Another one of my, "Something weird popped up in my thoughts and I want to see what you guys think.", threads-

Any composer you know of, ever write a song from final resolution, (or lack thereof) forwards to the beginning of the song??

How do you think this would change your thought process (if at all)?

I'm especially interested to know if anyone has done this before, just out of my wacky sense of curiosity.
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Do you mean in a similar way to writing a book/movie and knowing what the ending will be but not knowing how you'll get there until you've started writing? If you do, I've done that a couple of times - I've had a basic idea for a song's storyline through to it's conclusion before writing the music and lyrics.

It's more usual for me to write music first then fit the lyrics into it though.
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95% of the songs I've written have started from the intro. I do occasionally do some things out of order. Like I'll think of something that sounds good and fits the song but I feel like it's to early in the song for it, and I'll fill in the couple minutes of blank space later. I realize now that that the outro has absolutely always been the last thing I've done.
I write a song... then mess with it. So... umm.... no, i dont work from ending to beginning.

I go beginning, part of the middle, then decide that sounds better as the beginning, and so on and so forth until the piece is completely different than what i started with.
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I can write a coherent tune ... But 3/4? I play rock, not polka.
Well, never done it exactly like that, but just wrote a new intro and the next thing i made up was the outro Now just gotta fill in the rest :P
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I suppose there's an implication that one generally writes things from the beginning.

I don't. I come up with something and flesh it out into a skeleton. Most of the time I don't even know if I've started at the beginning, end or middle. I just quickly hash out a skeleton and shift things around and fill it in as I go when ideas arrive.
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Yes.never done it exactly like that
Last edited by megaduu at Sep 7, 2011,
I don't always start from the intro, but I never start from the end. If I have written a section of music, I find it a lot easier it to write a part to follow it than a part to come before it. I've often struggled for ages to write an intro for a song, but never/rarely not been able to come up with an ending.
I can write backwards.... Because I feel like there isnt a direction in it that I can feel intuitiv.

I have problems with riffs that arent good as intro.... I can create chorus bridge etc but the Intro is kinda not available.

I guess that I am not the only one. The Resolution of any riffs doesnt tell where it comes from. If you work with musical motivs you can probably force it by using a Motiv you already use but more introductive. But in general you could say where it comes from...

Another factor is the Energy the song has...
You Feel how it ends (maybe pompous) but you 'll have to be calm it down to a intro...
Thats weird. Maybe because the addition is better than a substraction....to the end..
unless you also start pompous.


It's fairly common practise in harmonisation exercises to start from the end (i.e. sort out the cadence, and the approach to the cadence), then work from the beginning and fill in the gaps. It's a similar process that is used in several dialectic analysis techniques (e.g., Schenkerian analysis, or similar techniques that are designed to map large scale tonal relations within a musical structure).

It's possible that some composers integrated this kind of process into their workflow, and composers almost certainly sketched fragments of the whole movement before starting on a draft. So it is possible, that for whatever reason, someone would decide after their initial sketches to begin work from the end. Working like this does have some advantages, obviously answering the question of how a piece is directed towards a goal is easier if you have a better idea of the goal. It does require a certain amount of structural planning, to start off with, however.

If you start straight from the end without any kind of framework, you can only work back to a certain point, and then you have to come up with a first section that leads up to that, or you have two sections that you have to join up somehow. This normally leads to obvious joins or seams in the music. It's better to sketch out all of the key moments of the piece to start off with, as this allows you have a much clearer sense of structure, and then you can start working from any area.

I think the work of many of the more architectonic composers like Beethoven, Brahms et al, would have been pretty much impossible without knowing how they were going to finish before they started.
Last edited by National_Anthem at Sep 7, 2011,
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If you write a palindrome, you can do both at the same time!

I believe this is relevant
I hear that Josh Homme would sometimes write a riff or different part for a song, learn it completely, then play it all in reverse order to see if it sounds better that way.

Personally, when writing bits and pieces of music, if i have a specific sound in mind, i sometimes finding myself writing something and thinking "no, that doesn't really fit in the verse, but it would be great as a bridge" and other things like that, so it isn't uncommon to write things in a non-linear order.

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no, like this:

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I can write a coherent tune ... But 3/4? I play rock, not polka.
That's a real bizarre way of doing it. I have considered trying it but not really sure how to set out. Anyone actually written from end to beginning?
Last edited by Skerbey at Sep 9, 2011,
Hmmm that's pretty interesting! I've never tried it myself, but I imagine it would be a lot harder. I think I'd find it easier to make the rest of the piece, and THEN decide how the final section will go. Why? Because I think the ending should suit the flow of the music.


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Well, an interesting combination of answers, some I had expected and others that surprised me. I thought I had concocted some far out, ''that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard!" idea, but it's nice to hear that it's kind of common.
What do you guys listen to when playing video games?
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Men fapping.

Sorry, didn't realize I was that loud.

I'll be leaving your closet now.