#1
Hello UG!

Quick question i thought i would run by you all, since it could be nice to hear what others have to say about it before going to work.

I have been practicing/rehearsing a musical for the past 4 months now and in a week or two it will be time to perform. So that said i have only been working on this musical and some stuff too keep my technique up for the past months. But now i will have time to practice what i want again.

So i am a big fan of like neoclassic metal. My favorite band for one is Symphony X. Then i also listen to alot of early children of bodom, vinnie moore (early) etc.

I am also a big fan of "normal" classical music like Bach, Beethoven, vivaldi, paganini, motzart and others.

(Tl;dr:ers start here)

I really want to write this kind of stuff like Symphony X, you know like progressive neoclassical metal. And i know his (Michael Romeo's) influences are based in "normal" classical music. But what should i start studying? Although both being similar in sound (with the exception of course that metal has the drums, vocals etc. You know what i mean) they seem very different.
I mean, what is best to start with for getting an understanding of how to play/write in the style. Classical music or Neoclassical metal?

Sorry if you find this question stupid, i over think basic stuff sometimes.

Cheers!

Sick
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
Last edited by Sickz at Jan 14, 2012,
#2
A lot of the "classical sound" you hear in neoclassical music is the use of augmented, diminished, and dominant scales. That's drawn straight out of Baroque music, which is really similar to metal music in a lot of ways.

If you want to study something, look at simple counterpoint ideas (Bach is a really good place to start with counterpoint). Figure out how to incorporate that stuff into metal music. Another important element of classical music is taking a musical idea or two and evolve them through variation and repetition throughout the piece.
#3
Your best bet if you want to learn to write like symphony X, would be to learn and study Symphony X's material, in-depth.

Just try to learn as many of their songs as possible.

Study the commonly used chord progressions, scales, and intervals, as well as the manner in which these are used in conjuction (i.e., use music theory to understand, analyze and interpret what is being played).
Last edited by Riffman15 at Jan 14, 2012,
#4
Quote by Geldin
A lot of the "classical sound" you hear in neoclassical music is the use of augmented, diminished, and dominant scales. That's drawn straight out of Baroque music, which is really similar to metal music in a lot of ways.

If you want to study something, look at simple counterpoint ideas (Bach is a really good place to start with counterpoint). Figure out how to incorporate that stuff into metal music. Another important element of classical music is taking a musical idea or two and evolve them through variation and repetition throughout the piece.


Hey thanks man!

I'm going to go through my bach abit, and also look at composers from the baroque period!
Any main composers from that period you could suggest? I mean sure i could google it, but wich do you consider to be the greatest?
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
#5
Quote by Riffman15
Your best bet if you want to learn to write like symphony X, would be to learn and study Symphony X's material, in-depth.

Just try to learn as many of their songs as possible.

Study the commonly used chord progressions, scales, and intervals, as well as the manner in which these are used in conjuction (i.e., use music theory to understand, analyze and interpret what is being played).


This is true, although i thought about checking these other stuff out since i want to write similar to symphony X, but not like symphony x. If that makes sense.

Like i want to write in a similar fashion to them, but not like when people hear my music "Is that symphony x? I havent heard that one before".

Although as you might expect, i will learn a great deal of Symphony songs. And i will defiently take your advice on studying what they are doing from a more theoretical point of view. Thank you very much!
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
#6
First thing to clear up: a lot of people are going to tell you that neoclassical metal is similar to classical music because it uses scale x or z. This is not true.

Classical music and neoclassical metal actually have very little in common, for the most part. The reason people say they are related is because they hear a passage using the harmonic minor scale or a diminished arpeggio (see my first point) and just jump to conclusions. I wouldn't even categorize Symphony X as neoclassical, to be honest. Yes, you can hear an influence to that end, but the overall style isn't reminiscent of classical music at all.

