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Music Theory Gastarbeiter 10/04/2019 (Fri) 06:23:16 No.142
After thinking through and wondering how I could possibly make this work, I am going to go forward with this. Since there are a lot of potential gastarbeiters here, I took upon myself to do daily posts hopefully on this thread that revolves around Music Theory, not Music Composition.

Quick disclaimer: I am not a music guru, so a lot of the information I giving to you is being backed by decent sources and my good background on this subject. You'll never get it right the first time, so practice if you have the time. Music is a time-consuming hobby, if you want get the most out of it just take it at your pace. There's no rush, so enjoy learning as you go.

Any other gastarbeiters or /mu/tants are welcome to post any questions, answers, etc, as long as they are relation to the topic. Hell, I'll even allow music theory "memes" since they helped me understand certain things better.
Edited last time by Muses on 10/04/2019 (Fri) 14:44:12.
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I'm going to assume that most people that are interested in music theory want to understand the piano instrument, which is the best methodology to tackle since you will understand two clefs, instead of one.

Now you might be asking yourself: What is a clef?

For today, I am going to teach you about the bass and treble clefs. There are other clefs, but I am mainly going to focus on these two since they are the foundation for a lot of musicians to understand note placement.

Let's start with the first picture.

This is what the average pianist sees when they read music. The top clef is called the treble clef, or the "G" clef since its first point of intersection is where the "G" note is located. The bottom clef is called the bass clef, or the "F" clef since its first point intersection is where the "F" note is located. These two clefs are together for pianist music, but if you play an instrument other than piano you will only see one of these clefs since they have a more limited sound range in terms of pitch. Pitch is another way of saying the sound of the note.

These two clefs are connected by a brace to form the Grand Staff.

Now that you understand that, it is now time that you learn how to play a scale.
Edited last time by Muses on 10/04/2019 (Fri) 15:27:30.
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What is a scale?

According to Wikipedia, a scale is any set of musical notes ordered by fundamental frequency or pitch. A scale ordered by increasing pitch is an ascending scale, and a scale ordered by decreasing pitch is a descending scale.

Don't worry if I overloaded you with a definition like this, it will make sense when I explain this and you practice I hope this easy to follow scale.

The first scale you will always learn on the piano is the "C" Major scale. Why? Because there are no flats and sharps, which I'll save for another lesson as we progress. Just know that this scale doesn't involve any black keys on the piano, just white keys. Now when people ask about the middle "C" and why it is called that; well it is due to the fact that specific "C" is the LAST note on the bass clef and the FIRST note on the treble clef(1st pic related). Although, that is technically not true, but for now just follow me here. Music Theory is notorious for bending its rules, you have to take my word on this.

Now, you should understand why middle "C" is known as middle "C". Also, second pic is a excellent reference to find middle "C", although you will memorize the location on different sizes of pianos as time goes on.

Now, for the meta, this is where I will show you the secret code of figuring what makes up a MAJOR scale. Once you know this, you can essentially teach yourself all twelve major scales. But if you are not confident enough, here's a link to all of the major scales that you can play on the piano:

Anyways, here's the secret code and I will guide you through with the help of the second picture. If you are good at math, this will easily make sense to you since this is just like using a mathematical formula.

In music, we take steps. What are steps?

Steps are essentially moving from one tone to the next. You may be asking, how the fuck am I suppose to know which tone is which? There is a musical alphabet that only uses seven letters: "A","B","C","D","E","F", and "G"

They will cycle through the tones in this order, as you repeat the cycle up or down you essentially went up or down an octave. An octave is basically a set of eight notes that form the scale. See, it is all coming back together.

I guess I was wrong about holding back on flats and sharps since I have to talk about whole steps and half steps. You will encounter the black keys doing either those since it fits in the musical formula I am saving to the end.

Whole steps are essential step up or down of a full tone. Using the example of the "C" Major Scale, you got from "C" to "D" to "E", which are two whole steps. You are skipping the note that is immediately next to them, aka the black keys.

