Anyone up for a little melody writing challenge? (This might be helpful for people who struggle with composing convincing melodic phrases.)

Hey everyone!

Lately, I've been trying to approach composing melodies from a slightly different perspective: Essentially, instead of starting with chords and harmony, I've been experimenting with writing a rhythmic framework first.

What's that? Well, imagine playing the melody of Autumn Leaves on a snare drum (or any unpitched percussion instrument, really). Even though all the harmonic and pitch-related information is missing, the melody still retains it's structure, phrases, accents, dynamics...

Someone who already knows the song might even recognize it. It seems like all well-known melodies feature a solid, convincing rhythmic structure underneath.


Of course, this is hardly newsworthy, everyone who's ever played an instrument knows that rhythm is the foundation of pretty much anything musical.

However, for some reason, I had never really considered using that same logic when actually composing melodies. Usually I'd start with chords and harmony, scales, melodic intervals or at best, by developing motifs.


So, back to rhythmic frameworks. Here's one I just wrote recently: https://musescore.com/user/28196196/scores/5450877

  • So, it's a short piece and it's using only percussion instruments.
  • There's an 'A' and a 'B' section.
  • The three instruments (A, B and C) are only placeholders and can be replaced by any instrument (pitched or unpitched).
  • For example, C could an electric bass playing roots, a piano playing block chords or a horn section, [...]

Having a framework like this already in place now allows me to fully concentrate on finding interesting harmonic, melodic and timbral possibilities. Which certainly helps my composing process.


At some point I figured that this could be an interesting exercise as well. So if anyone's interested, feel free to download the framework (either as a PDF, Midi or MusicXML file) and try to turn it into an actual piece of music by filling the framework with pitches, chords and harmony.

Maybe we could turn this into some kind of community challenge? We could even share our results in this thread and see how many different directions we can take this basic framework in?

So, anyone interested?

πŸ‘︎ 60
πŸ“°︎ r/musictheory
πŸ’¬︎
πŸ‘€︎ u/4plus1
πŸ“…︎ Feb 16 2019
🚨︎ report
Animal Crossing (GC) Soundfont

tl;dr, here's the link to it.

Animal Crossing's soundfont is weirdly difficult to find online, mostly because a lot of the links to it are too old to work anymore, and then those that do have it in this really awful format where every instrument is its own sf2 file, so you need to load in a different sound font for every single instrument (not to mention most people just share a soundfont of K.K. Slider sounds as opposed to the rest of the instruments used in the game). To save everyone the trouble, I compiled all of Animal Crossing's instruments into a single sf2 file so every instrument is super easy to access, mapped all the percussion to a total of 2 presets as opposed to 200+ individual instruments, and am sharing it with a new link that won't go away for a long time. Please enjoy!!

(K.K. Slider's sounds are not included, because it's pretty easily accessible as its own soundfont. If you don't have it already though, you can get it here )

Edit on 1/1/2020: I'm so glad everyone is enjoying the soundfont! I've recently updated the soundfont, as well as the link to it. Here is the patch notes:

  • Instruments that had clicked while looping now loop smoothly
  • Some samples that were accidentally left out of the final presets have now been included
  • Instrument names have been rounded to their nearest conventional counterpart and thusly re-named to be easier to identify without needing to research and memorize obscure African instruments
  • Instrument presets and banks have been re-numbered to follow standard MIDI mapping
  • Percussion has been entirely overhauled to follow standard MIDI mapping; percussion samples not used in the Standard Percussion preset have been mapped alphabetically
  • Unpitched percussion instruments have been adjusted to play in their correct octaves regardless of their position on the keyboard
  • Instruments have all been adjusted to be tuned to the same middle C

Happy new year everyone!!

Edit on 1/11/21: Updated the google drive links to keep them alive longer :)

πŸ‘︎ 26
πŸ“°︎ r/AnimalCrossing
πŸ’¬︎
πŸ‘€︎ u/Funky_Billiards
πŸ“…︎ Dec 01 2018
🚨︎ report
Can someone help me with a tuning question?

