#1
I've had an interest in classical for a while, and I've played it based on what I heard.. But I can't make my own. Nothing I do ever sounds classical. Everything I do sounds bluesy or rock-like.

So what makes something sound classical? From a theory standpoint.

I thought it was the finger picking type stuff, with bass note and treble note, but that's not it, as you can play almost anything without the bass part... I don't really know.
#3
Separate parts that combine to form chords and moods. It's brilliant stuff really. If you have a keyboard and midi, you can experiment with the string sections and wind section. No percussion and just experiment in a certain key, C Maj is good to start with keyboard.

On guitar, try to keep in the major or minor scale at first, find a bassline and a melody then work out how to play them at the same time. Stay away from licks and pentatonics. Also use something other than 4/4 timing, changing time signatures and tempo.
Last edited by Tempoe at Jul 14, 2009,
#4
"I'll tell you what classical music is, for those of you who don't know. Classical music is this music that was written by a bunch of dead people a long time ago. And it's formula music, the same as top forty music is formula music. In order to have a piece be classical, it has to conform to academic standards that were the current norms of that day and age ... I think that people are entitled to be amused, and entertained. If they see deviations from this classical norm, it's probably good for their mental health."

- Frank Zappa
#5
It's almost a rule in Classical music that if you're using Minor the V chord has to be major.
#6
Quote by Zaphikh
"I'll tell you what classical music is, for those of you who don't know. Classical music is this music that was written by a bunch of dead people a long time ago. And it's formula music, the same as top forty music is formula music. In order to have a piece be classical, it has to conform to academic standards that were the current norms of that day and age ... I think that people are entitled to be amused, and entertained. If they see deviations from this classical norm, it's probably good for their mental health."

- Frank Zappa

Wow, I wouldn't believe someone like Frank Zappa would have actually said something so wrong unless I actually googled it. That's just such a wrong statement. It's just surprisingly ignorant, it's something I'd expect from some kid that's only ever heard Canon in D and Fur Elise.

Classical does take some skill to write (which usually means learning about it in a university), and the conventions are more developed (so it takes more than just analysing songs and being orally taught to understand it), but that doesn't mean it's completely conformist. Take a look at any of the famous common practise era musicians, each of them deviated and applied creativity to their work.
The ones that didn't deviate (IE, the ones that wrote for an aristocrats court) did not get written in the history books.

No, classical music is not conformist. It's just as conformist as any other style of music. Actually, if anything, rock is more conformist than classical music.

T/S, if you want to write common practise era music, learn how to write a melody (using the classical conventions) and then learn counterpoint and then analyse some classical songs and then you will understand the conventions enough to break the rules and you'll be an awesome composer.

Classical is more than just V to i progressions and fingerpicking.
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#7
I just want to add, Alex Lifeson with his work on The Trees, A Farewell to Kings, La Villa Strangiato, and Broons Bane is what got me into classical.
#8
Quote by demonofthenight
Wow, I wouldn't believe someone like Frank Zappa would have actually said something so wrong unless I actually googled it. That's just such a wrong statement. It's just surprisingly ignorant, it's something I'd expect from some kid that's only ever heard Canon in D and Fur Elise.

How dare you question the word of God!

Frank didn't say it was conformist, exactly. He said it was formula music, which is absolutely true. Many of the great composers found ways to be startlingly original while still sticking closely to those forms and conventions...you know that yourself, surely. I don't need to elaborate. You were arguing against something else, which is not what Frank said.

Zappa himself, by the way, was a brilliant composer of contemporary classical music. Check out "The Yellow Shark".
Last edited by Beserker at Jul 15, 2009,
#9
I don't know, it seemed as if he insulted classical (AKA, common practise era music) which is just a big no-no. Even from Frank Zappa.
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[U]        |/     .-.              [/U]
[U]       /|_     `-’       |      [/U]
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        L.
#10
Well he did have a pretty irreverent attitude towards it. He's allowed to have an opinion you know, even if you disagree.
#11
Quote by Dog--
I've had an interest in classical for a while, and I've played it based on what I heard.. But I can't make my own. Nothing I do ever sounds classical. Everything I do sounds bluesy or rock-like.

So what makes something sound classical? From a theory standpoint.