Half-steps are just taking a half of a whole step. So in the context of the "C" Major scale, that is "E" to "F" and "B" to "C" since those keys are immediately next to each other. A better example is something that a lot of non-musicians should be familiar since all it is playing all the notes up and down, this is called the Chromataic Scale(3rd pic). This is the first twelve-tone scale, requiring all twelve notes in the octave. This could also help you be aware of how different octaves sound from further left or right regions of the piano. This scale would easily familiarize you in how half-steps work since it is semitone to semitone like the aforementioned "E" to "F" and "B" to "C" in the C Major scale.

Before I get to the secret, I have to talk about accidentals. They are note modifiers, so they can raise it up(sharp, #) or bring it down (flat, ♭) by one semi-tone, there are others but these two are most common you will see in music. Then, you have the natural symbol, ♮, which cancels any accidental. Careful, because certain scales have built-in flats and sharps in their scales(OP 1st pic), so technically a natural can also be an accidental in that context.

For the next lesson, I will be going over the time and key signatures in music. If you need any clarifications, just
Edited last time by Muses on 10/04/2019 (Fri) 14:43:39.
let me know and I'll answer them to the best of my abilties.

Here's the secret formula:
W = Whole step
H = Half step

Good luck on learning some music. Remember to take it at your own pace, there is no need to rush this.
Here's the picture of the accidentals in music.

The second symbol is a double sharp, so the note is raised by a whole tone or two semitones.

The fourth symbol is a double flat, which is the same as the second symbol except that it lowers the note by a whole tone or two semitones.
LESSON 2: Time Signature and Key Signature

Let's begin with understanding rhythm. Have you ever been in concert and started clap to the music then the crowd grew in participation? That is rhythm, you just didn't realize it then.

Anyways, we have figure out what makes up rhythm?

Well, you have notes and rests. Notes are symbols that represent how long you hold a note, and rests are symbols that represent how long you DON'T play.

With those in mind, take a look at the 1st picture. You will see the treble clef on the far left then a fraction-like symbol to the right of it, that is the time signature. The time signature tells you two things:

1) The top number represents how many beats are in a measure. Measures are separated by a line. With the top number being four, that means there are four beats per measure.

2) The bottom number represents what type of note counts as one beat. The bottom number shows that a quarter note counts as one beat.

Therefore, there are four quarter notes per measure.

I will go further on the note/rest duration, but for now just focus on the previous statement.

Now, you may be asking about how does music progress? If you read a Western book, then reading music should be incredibly easy. It starts from the left, then continues to the right, then goes to the next line left to right, and repeats like that until you see a double bar line(pics 2 and 3), which tells you to stop and don't play anymore. However, you may come across a repeated double bar line. It is just like a double bar line, but with two dots(pic 4). The picture should also help you understand how to play certain measures with a repeat bar line and a double bar line.
Edited last time by Muses on 10/06/2019 (Sun) 03:33:34.
Key signatures(1st pic related) shows you what sharps or flats are put in place, that way when you read note you automatically see it as that note sharp or flat.

For example, comparing the "C" Major Scale and "F" Major scale, when the "B" note is written without any accidentals it means two different notes for each scale. "C" Major Scale plays "B" as "B" Natural and the "F" Major Scale plays "B" as "B" flat. The only way to play "B" Natural in the "F" Major Scale is by writing in a natural sign in front of the note...Or you can change the key signature on the next measure, so from "F" Major to "C" Major. You will see this in more advanced pieces of music, and this is called modulation(pic 2 related).
Edited last time by Muses on 10/05/2019 (Sat) 22:24:55.
Now that you understand what these two are, let's spice it up.

So, you may be asking:
Are there different time signatures?

The answer is obviously yes, and here's how.

The top number can be any NATURAL number from 1 to infinity. So, you have as many beats as you want in a measure.

The bottom number, however, has to be either 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64,...(you can figure out the sequence from here) That is due to the fact that there are different types of notes.