I just bought a Tama SLP Big Black Steel 14x8 snare (frigger’s huge) and I’m trying to tune this thing and having problems. I’ve never had a metal drum before, nor played one this big. Is there any wisdom for a sweet spot for the fundamental tuning of the real head? I’ve heard A on a 14” -but mine is either way off balance and ringing overtone city, or it really just sitting at a D and it feels pretty cranked. Btw I have the stock Evans Snare Side 300 on bottom and Evans HD Dry on top. Basically any secret knowledge of the sweet spots on this drum- namely in the mid to higher tunings, I would be very appreciative! Thanks in advance!

πŸ‘︎ 2
πŸ“°︎ r/drums
πŸ’¬︎
πŸ‘€︎ u/nicg908
πŸ“…︎ Jan 07
🚨︎ report
[Question] I'm wondering if anyone here is good at arranging and give me some tips?

So I made this album full of orchestral-ish tracks and some people at my school want to try and play them. Problem is I have no clue how to transpose music to any instrument other than guitar and piano and I have to write in sheet music. I was just wondering if anyone here has had experience with this because I know you're all a big and diverse group!

The music is here: https://richardfukuda.bandcamp.com/album/katydids-little-playground

If anyone would like to give me advice that would be amazing!

πŸ‘︎ 4
πŸ“°︎ r/BedroomBands
πŸ’¬︎
πŸ‘€︎ u/mycityisasucker
πŸ“…︎ May 15 2020
🚨︎ report
A Lesson in Elementary Classroom Instruments

Hello fellow music educators. As an elementary music teacher I often found myself looking up the names of percussion instruments. There are so many of them and it's easy to forget. So I made a video for people like me as a reference guide. This can be helpful for new teachers, or those with no training. I myself did not major in music education.

Actually there are 2 videos. One on pitched instruments, and another on unpitched percussion. Please check them out and let me know if you have any feedback. Thanks!

Part 1 (Pitched Instruments): https://youtu.be/Xtz9vk5VY-w

Part 2 (Unpitched Percussion): https://youtu.be/x0OjMzt19yI

πŸ‘︎ 24
πŸ“°︎ r/MusicEd
πŸ’¬︎
πŸ‘€︎ u/MrKenyonsStudio
πŸ“…︎ Oct 04 2020
🚨︎ report
My tier list of instruments

Orchestral Instruments Tier List

How I ranked them-

Comparing instruments that work on completely different principles loses its point. Saying that Bassoons can’t play 15 notes a second is just unfair. I will be grading these instruments by versatility(as in what a professional would be able to pull off), tonal value, and how difficult it is to get good at, and comparing them mostly to instruments in the same group so it’s fairer.

String section

Violin-S tier. Out of all the instruments listed, this is the instrument that has the most versatility. As Twoset has demonstrated to us, the different bow strokes, contact points, vibrato, extended technique such as left hand pizz, sul ponticello...you name it. I would not argue with twoset that this is an instrument that deserves an S tier position. A simple melody is enough for it to make elegant sounds, yet it can do so much more, like Bach with the chords and counter melodies, Paganini with you know, his stuff, and Ysaye with his explorations on tonality...yes, it is a great instrument.

Viola-B tier. Twoset jokes about them in every single video, and to a certain extent, I agree that it is less versatile compared to the other instruments in the string family. Personal opinion- when it plays high notes, it starts to sound like a violin because of the 3 strings they share. The big difference is on the C and G strings, where the viola has its own distinctive tonal features. Listen to the viola transcription of Zigeunerweisen by Sarasate, The slow sections are self-explanatory. Sure, if you try to do artificial harmonics and that crazy stuff on the viola, it would be extremely difficult for it to sound good, that’s why I did not rank it any higher. Yes, it is joked about not getting melodies, but that’s just because not many people wrote melodies for it in orchestral works-and I feel sorry for the violists-who I have massive respect towards.

Cello-S tier. Most things you do on the violin, you can do on the Cello. In fact, if we talk about roles in the orchestra, the violin can’t go very low so it can only play either the melody or harmonic support in the middle. Cellos, however, can go low enough to be the bass, can stay in the middle for coloring, and can go high to play melodies. Solo pieces for cello are also extremely beautiful, and I think everyone knows that.