I thought it was the finger picking type stuff, with bass note and treble note, but that's not it, as you can play almost anything without the bass part... I don't really know.

well if you listen to more of it, you should be able to get an idea. try things like the melodic and harmonic minor scales, arpeggios, etc... if you are sounding bluesy, then you probably need to rethink how you are playing your scales. look up some scale sequences. sequences arrange scales into melodic patterns that move up or down the scale.
#12
I think what most people miss is that classical, while it was all very similar, still had its Prodigy's and its Stiff Little Fingers'. People were constantly attacking conventions, just as they do now. The difference is that we've moved on so much we can brand an entire era of music as "classical" (sometime in the future people will only be able to tell the difference between Iron Maiden and The Beatles because one uses overdrive and the other doesn't - "they both sound like that old rock music to me!").

You need a very advanced grounding in music theory to be able to write proper classical (unlike contemporary classical which is like jazz by Paganini). I'd recommend taking classes somewhere.
#13
Quote by demonofthenight
Wow, I wouldn't believe someone like Frank Zappa would have actually said something so wrong unless I actually googled it. That's just such a wrong statement. It's just surprisingly ignorant, it's something I'd expect from some kid that's only ever heard Canon in D and Fur Elise.

Classical does take some skill to write (which usually means learning about it in a university), and the conventions are more developed (so it takes more than just analysing songs and being orally taught to understand it), but that doesn't mean it's completely conformist. Take a look at any of the famous common practise era musicians, each of them deviated and applied creativity to their work.
The ones that didn't deviate (IE, the ones that wrote for an aristocrats court) did not get written in the history books.

No, classical music is not conformist. It's just as conformist as any other style of music. Actually, if anything, rock is more conformist than classical music.

T/S, if you want to write common practise era music, learn how to write a melody (using the classical conventions) and then learn counterpoint and then analyse some classical songs and then you will understand the conventions enough to break the rules and you'll be an awesome composer.

Classical is more than just V to i progressions and fingerpicking.


clearly you see being a "conformist" as a bad thing. and i don't even know why people are still throwing that word around. no matter what you do you're conforming to something. get over it.

you seem to have missed the overall point of what zappa was saying...
"... and on either side of the river was the tree of life, with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of this tree were for the healing of nations.
#14
"I'll tell you what classical music is, for those of you who don't know. Classical music is this music that was written by a bunch of dead people a long time ago. And it's formula music, the same as top forty music is formula music. In order to have a piece be classical, it has to conform to academic standards that were the current norms of that day and age ... I think that people are entitled to be amused, and entertained. If they see deviations from this classical norm, it's probably good for their mental health."

- Frank Zappa


"I think that people are entitled to be amused, and entertained. If they see deviations from this classical norm, it's probably good for their mental health."


What he means is, is that he wants people to be inspired by music, and not the idea of music.

If you write music based on Academic standards, then objectively, you're being amused by the idea of some kind of logic of music, and not the music itself as in it's purest sound form, or the diversity it brings.

A convention will always have "the same sound".

If you use it to conform to academic standards, then you're not letting "the music" decide.

He doesn't hate on the conventions, but the idea of using a non-musical input (academic standards or w/e) to decide if to use it or not.

The irony is, that he's obviously being sarcastic.

How can you say it's not something Zappa would say?; Half the stuff he has done is "shocking people", from his lyrics, to stage antics to his political outlets.

It's entertainment.

I bet he laughs ("from heaven") to all the "elitists" basing a musical discussion on his little quote.

The "Re-incarnation of Plato" Award 2009
(most intelligent)
The "Good Samaritan" Award 2009 (most helpful)

[font="Palatino Linotype
Who's Andy Timmons??
Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Jul 15, 2009,
#15
^ ding ding ding
"... and on either side of the river was the tree of life, with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of this tree were for the healing of nations.
#16
Quote by Zaphikh
"I'll tell you what classical music is, for those of you who don't know. Classical music is this music that was written by a bunch of dead people a long time ago. And it's formula music, the same as top forty music is formula music. In order to have a piece be classical, it has to conform to academic standards that were the current norms of that day and age ... I think that people are entitled to be amused, and entertained. If they see deviations from this classical norm, it's probably good for their mental health."

- Frank Zappa


Nice quote
Quote by Night
wtf is a selfie? is that like, touching yourself or something?
#17
It's just as conformist as any other style of music.


Shurely that means you agree with Frank? I don't think he said anything untrue, except perhaps that the standards for conformity were/are academic.

As for what makes classical music - errrrrr....

Study some.

Secondly, there's around 400 years worth of music you're probably calling "Classical". You'd really have to narrow it down if you want tips you can apply quickly. And even then, the BEST answer would still be -

Study some.