1 = Whole note
2 = Half note
4 = Quarter note
8 = Eighth note
16 = Sixteenth note
And so on

For example, Blues music is known for using the 6 8 time signature yes, that is how you type it, as you say it., so that means you have six beats per measure, and a eighth note counts as one beat. Therefore, a quarter note counts as two beats, a half note counts as three beats, and a whole note counts as six beats.

You notice a pattern?
The type of note literally takes a fraction of the total beats, just like math. As long as they add up to six, it is okay.

All of this applies to rests, too.

Here is a note/rest chart(pic 1) to familiarize yourself with them and an example of different time signatures.

Simple time signatures gropus notes in an even fashion, and compound time signatures groups notes in an odd fashion.(pic 2)

Finally, let's talk about this -> ·

That is a dot, and all you need to know is this:
It adds half of the note's value.

So, a dotted half note will count three beats since you have the base two beats plus the extra one from the dot.

A dotted quarter note has 1(base) and a half(extra) beats.

A dotted eighth note has a half(base) and a quarter(extra) beats.

And so on, and yes there is such a thing as dotted rests.

You see why you need to know math? This lesson is a good example of this.

The next lesson will be about tempo and dynamics, hope you have a taste for the Italian language.

Again, if you have any questions, let me know.
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Thank you for this, anon.
I really appreciate the videos posted here since they will be incredibly useful when I have to talk about MINOR scales, and I want to touch on modes and what they do for tone.

Honestly, I wanted to make this collaborative effort since there are multiple aspects I cannot touch on due to my limited knowledge on them (i.e. guitar, marching percussion, etc.), but I really love revisiting this since it has been a long time. To be honest, I didn't realize that I accidentally learned modes by myself as I was just playing chords that fit into the context of the corresponding Major scale. Nonetheless, I appreciate your words of kindness.

Anyways, onto Lesson 3. This one should be short since it is mostly musical terms all of you would need to know.
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Lesson 3: Tempo and Dynamics

This will be brief since it is a matter of messing around with a digital or mechanical metronome.

First, let's talk about BPM, this is the measurement for the speed of the music you are playing. It stands for Beats Per Minute, not Beats Per Measure since that is determined by the top number of the time signature.

The lower the BPM, the slower the piece is played; but the higher the BPM is, the faster the piece is played.

Here's a link to understand the terms to define a certain tempo.

For dynamics, its foundation is built on two terms:
p -> piano = soft
f -> forte = loud

Once that is introduced, you will learned mezzo, m.
m -> mezzo = moderately
mp -> mezzo-piano = moderately soft
mf -> mezzo-forte = moderately loud

Then, you have the combination of fortepiano or pianoforte, which means play loud, then soft and play soft, then loud respectively.

Then, you will learn pp and ff, which introduce the concept of -issimo, or very.

pp -> pianissimo = very soft
ff -> fortissimo = very loud
ppp -> pianississimo = very, very soft
fff -> fortississimo = very, very loud
pppp -> pianissississimo = very, very, very soft
ffff -> fortissississimo = very, very, very loud

You get the point.

From there, you can transition between dynamics via crescendos and dimineundos/decrescendos. The former makes you gradually play louder, whereas the latter makes you gradually play softer.

Finally, you have sforzando(sfz) or commonly known as the accent(>). This makes the player play that specific note louder.

Here's a link that will help you out on understanding dynamics:

The next lesson is going to be about intervals and how they build up on harmonies and melodies.

If you need any clarifications, let me know.
Edited last time by Muses on 10/06/2019 (Sun) 23:32:33.
LESSON 4: Perfect Intervals

This is going to be incredibly short due to breaking it up, so I can be precise on what I want to say.

Anyways, what makes these intervals perfect?
Literally Math
Concert "A"(The "A" within the "C" Major Scale) is 440Hz, whereas its perfect fifth "E" Natural is 660Hz. The pitch ratio is perfectly 3:2. This can be applied anywhere on the keyboard, "C" to "G" for the "C" Major Scale. Perfect fifth takes seven half-steps or three and a half whole-steps. The first four notes in Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star uses this interval. Yes, I know the original song was by Mozart. The beauty of public domain is that you learned your ABCs like this.