Double Bass-A tier. Unarguably a VERY important instrument in the orchestra, plays the bass most of the time, without them, the music will hav

... keep reading on reddit ➑

πŸ‘︎ 21
πŸ“°︎ r/lingling40hrs
πŸ’¬︎
πŸ‘€︎ u/nomad1220
πŸ“…︎ Jun 15 2020
🚨︎ report
What is this instrument ? Breath of the wild soundtrack "Cave Theme"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtCWgWUhA8s

What is the instrument that is playing the main melody ?

πŸ‘︎ 4
πŸ“°︎ r/composer
πŸ’¬︎
πŸ‘€︎ u/qkrgusdb33
πŸ“…︎ Mar 26 2019
🚨︎ report
Help me with a DGD symphonic project!

Hello fellow DGD fans! My name is Austin, I'm a senior in college for Music Technology and my capstone/senior project is making a Dance Gavin Dance symphonic tribute which I have aptly named the "Strawberry Swisher Symphony". It's three movements so far, each movement having a different generation of the band mostly, though the second movement has both Kurt and Jonny. I'm chronologically using the songs so as to tell the whole story of the band as best as possible; from beginning to present, Jonny to Tilian. I'm not using the whole of songs because that would make the symphony take hours and it's already "too long" for my project at nearly 40 minutes.

Currently my orchestration for the transposing of everything is pretty "logical" in my opinion. Lead Guitar gets translated into Violin parts via tabs and the occasional listening and writing challenge. Rhythm Guitar gets turned into Violas. Bass tabs turn into Cello and Bass parts, depending on which is more appropriate. Whichever is left over typically just plays chord tones underneath and stays quiet and out of the way. Jonny Craig's voice is currently represented by a piccolo flute, flute, and oboe primarily, with french horn and bassoon used to round out lower ends of the sound. Kurt Travis' voice is a Tenor Saxophone primarily, with french horn again rounding out the lower ends (I reached out to him on twitter and he agreed with this). Not sure about Will yet but I'm thinking Trombone. Tilian's voice is a Cornet, Trumpet, and French Horn. Jon Mess' screams are an entire brass choir with Trumpets, Trombones, Tuba, and Euphonium. The percussion is still in the works theoretically of if I even want to include it and then furthermore, how to do so. My ideas are a jazz set with a HEAVY reduction of Mingus' drumming or an orchestral pit which won't get anywhere near the true sound but will fit the theme.

I will include a list below with what songs I chose for the list and I'm sorry in advance if you have a favorite that didn't make the cut. I've cut 5 pieces already due to time constraints or difficulty. Along each song will be the part that I'm using from it, as best as I can describe it. If I use a ~ it just means "to about". Most of these are coming directly from my scrawled notes in three separate notebooks so I apologize if something doesn't quite make sense.The songs I'm using, in their movement orders, are as follows;

First Movement:

  • WISIRO (Completed; I just wrote an instrumental piec
... keep reading on reddit ➑

πŸ‘︎ 17
πŸ“°︎ r/dancegavindance
πŸ’¬︎
πŸ‘€︎ u/acscreamholy
πŸ“…︎ Nov 06 2019
🚨︎ report
Automatic Page Turning App for Classical Musicians

As I mentioned in a previous post, I love this subreddit as it's given me a much-needed boost in my theory and composition, both of which I'd been shamefully neglecting for far too long.

I've never really had much to contribute to the sub, but I did think you might like to hear about new app for classical musicians that I've been helping develop calledBeatik.

Beatik is an app for Android or iOS tablets which presents the musician with a score and uses the sound of their instrument alone in order to turn the page for them at the right time. It works for any instrument except unpitched percussion and it's pretty well customisable too in that you can convert your own .PDF scores to our format and share them within your group or ensemble.

We spent most of last year testing it on everyone from seasoned professionals to complete beginners and launched officially last October.

Hope you enjoy!

πŸ‘︎ 2
πŸ“°︎ r/musictheory
πŸ’¬︎
πŸ‘€︎ u/marmeladovsemyon
πŸ“…︎ Jan 13 2020
🚨︎ report
Motivaton Issues

My friend and I are juniors in high school, and our private lesson instructor does her best to keep everyone as well rounded as possible between pitched and unpitched percussion. Every semester we're required to perform repitoire at a recital. My friend and I are looking for duets we can do, but my friend has developed a lack of motivation for finishing keyboard pieces (In our school's marching band and indoor drumline, I play marimbe while he plays tenors/quads). So I'm trying to make a compromise where he has to use a keyboard but it isn't the primary instrument he plays. Does anyone know of any multi percussion duets that moderately incorporates a keyboard?