To that end, study Symphony X's music, as suggested above. Studying classical music really won't help you if you want to write like Symphony X, save for maybe giving you a couple harmonic ideas. Michael Romeo's soloing is pretty much all rooted in minor, with some diminished passages thrown in and a couple of whole tone licks as well. It's his approach to the instrument that gives him a distinctive sound, not the choice of scale.

tl;dr listen to and study Symphony X.
#7
Quote by :-D
First thing to clear up: a lot of people are going to tell you that neoclassical metal is similar to classical music because it uses scale x or z. This is not true.

Classical music and neoclassical metal actually have very little in common, for the most part. The reason people say they are related is because they hear a passage using the harmonic minor scale or a diminished arpeggio (see my first point) and just jump to conclusions. I wouldn't even categorize Symphony X as neoclassical, to be honest. Yes, you can hear an influence to that end, but the overall style isn't reminiscent of classical music at all.

To that end, study Symphony X's music, as suggested above. Studying classical music really won't help you if you want to write like Symphony X, save for maybe giving you a couple harmonic ideas. Michael Romeo's soloing is pretty much all rooted in minor, with some diminished passages thrown in and a couple of whole tone licks as well. It's his approach to the instrument that gives him a distinctive sound, not the choice of scale.

tl;dr listen to and study Symphony X.


I simply do not believe in all the scale talk that goes around on this site anyway. "Learn this scale, that scale then this scale then improvise and you'll be awesome", i'm more in for it for the sound, if the note is not in the scale but sounds good, ill use it.

Carrying on, i know neoclassical and classical is THAT much alike. But i like both styles and i thought it might be worth it to learn both to get a better blend.

But yeah, i will study their music. But as said i don't want to write symphony X, more in the style they have.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
#8
Quote by Sickz
Hey thanks man!

I'm going to go through my bach abit, and also look at composers from the baroque period!
Any main composers from that period you could suggest? I mean sure i could google it, but wich do you consider to be the greatest?

If you want to really delve into Baroque music, you can't go wrong with Bach. His use of counterpoint in his organ pieces is really intense. He is the essential Baroque composer if there is one.

Another fellow I really like is Vivaldi. His violin concertos were revolutionary at the time and his use of melodic lines is interesting. The Four Seasons is his best known work and has a lot of stylistic elements similar to heavy metal - fast tempos, minor keys, and solo lines (the summer presto and the first and third parts of winter are exceptional examples of those similarities; Children of Bodom actually did a cover of the summer presto in an instructional DVD).

Those two are two of your essential baroque composers. There are a lot of others, but those are the first two I would look at, especially because there is a lot of literature out there about them and their composition styles.

First thing to clear up: a lot of people are going to tell you that neoclassical metal is similar to classical music because it uses scale x or z. This is not true.

This is very true. Anyone who tells you that classical music is rooted in any one scale is entirely incorrect. Neoclassical music uses a lot of diminished, augmented, and dominant scales because they have a cliched "classical" sound to them.

To that end, study Symphony X's music, as suggested above. Studying classical music really won't help you if you want to write like Symphony X, save for maybe giving you a couple harmonic ideas. Michael Romeo's soloing is pretty much all rooted in minor, with some diminished passages thrown in and a couple of whole tone licks as well. It's his approach to the instrument that gives him a distinctive sound, not the choice of scale.

I disagree on this point. Studying classical music is never unhelpful and will do more for you than give a ew ideas. A lot of folks get the idea that learning classical theory limits your ideas, but having learned what I know (which is very little and far less than I want to know), I have only learned what different opportunities exist when composing.

Symphony X is not classical; it's metal with some progressive leanings and some dominant and augmented/diminished scales, which gives it a superficially baroque sound. If you just want to learn how to sound like Symphony X, you can just stop at what scales and accidentals are common, what chord progressions they use, and what kind of arrangements they use.

I started out interested in learning about Baroque music thanks to hearing some similarities to it in Necrophagist's music. I used that to springboard into more complex ideas about harmonies, counterpoint, and phrasing around motifs. I'd wholeheartedly recommend doing something similar and look farther than just the superficial elements into more advanced ideas. Music becomes most interesting when you cross pollinate ideas between genres.
#9
Quote by Geldin
I disagree on this point. Studying classical music is never unhelpful and will do more for you than give a ew ideas. A lot of folks get the idea that learning classical theory limits your ideas, but having learned what I know (which is very little and far less than I want to know), I have only learned what different opportunities exist when composing.

