View Full Version : What would you recomend

05-05-2009, 09:16 PM
What do you think is the first thing a songwriter, composer needs to learn to expand past very simple arranging of pop music into something that more resembles classical motion of chords and progressions?

For example, bohemian rhapsody was a roller coaster ride, and obviously those things were felt and thought of in order to be written. However, I want to know how to comminicate what I hear in my head to others through theory.

Any recomendations?

05-05-2009, 10:05 PM
How much theory do you already understand, i.e. what do you already know, where do we start?

05-06-2009, 02:54 AM
What do you think is the first thing a songwriter, composer needs to learn to expand past very simple arranging of pop music into something that more resembles classical motion of chords and progressions?

Practice ;)

Analysing classical motions and prog's (or insert any musical style here) will give you an understanding of them and allow you to use them in your own composition. Of course the more analysis you do the more 'tools' you'll have in your repertoire.

re:communicating what I hear in my head to others through theory.

Personally, I 'learn' what I hear in my head, If there's something I don't understand theory wise I'll analyse it like I would any other piece of music.
Then I show the song/music to band mates, there's no need to explain the theory, they can 'hear' it, I'm their band mate not their music teacher ;)
If they want to know the 'names' of the 'sounds' they'll ask me and I'll explain the theory, at which point their eyes usually glaze over :rolleyes:

A songwriter/composer doesn't need to know any theory to write a song like BR, he/she just needs to know how to reproduce the sounds in their head, sounds they've learnt from learning, playing and listening to a lot of music.

Melody S.
05-08-2009, 07:36 PM
Although you don't have to know theory to write music, it is helpful in that you don't have to search for the sound you want. For instance, if you had a French augmented sixth (#4, 1, 2, b6), it might not just pop into your head that it should resolve to a V chord (5, 7, 2(9)), and you would have to search out the correct resolve aurally. But given knowledge of theory, it would be much plainer to you, I think. It might speed up the process a bit.

Melody S.
05-08-2009, 07:48 PM
And if you're really interested and want to learn music theory, I recommend the textbook "Tonal Harmony" by Stefan Kostka and Dorothy Payne. If you go through the whole book and get it, it's basically equal to a couple classes at a college. It starts from the beginning, so it shouldn't be hard to go through granted you put the time into it. :) There are also CD's for aural examples and a workbook available for it if you really wanted to work through it. Otherwise, I'm open to any questions you might have. :)

05-11-2009, 05:05 PM
Currently my grasp of theory is lack luster, I picked up a basics book and am practicing the contents on a daily basis. I'll be satisfied when I can apply it all to my instruments.
However, and I suppose I just being impatient, I really want to understand how to make a score using multiple instruments. I've always wanted to do some composition, but ever since my friend gave me this score making program with all the scores from some of my favorite video game music (megaman x-x3, zelda 64 they had this cool arrangement for the song of time, lufia 2, and chrono trigger) I've been itching to understand how they did it.
I think I'm a huge ways off because I can't sight read and my biggest fear is how long it will take to arrange certain songs and get good at the things I want to get good at.

05-11-2009, 05:42 PM
I think you are asking for something that is really a little farther down the road than where you are standing right now. True you can write a pop song with out a lot of theory, but, to orchestrate a piece you'll need a little more than just luck and a smattering of theory.

Start with your primary instrument and the vocalist or solo instrument you normally play with, i.e. understanding what key/scale your instrument likes and what key/scale the vocalist or solo instrument will like is step one. In keyboard I love C, but a lot of vocalists don't care for that key so I would play in their key. A basic I IV V with melody notes from the chord's pentatonic scale will get me started. If a fiddle was to join in could the fiddle handle what we had decided upon? What about an alto sax? That is what you run into when you start orchestrating a piece.

Horns like the flat keys, violins hate the flat keys and like G, D, A & C, so will the guitar, the key of F is a safe key for congregations. Country likes the Major keys, Metal likes the minor keys (Phrygian). What will work for everybody? Start at the beginning................ Understand what you and your group will like first then work your way to orchestrating.

http://ralphpatt.com/Song.html Ask yourself what instruments will be playing these songs? Why do you suppose they chose this key?

For a little more of the story check this out.