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Composer's Thoughts

A somewhat detailed description of what goes through a composer's head. (In this case MY head)
by

Armando Pinales

on 31 January 2013

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Transcript of Composer's Thoughts

Composer's Thoughts Where do we start? Now... Once you've done all of these steps you'll be able to alter your melody's rhythm, add non chord tones and maybe ornaments (trills, grace notes, dynamics) if you desire! Well one of the key first steps in composing a piece is deciding if you want your piece to sound major (happy) or minor (sad). In this case I decided to go with a minor key. (D minor, one flat, B flat) Where to next? After deciding how you want your piece to sound you might decide on the instrumentation right away... but in this case we used piano and incorporated SATB. Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass. A four voice writing style. Key for hitting the essentials. The next step in music composition requires YOUR creativity! You'll start with a simple rhythm. Say, a few half notes and quarter notes. With this you will begin to construct your very own melody (your melody will be written for the "Soprano/upper voice)! Keep in mind that we are in D minor so your available notes would be:
D-E-F-G-A-Bb-C-D *You'll also decide on a tempo (speed of song) And a time signature (# of beats per bar of music and what note value gets the beat) In Western Music there are 7 "letters"or notes. The notes are as follows:
C
D
E
F
G
A
B (And then it repeats from C) This is music in it's simplest form. There are also notes between these letters and they are noted with a # (Sharp) or a b (Flat). Notes move up and down the scale.
For example, C goes to D. That is a WHOLE STEP. The in between notes I mentioned earlier are like this.
C to C#. That is a HALF STEP. The accidental (# or b) means you're changing that notes value by a half step or a whole step. So the same rule applies if you have two ##'s or two bb's. If you have two add half and half together and what do you get? A WHOLE STEP. Often, composers will do this to denote enharmonic qualities depending the chords used in the song. We will talk about more about this soon. Now that you... Have your melody set up you need to start considering your options when it comes to Bass notes and chord progressions.

The important thing to remember when choosing your Bass notes is that it has to fit with your desired chord progression. So start thinking ahead! CHORDS ARE Made up of (at least) 3 notes
Roman numerals symbolize the scale degree the chord is built on
Chord Progressions (patterns) are what can make really give your piece that extra "umph"! Since we're in D minor we are going to start on D and lower the 6th (in this case B to Bb) i = D F A
iio = E G Bb
III = F A C
iv = G Bb D
v = A C E
VI = Bb D F
VII = C E G After filling in... ...the Bass notes your next step will be adding the "Middle Voices" (The tenor and the Alto voice)

Now the rules you have to remember are that the Tenor must be within an octaves range of the Alto and the Alto must be within an octaves range of the Soprano (your melody line)

A range/interval (in this context) is the space between two notes. The space between notes can vary widely. For example, how many letters away is B from F? Lets count, 1 (B), 2 (E), 3 (F), 4 (G), 5 (F). 5, so the interval value between these two notes is a Perfect Fifth.

There can be different qualities to intervals (only applies to the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 7th intervals) Major or Minor, this depends on the number of exact half steps between the notes.
Always count! Here's Mine! http://the-rubinator.sites.noteflight.com/scores/view/0aad267cc28ea75f377504783e6442ed751e9d57
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