Edit: I don't mean to offend any composers or opinions with any of my responses.

πŸ‘︎ 6
πŸ“°︎ r/Percussionists
πŸ’¬︎
πŸ‘€︎ u/TheTrueXerxes
πŸ“…︎ Sep 29 2019
🚨︎ report
ELI5: Why percussion instruments don't have to be tuned to be a specific pitch when played with other instruments
πŸ‘︎ 2
πŸ’¬︎
πŸ‘€︎ u/jesusvsaquaman
πŸ“…︎ Jun 08 2017
🚨︎ report
Final Fantasy IV's OST fully transcribed and a short analysis

I'm not sure why, but last December I decided to transcribe all tracks from Final Fantasy IV, from the Prelude to the Epilogue. Before doing this, I didn't know too much about Uematsu, and assumed that the general love for his music was merely a product of the series popularity and the western appeal of keep things simple with a focus on melody. While this might still be true, there's definitely a lot more at work under the surface of Uematsu-san's music.

Below is a list of some interesting things that I've stumbled upon in the soundtrack.

  1. Modal interchange: especially a lot of shifting between Aeolian, Dorian and Phrygian. The main theme is built around this idea.
  2. A ton of leitmotifs, both melodic and rhythmical.
  3. Dynamic time signatures: time signatures that are used to extend a phrase instead of a common groove switch or time sig. modulation.
  4. Chromatic mediants.
  5. Unpitched percusssion with pitches: for example the hi-hat pattern from Within the Giant.
  6. Probably a lot of influences from Bach (Prologue, Golbez, Town theme).
  7. Fun latin percussion instruments used here and there.
  8. A lot of dissonance used for a quriky, or cute effect.

So, as you can see, there's quite a lot of interesting stuff going on here. If anyone's interested in discussing the music, or have any questions, feel free to share your thoughts!

Link for transcriptions (PDFs, Musescore files, etc. for those interested): https://musescore.com/user/1984081/sets/5097209

Thanks for reading!

πŸ‘︎ 78
πŸ“°︎ r/musictheory
πŸ’¬︎
πŸ‘€︎ u/Luiishu
πŸ“…︎ Jul 21 2018
🚨︎ report
Question about tuning

Is it necessary to tune your drums to specific notes, or do most people just tune them so they sound like they at least kind of go together? I've never attempted to tune drums to notes, and I don't think my drums sound THAT bad, but I'm sure my tuning skills could be improved. Also does anyone recommend using a tune bot/drum dial, or is it better to go by ear?

πŸ‘︎ 2
πŸ“°︎ r/drums
πŸ’¬︎
πŸ‘€︎ u/Dragonfly_Breeder
πŸ“…︎ Apr 09 2014
🚨︎ report
Let's talk: Contemporary classical music [x-post from /r/listentothis]

I love contemporary classical music. My never ending quest to chase down new sounds and expand my horizons has lead me straight to it, and it has offered me an unending wealth of music that surprises, astounds, captivates, and intrigues me with concepts and sounds that I have never heard before. Unfortunately, I just get a blank stare when I tell people what I'm into. I know it's not for everyone, but I think that there are a lot of people out there who could dig it if given the chance. I would like to attempt to share that with you.

Myth #1: Classical Music is dead.

There are a ton of people out there making new classical music. There are ensembles all over the place. The music is very much still being written and performed.

Myth #2: Contemporary Classical is all inaccessible and made up of dissonant, random noises

Some contemporary stuff is pretty chaotic sounding or difficult for the listener, but my goal here is to just share some amazing stuff that someone with an open mind might enjoy.

(Most of this music will be from the last 20 years, but some will reach back to the mid-1970s, which is often what people will refer to as contemporary. This introduction is by no means exhaustive and is skewed towards my tastes mixed with what I think inquisitive music enthusiasts might find palatable and enjoyable.)

John Adams

John Adams has been the big name in the American scene for a long time. You may have heard of him from the news of protests every time his opera The Death of Klinghoffer is performed. He began tinkering with minimalism, a style that takes small cells made up of notes and rhythms and creates larger pieces through repetitions with slight changes, back in the 1970s. Some found this curious, as he was a bit late to the game since it was pioneered by the likes of Steve Reich, Terry Riley, La Monte Young, and Phillip Glass. However, he developed it into what some would call "post-minimalism" if you're really into naming things. Either way, he put a distinct stamp on it that includes his own version of melody, harmony, and structure.

