature. That being said, and assuming you can be reasonable enough to agree that the subject matter was matched with suitable compositions of music, and not the theme song to Barney the purple dinosaur for instance, the context is very apparent. I'm not asking about your everyday major or minor chords. I already use those a lot. This thread is still very much alive.


None of what you said is even remotely relevant to the post you responded to, and I'm not entirely sure you understood my post. Chords do not have "moods". If you want to write music similar to what you heard in those videos, then start analyzing the music you heard in those videos.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
Last edited by Archeo Avis at Mar 25, 2009,
#10
Quote by Archeo Avis
None of what you said is even remotely relevant to the post you responded to, and I'm not entirely sure you understood my post. Chords do not have "moods". If you want to write music similar to what you heard in those videos, then start analyzing the music you heard in those videos.


Its perfectly relevant because you told me my question is pointless without there being a context, which varies from person from person. I never once said "chords have moods". I'm pretty sure I didn't even use the word mood once. And I understand it is best to analyze the music from the video... I did that. If you check my second post in this very thread I stated that it seems like theres always one sharp sounding note in each lick that really defines the sound. I also stated that it sounds diminished or something. I don't have a great depth of music theory, just the basics, so basically it is like me trying to learn german just by reading a book I've never read before that is in german. I may realize which word means "the" and "no", but ultimately, I don't know german. All I'm asking for is some explanations. A few kind people did that, but you sir, try to be all smug, and I'm sorry to report that I was careful in my post, and you are wrong. If you are so smart, help aid the solution to my question. You could have done it thrice-fold by now.
#11
Quote by Watterboy
Its perfectly relevant because you told me my question is pointless without there being a context

He meant harmonic context, not the context as per the scenes from the video.
#12
Quote by Archeo Avis
There is no such thing. The sound of a chord is determined entirely by context.

For someone that has all the answers you rarely provide any.

Please enlighten us as to the types of contexts one might use to make a chord sound terrifying?

This is what the TS wants to know. How do you create a "terrifying" atmosphere with music? You respond pretty much by saying "it all has to do with context".

How very insightful.

How about explaining your statement. Share this knowledge you claim to have with the TS.

Then your next piece of advice - "If you want to write music similar to what you heard in those videos, then start analyzing the music you heard in those videos."

Isn't that why he posted? He wants help analyzing that music and want's to share and discuss ideas with other musicians regarding how to create "terrifying" music?

Instead of understanding what's being said you jump on the fact that he thinks it may have something to do with the quality of the chords.

As for your statement "There is no such thing. The sound of a chord is determined entirely by context." It doesn't really contradict anything that the TS said. When played with one set of chords a specific chord may sound uplifting. When played with another set of chords the same chord may sound depressing. So asking what kind of chords or arpeggios create these feelings, is not the same as claiming that a single chord sounds a certain way or not.

Anyway,

WATTERBOY. I don't know about the music in that video but here are some basic ideas you might want to play around with.

A lot of the terrifying effect is created through suspense and discomfort and surprise. This may involve soft slow unresolved ideas, half phrases, and dissonant intervals.

Tritones and minor seconds are effective intervals for creating a sense of unease. Don't go overkill on them though just enough to not let the listener ever really feel completely comfortable.

There was a cool part in the movie There Will Be Blood which a unison is played and one of the notes bent up to a minor second (I can't remember exactly it was a while since I heard it) then slowly bent back down. This sounded really cool and lent the movie and atmosphere of psychological unease at that point. You got the feeling things were starting to get "unhinged".

Surprise is important also which acts as a kind of release of too much pent up tension without really letting go of the grip. (This is where the screams come in a horror movie.) It's kind of a paradox in that the listener should be constantly waiting and expecting something to happen but when something does happen it should be a surprise.

Try some slow melodies coupled with some dissonant harmonies steadily building toward a climax to create suspense. Holding that climax by drawing it out for an extra bar or two while increasing the volume or even just silence which can be very suspenseful. You could then resolve letting them off the hook and build again or punctuate with a loud sharp "boo".

Very low pitched dissonances seem to affect the body (stomach and guts) and the tension seems to grip us from there. High pitched dissonances seem to attack at the head first.

Those are just some things I've noticed. Like someone else said orchestration and effects are very important. In creating the atmosphere you seek.

One of the things you said about not using the Barney song stuck out at me. Some of the scariest music I have heard is based on children's nurserey melodies. An old trick is to have children singing them maybe EQ'd reverbed and backed with some dissonant harmonies to create a very disturbing sound that plays with the idea of a disillusioned innocence. (That whole scary clown thing.)

I can imagine the Barney song being played in a way that is very terrifying. If I find the time I might see if I can put something together - but I've already spent too much time away from my guitar typing this.
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Mar 25, 2009,
#13

For someone that has all the answers you rarely provide any.

Please enlighten us as to the types of contexts one might use to make a chord sound terrifying?

This is what the TS wants to know. How do you create a "terrifying" atmosphere with music? You respond pretty much by saying "it all has to do with context".


In which case his question comes down to "how do I make music sound the way I want it to?", which has no answer beyond years of study and experience. It wouldn't be impossible to help him, but we'd still need far more information than "it sounds scary", which is a completely subjective judgment. We can't help him analyze music that he hasn't posted, can we?
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#14
Well he provided instructions on how to find the music which were pretty easy to follow.

Also his question would come down to "How do I make music that sounds "terrifying" - here's an example of the kind of music I'm talking about."

Perfectly valid. Also yes "scary" and "terrifying" are somewhat subjective. But one could explain some of the concepts behind music they personally find scary. The differences in what we find scary could make a good discussion around various ideas and should generate MORE ideas and suggestions instead of simply writing the topic off as too subjective to have a meaningful discussion about.

So how might one use chords, arpeggios, and various other musical structures and techniques to make music that sounds scary? (One that fulfulls your subjective impression of what sounds scary.)
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Mar 26, 2009,
#15
Quote by Archeo Avis
In which case his question comes down to "how do I make music sound the way I want it to?", which has no answer beyond years of study and experience. It wouldn't be impossible to help him, but we'd still need far more information than "it sounds scary", which is a completely subjective judgment. We can't help him analyze music that he hasn't posted, can we?


Honestly, just shut up.

20Tigers; thank you for the excellent and useful concepts to use. I'm gonna try to learn some diminished and augmented patterns, then apply the playing techniques u offered with those. If I can get some ideas flowing, Ill post a clip of me playing some sketchy music. By the way, about the Barney thing, I agree completely that childrens' music can be scary as hell, especially if you put some horror scenes behind it. I was just trying to imply that there is a genuine difference in the tonal qualities between something played all in major, and something played like the background music to those clips i offered up. Thanks again