Unison is 1:1, in terms of pitch, since it is basically two notes being played on the same note. No steps, whatsoever.

Perfect Fourth in "C" Major is "C" to "F", this is separated by five half-steps or two and a half whole-steps. This interval is known for being the first four notes of Here's Comes the Bride, and its pitch ratio is 4:3

Finally, you have the perfect octave. Remember from the very first I taught you the "C" Major Scale and how it starts from middle "C" and ends at "C", but it is just pitched higher? That's an octave, in fact that's why these scales are also known as octatonic scales since there are eight notes in the scale. Its pitch ratio is 2:1, and it takes 12 half-steps or six whole-steps.

You can always refer to >>144 for reference.

Going to continue the lesson tomorrow with more major intervals, then hopefully tackle the minor scales.
Edited last time by Muses on 10/08/2019 (Tue) 01:53:46.
It's funny, I'm a guitar player and didn't really pay much attention to the whole chord based thinking until I wanted apply everything I knew to the keyboard. It is always a great feeling to learn something new and widen the big picture. The great thing about music theory is more than everything that it enables one to put into words what would've seemed like a vague feeling without the knowledge.
Hey, lad, psst
Yeah, it is what differentiates a knowledgeable musician and a casual musician.

Thanks for the books.
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Lesson 4B: Melodic & Harmonic Intervals and More Major Intervals

To continue from perfect intervals, there are major intervals like the 2nd, 3rd, 6th, and 7th(1st pic).

The Major 2nd interval is easy to figure out since it is the first two notes of any major scale since the distance is a whole-step. In terms of the "C" Major Scale, it would be from "C" to "D".

The Major 3rd is an easy interval to know since it is part of the 1-3-5-8 sequence which is used for breaking up the Major chord which I will be talking about later. The notes are two whole-steps apart, so in terms of the "C" Major Scale it would be from "C" to "E".

The Major 6th interval is known for being used in the iconic NBC chime. The notes are 4 and a half whole-steps or 9 half-steps apart. In terms of the "C" Major Scale, it would be from "C" to "A".

Finally, the Major 7th interval is known for being the last note to make up the 7th Chords my favorite, the distance is five and a half whole-steps or eleven half-steps. In terms of the "C" Major Scale, it would be from "C" to "B".

To close the lesson, I would briefly talk about melodic and harmonic intervals(pic 2). It is quite easy. Melodic intervals are the notes separated by themselves, whereas harmonic intervals are the notes played together as one.

That's it for today, next time I will be tackling the fundamental part of music theory, the Minor Scales.
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LESSON 5: Minor Scales and Minor Intervals

If you listened to these videos, they will help you out on understanding minor scales, since they are modes of a major scale.

Minor scales are known to be "sad" scales since playing them up and down sounds more sad.

If you look at the first pic in the OP, you'll notice the green letters inside the circle, those are the minor counterparts to a major scale. For example, the minor counterpart to the "C" Major Scale is the "A" Minor Scale. To make it extremely simple, the sixth note of a major scale is the first note of a minor scale on the same key signature as its major counterpart. "A" Natural is the sixth note of the "C" Major Scale and the first note of the "A" Minor Scale. Both scales use the SAME notes, but they are played in a DIFFERENT order.

There are four types of minor scales(pic related):

1) Natural, which is self explanatory. It uses the same key signature as its major counter part.

2) Harmonic, then ascending and descending the seventh note is raised by a half-step. In the context of the "A" Minor Scale, the "G" Natural is raised to a "G#".

3) Melodic, when ascending the sixth and seventh notes are increased by a half-step but descending they are lower down by a half-step.

4) Dorian, this is similar to the Harmonic, excpet that it is the sixth note that is raised by a half-step.
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Now, it's time to talk about minor intervals.

To be frank, they are easy to understand with this picture(which is in the key of "C" Major) which also shows the distance that the notes are played.