A short ride indeed, this is a charming piece that serves as a great introduction to what John Adams is all about. Strong, pulsing, and repetetive rhythms, much like other minimalists, but so much more traditional drama that is hard to find in the earlier minimalists who were more concerned with process (indeed, th

... keep reading on reddit ➑

πŸ‘︎ 57
πŸ“°︎ r/LetsTalkMusic
πŸ’¬︎
πŸ‘€︎ u/berry-oh
πŸ“…︎ Mar 10 2015
🚨︎ report
Trying to set up a MIDI controller with Mainstage is making me crazy.

I'm trying to use a keyboard controller (Nektar LX88+) in Mainstage with keys assigned to pitched instruments only and the drum pads assigned to unpitched percussion/samples only. I frequently want to demonstrate how percussion parts and wind/string parts work together to my orchestra students. Is it possible to set this up at the concert level and use it with various patches? So far, I can only get the drum pads and keys to play the same sample instruments at the same time. I don’t want to remap the drum pads to notes outside the 88-key range for numerous reasons. Here’s what I’ve tried:

-The user manuals don’t address how to use the keyboard and the drum pads independently. Couldn’t find anything helpful online either. -Tried to assign the drum pads to a different MIDI port, but it didn’t work. The LX88+ controller’s manual says that the 2nd port is only for special circumstances that don’t apply here.
-I got the onscreen pads to switch to a different channel in the Layout mode, but they revert to channel 1 as soon as I touch the physical pads to assign them. -Tried creating a new channel strip in Edit mode, assigning it to percussion, and switching MIDI input keyboard to β€œnone” and that didn’t work either.

Any help is welcome.

**Edit: Now that I'm off my work network, I can access sites with much more helpful info. Am I correct in thinking that I need to change the channel settings for the drum pads within the controller itself? The manual isn't actually very helpful on this either.

πŸ‘︎ 2
πŸ“°︎ r/Logic_Studio
πŸ’¬︎
πŸ‘€︎ u/Pro_Noodler
πŸ“…︎ May 02 2018
🚨︎ report
Help identifying metallic percussion sound

Hello, everyone. This is a very brief snippet of a film score. Does anybody know what that metallic percussion sound might be, how it might have been achieved? There is a recognizable pitch there, but it seems to land halfway between B and C, so I guess the instrument would qualify as unpitched percussion. I first thought it might be crotales, but this sound is a bit darker-toned. It's also too bright for an anvil (at least going by the anvil sounds I've checked). Any help would be tremendously appreciated.

πŸ‘︎ 4
πŸ“°︎ r/percussion
πŸ’¬︎
πŸ‘€︎ u/seftongillis
πŸ“…︎ Mar 29 2015
🚨︎ report
Discussion of the Specifics of Orchestration

/r/Orchestration sucks, a search for "Orchestration" yields, at best, the discussion "What is good orchestration", and of course all the answers there are very broad. I'm trying to study orchestration and timbre and I'd love some people to talk about stuff with other than at weekly music lessons. If you know of any good discussions or some hidden subreddit filled with discussion about orchestration, that's exactly what I'm looking for! If not, I've decided to try and bring up some of the things I've noticed about orchestration.


What I mean by orchestration: It's not just about symphony orchestras, although it mostly is, it can be for any collection of instruments. Also, there are different approaches to orchestration (Klangfarbenmelodie vs. some Mozart will be very different). I don't think that will be a concern; both have things we can learn from.

