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Topic: Learning a new type of music...

  1. #1

    Smile Learning a new type of music...

    Hello everyone,
    I'm new here, so take it easy on me.
    Anyways. I could use some major help. I have been stuck in this twinkly sound for some time now. Everything I make sounds very fairy-tale-ish. So, I have been trying to learn ( and listen ) to composers like: Aaron Copland, John Williams, and even Martinu and Hovhaness. Anything!

    What I have sounds horrible I know, but here is a link to my two "sketches". Just trying to form out the shape of the compositions and flesh out a main melody. Sorry for the bad recordings too. I have been using just my Roland keyboard and Sonar, so no heavy mixing or anything. Just quick and dirty. Oh, and they are very short too. I don't want to do anything too long until I know what to go forward with...I'm lost.


    Oh, and I made the webpage in like 5 minutes. So ignore the simplicity.

    Well, that's about it. I hope you can help me out.

    Am I on the right track? Thanks in advance!!

  2. #2

    Re: Learning a new type of music...

    Hi pwyon,

    welcome to a great forum here.

    I listened to your tracks and apart from the sound (...) the music itself shows grace, sweetness and potential.

    What exactly are your questions?

    All your strings belong to me!

  3. #3

    Re: Learning a new type of music...

    Everything I make sounds very fairy-tale-ish. So, I have been trying to learn ( and listen ) to composers like: Aaron Copland, John Williams, and even Martinu and Hovhaness. Anything!
    ...What I have sounds horrible I know
    First of all, welcome to this forum, Philip!
    There's nothing wrong with fairy-tale-ish sound. I liked very much what I heard in these two little sketches and I didn't hear anything horrible in them...
    Why don't you continue and see how far you can go in this style. You probably have an inner need to express yourself in this style and that's good. I think that once you have made the most of it you will naturally turn in another direction.
    It is very good that you listen to any composers and you can learn a lot from each, but your own path is very personal and it will in time combine all that you know into your personal style.
    Looking forward to hearing the finished composition!


  4. #4

    Re: Learning a new type of music...

    I think the sound is very nice. There is nothing wrong with fairy tales. It has a serene sound to it. Thanks for posting.

  5. #5

    Re: Learning a new type of music...

    Good afternoon everyone!
    Thanks for all the replies. I wasn't expecting such a quick response. And you all are very nice.

    I guess my question is most importantly: what could I do to make it better? I'm new to this American/Western/Military sound. Which is funny, because I live in America, you'd think it would come naturally or something.
    Do you think Aaron Copland is a good reference? Is there anyone/thing else that maybe I could read about ( or listen to ) to achieve this sound?

    I suppose there is nothing wrong with the twinkly sound. But, I guess I've gotten burnt out on it. Have you ever felt that way?

    Personally I think I need a more destinct melody. Something more catchy. Something more solid to build off of...

    Thank you so much for listening!

  6. #6

    Talking Re: Learning a new type of music...

    Actually, I think I am just having a musical identity crisis.

  7. #7
    Senior Member squoze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    Re: Learning a new type of music...

    I think they both sound fine. I like the first one better.
    I'm not schooled in composition, but a couple of things you could do:

    Let the bass find some notes other than the tonics. To create a little tension in the low end.

    Let some notes hang over more than one measure, kinda suspended, to create some tension. Don't always resolve at the end of the measure.

    I think of Beach's "My oboe".

    You might look around at what other people say about creating good melodies, such as
    This website

  8. #8

    Re: Learning a new type of music...

    Awesome Squoze! That is exactly what I needed. Thank yuh Thank yuh!
    I'll do some homework and post up what I learn. Wow, you all are awesome.
    "Imagination is nostalgia for the past, the absent; it is the liquid solution in which art develops the snapshot of reality.
    ~ Cyril Connolly"

  9. #9

    Re: Learning a new type of music...

    Hi, pwyon - Welcome!

    Your text sure didn't prepare me for what I heard. You were SO apologetic and so far beyond humble that I was ready to maybe be a bit embarrassed.

    Are you kidding? This is wonderful stuff. Fairy tale-ish? Hmm, well maybe you need to not judge your own output so much--that wouldn't be the word I'd use to describe these short bits at all.

    The recording itself didn't sound nearly as bad as you led me to believe it would either, by the way.

    See? This isn't a big scary place to post music. There are people from all levels of experience posting music here, having fun sharing it, seeking input, talking about techniques in composition and recording etc--You instantly fit right in.

    One thing I was a bit wary of from your text post was how you seem to be trying to sound like other composers, trying to latch on to a direction which will help stabilize you as you work. It's great to listen and be inspired by what already exists, and for exercise maybe even attempt to copy someone else's style - But in the end all of that needs to just be filtered through your consciousness so that you're not aware of your influences as you compose. You need to write how You write, and be less concerned whether or not what you're writing fits any preconceived genre or any kind of box. Know what I mean?

    You were asking in a general way about arranging and developing your music. - I would advise you to avoid putting the cart before the horse, - leaping into full orchestration of a piece before the structure is worked out. Sure, as you start arranging your work, the foundation it's based on can go in new directions, you can surprise yourself with new discoveries as you expand a piece and start fleshing it out for the orchestra - but I feel you still are best off if you start with a well-composed, well arranged Basic piece first, before you start writing it for an ensemble. You said you're concerned about not having melodies as strong as you want - OK, if you stick with the skeletal scratch version longer, you can focus on those melodies without being distracted by the huge project of writing a full orchestration.

    I work from piano first, for instance. Perhaps you do too? I have my stuff worked out so it is complete and works as a piano chart first--Then I know that I have something of substance to start expanding on. Then it's really freeing and such great fun to start picking instruments for various parts, weaving the orchestration on top of that already well-honed piano composition. See?

    And so forth.

    Love what you presented. Keep having fun--I look forward to hearing more!

    Randy B.

  10. #10

    Re: Learning a new type of music...

    Ok. I've taken in what all of you have said. I hammered out a melody I think I like. I kept the same chord structure and this melody seem to just fit. I also tried creating some tension around measure 12 or so. Which is really hard by the way!

    As I update the music I'll put the link in orange so yuh' know which one is the latest if you're interested in helping me. Um. I think that's about it.
    Hopefully the recording is a little better too...


    There's a part where the oboe hangs by itself. I'm not sure if I pulled it off though. Uhg.

    Thanks all so much for your help. I hope I have improved this piece somewhat for you...

    "Imagination is nostalgia for the past, the absent; it is the liquid solution in which art develops the snapshot of reality.
    ~ Cyril Connolly"

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