It's not so much about classical music limiting his ideas, but rather that it's unrelated enough to not be an effective starting point for learning.
#10
Not really. At its simplest and most superficial, Baroque music has a ton of commonalities with neoclassical metal. You've got simple motifs, repetition, generally technical music, uncomplicated song structure, and evolution through minute variations in themes.
#11
Quote by Geldin
If you want to really delve into Baroque music, you can't go wrong with Bach. His use of counterpoint in his organ pieces is really intense. He is the essential Baroque composer if there is one.

Another fellow I really like is Vivaldi. His violin concertos were revolutionary at the time and his use of melodic lines is interesting. The Four Seasons is his best known work and has a lot of stylistic elements similar to heavy metal - fast tempos, minor keys, and solo lines (the summer presto and the first and third parts of winter are exceptional examples of those similarities; Children of Bodom actually did a cover of the summer presto in an instructional DVD).

Those two are two of your essential baroque composers. There are a lot of others, but those are the first two I would look at, especially because there is a lot of literature out there about them and their composition styles.




Thank you!

Well that's great that you would say those two, since i already listen to them.
I really need to go see what periods my favorite composers come from i guess, cause i did not know they where from the baroque.

But as said, thank you! I will surely start studying their compositions!
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
#12
I'd definitely look into getting some easy-to-digest books on their composition techniques. When I started looking at composition and different approaches, I didn't really structure my study, so I have a lot of gaps in my knowledge where I'd like there to be none. I'm almost certain that there are some good articles around online. If I run across any in the near future, I'll drop them in this thread for you.
#13
Quote by Sickz
This is true, although i thought about checking these other stuff out since i want to write similar to symphony X, but not like symphony x. If that makes sense.

Like i want to write in a similar fashion to them, but not like when people hear my music "Is that symphony x? I havent heard that one before".

Although as you might expect, i will learn a great deal of Symphony songs. And i will defiently take your advice on studying what they are doing from a more theoretical point of view. Thank you very much!


Won't matter -- you will never be able to sound "just like symphony X" because you aren't symphony X. Studying their music will show you how to write in a similar fashion. But once you pick up your axe and start carving your own tunes, your other musical influences, as well as your own personality will come into play, leading to a style that is uniquely your own. If you don't want to sound exactly like symphony x, try doing what I describe, or try consciously blending in another style.
Last edited by Riffman15 at Jan 15, 2012,
#14
Quote by Geldin
Not really. At its simplest and most superficial, Baroque music has a ton of commonalities with neoclassical metal. You've got simple motifs, repetition, generally technical music, uncomplicated song structure, and evolution through minute variations in themes.

Yeah, but if we take "simple motifs", "repetition", and "uncomplicated song structure", then everybody from Katy Perry to Ke$ha is also playing neoclassical music. It's not a unique commonality with classical music (aside from this being a gross oversimplification of the style) as much as it is general musical convention.

Also, I'd hesitate to say that Baroque music on the whole was "generally technical" - sure you've got well-known virtuoso players, development of cadenzas and so forth, but the musical style wasn't necessarily focused on that in general. There's certainly a considerable amount of technical work in composition, most obviously in music such as Bach fugues, but I'd put that more at the forefront of the style than technical prowess on an instrument. There were many other characteristics that would be more quintessentially Baroque, so to speak, and especially when you consider the purpose of a large portion of Baroque music and its audience, it would be impractical for the music to be overly technical.

Of course, I guess this has been derailed enough, so we'll probably just agree to disagree.
#15
yngwie uses a lot of classical music passages in his work, i dont see why the 2 cant be related.

then again........
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#16
Quote by EspTro
yngwie uses a lot of classical music passages in his work, i dont see why the 2 cant be related.

then again........


Though i'm not a big fan of yngwie's work...well atleast not after the 2 first records.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”


Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."