  • How to study orchestration: listen to good quality audio and pay attention to what instruments are playing what. A score may be helpful, but it can take a lot of effort to follow along with a full symphonic score. Presently I'm studying mostly wind quintets which makes it easier.
  • Orchestration and timbre are pretty close to synonymous. In orchestration, you combine the timbres of all sorts of instruments to get new timbres, or sounds, or whatever you want to call it.
  • The "families of instruments" are basically sorted by timbre (as well as how they're played, the two are very closely related)
  • Strings are boring... probably because their timbres are so similar, even somewhat throughout their range.
  • The wind section is awesome... probably because they're so different. Also their timbres seem to change more with range changes
  • Range of instruments, especially in the winds, can really change an instrument's timbre. Just by telling a whole bunch of different winds to play in the lower treble clef you get them all sounding shockingly similar, making for a nice mix, as far as I can tell
  • *(unpitched)*Percussion, this is what it's for. Cymbal swells work miracles for climaxes. From a synthesis point of view, the percussion section is where to go for added noise, which can be very very useful, as well as underrated and elusive.
  • Blend/Balance, this is what it's for. A good orchestration is also lost in a bad youtube recording (at least that's what they called it in band class, bas
... keep reading on reddit ➑

πŸ‘︎ 3
πŸ“°︎ r/classicalmusic
πŸ’¬︎
πŸ‘€︎ u/Calebdgm
πŸ“…︎ Jul 20 2015
🚨︎ report
What should I do with my extra music block?

So I am starting my third week at an elementary school I'm at 1 day a week, after switching from another school because of schedule conflicts in the district. When I originally got my schedule, along with the other general music classes, there was a block for chorus. This morning my principal came up to me and said she had been reconsidering the block, that she put it in there because it was what had been there in the past years, and that she didn't want to limit my creativity. So I am asking what alternative things could I do in this time, or things other than a chorus you have done with general music students.

These are very enthusiastic 4-6th grade students (almost all of the students in the one class per grade signed up to try out for chorus!), there is a cafeteria space available, and while the school doesn't have very many instruments, the school I work at the other 4 days a week has some and I have some of my own there as well such as boom whackers, hand drums, unpitched percussion, some bell sets (individual bells, not orff instruments), and the school itself has recorders.

Any thoughts you have, please share and discuss!

πŸ‘︎ 5
πŸ“°︎ r/MusicEd
πŸ’¬︎
πŸ‘€︎ u/Boom_Whacked
πŸ“…︎ Sep 25 2015
🚨︎ report
[Discussion] An introduction to contemporary classical music

I love contemporary classical music. My never ending quest to chase down new sounds and expand my horizons has lead me straight to it, and it has offered me an unending wealth of music that surprises, astounds, captivates, and intrigues me with concepts and sounds that I have never heard before. Unfortunately, I just get a blank stare when I tell people what I'm into. I know it's not for everyone, but I think that there are a lot of people out there who could dig it if given the chance. I would like to attempt to share that with you.

Myth #1: Classical Music is dead.

There are a ton of people out there making new classical music. There are ensembles all over the place. The music is very much still being written and performed.

Myth #2: Contemporary Classical is all inaccessible and made up of dissonant, random noises

Some contemporary stuff is pretty chaotic sounding or difficult for the listener, but my goal here is to just share some amazing stuff that someone with an open mind might enjoy.

(Most of this music will be from the last 20 years, but some will reach back to the mid-1970s, which is often what people will refer to as contemporary. This introduction is by no means exhaustive and is skewed towards my tastes mixed with what I think inquisitive music enthusiasts might find palatable and enjoyable.)

John Adams

John Adams has been the big name in the American scene for a long time. You may have heard of him from the news of protests every time his opera The Death of Klinghoffer is performed. He began tinkering with minimalism, a style that takes small cells made up of notes and rhythms and creates larger pieces through repetitions with slight changes, back in the 1970s. Some found this curious, as he was a bit late to the game since it was pioneered by the likes of Steve Reich, Terry Riley, La Monte Young, and Phillip Glass. However, he developed it into what some would call "post-minimalism" if you're really into naming things. Either way, he put a distinct stamp on it that includes his own version of melody, harmony, and structure.

A short ride indeed, this is a charming piece that serves as a great introduction to what John Adams is all about. Strong, pulsing, and repetetive rhythms, much like other minimalists, but so much more traditional drama that is hard to find in the earlier minimalists who were more concerned with process (indeed, th

... keep reading on reddit ➑

πŸ‘︎ 8
πŸ“°︎ r/listentothis
πŸ’¬︎
πŸ‘€︎ u/berry-oh
πŸ“…︎ Feb 15 2015
🚨︎ report

Please note that this site uses cookies to personalise content and adverts, to provide social media features, and to analyse web traffic. Click here for more information.