Minor 2nd, used in the JAWS theme.

Minor 3rd, the first two notes in the Nutshack theme.

Tritone, the first two notes in the Simpsons theme; aka the Devil's chord.

Minor 6th, the two notes of Somewhere Over The Rainbow.

Minor 7th, I can't think of anything recognizable for that.

Next time, I will be talking about Chords. all of them
Edited last time by Muses on 10/25/2019 (Fri) 17:39:38.
Is there a way to make acceptable midi songs? By that I don't mean the editors themselves, just if there's some tricks I can use to make melodies that don't sound too shitty.
Pretty vague question. Music is practical the theory is just an explanation of what works. So there's no melodic theory tricks since there are endless melodies.

>gimme some hacks bro
Sure just hit root notes for EZ modo. C, F, G -> C DE, F GA, G AB, C
There's your melody please deposit 2c in my patreon account, like and subscribe.
>b-but I'm autistic
Learn some harmony. Read a book. Practice for years and years.

Melody is probably the hardest part of composition. Like there are a lot of famous composers who were mostly mediocre at melody.
I would say to experiment since I always do that when I make something. In fact, the only thing that I usually focus on is the percussion and chords since I enjoy making weird progressions.

Anyways, here's the final lesson since I am focusing on a more novice perspective of music theory. There are other different kinds of scales, chords, etc. However, I am going to go through the basic types of chords: major, minor, diminished, augmented, seventh, and inversions.

Lesson 6: Chords

At their core, all chords are just a sum of different intervals.
For example, the Cmaj chord consists of the Major 3rd and Perfect 5th intervals.
An inversion is just rearranging the order of the notes. Instead of C-E-G, it could be E-G-C or G-C-E.
Minor chords are like major chord, but usually uses a minor interval. So, a Cmin chord consists of a Minor 3rd and Perfect 5th. C-Ef-G
A Diminshed chord uses a Minor 3rd and Minor 6th. C-Ef-Gf
Finally, an Augmented chord uses a Major 3rd and Minor 6th(however, it is usually notated as a sharp to the note on its left rather than a flat to the note on its right). C-E-G#

Seventh chords are my favorite since they add another note, resulting in four notes. You will usually see this(pic related). This is a Cmaj7, which consists of a Major 3rd, Perfect 5th, and Major 7th; C-E-G-B. The beauty of Seventh chords is that there are many types of them, but it is better to experiment and find some unique sounds. Also, it is due to the fact that there are different types of sevenths, ninths, etc. once you actually venture onto higher levels of music theory. Also, inversions can be applied to ANY type of chord.

f = flat
# = sharp

This concludes the bare basics of music theory, if you want to continue after this point it is best that you research on your own since I am not much educated fro there. Although, I would be glad to discuss more about it.

Here's someone who does a better job explaining chords:
Edited last time by Muses on 11/06/2019 (Wed) 20:43:20.
Just thought I'd say I really appreciate the effort you put into this thread OP, thank you.
>Minor 7th, I can't think of anything recognizable for that.
intro to sabatoge by the beastie boys
>/mu/ BO makes theory thread
<unironically knows his shit
so you the /vg/ guy too then, huh?
i like ya even more already
ive always just given up on /mu/ derivatives as they usually just circlejerk the same albums, so id just make music threads on other boards instead. but if its gonna be like this, and theres a guy who actually knows wtf is up, this could be cool. always felt music boards were under-utilized in the educational sense. imo IBs are set up really well for something like this, with all the different audio/image files and embed options you can attach with a post

i might have some of my old schizorants about showing anon how to music saved somewhere. gotta run out and play a gig rn, but ill prolly swing by at some point and post some shit ITT. i remember i had a decent one written up about memorizing the fretboard with a minimum of effort.
>so you the /vg/ guy too then, huh?
Yeah, I originally made this thread since some people wanted to get started on music and I knew enough to get them started. Also, I am one of the main people behind /vgmg/ in terms of being on the field and pushing the limits of certain soundchips although I am now currently trying to get into understanding different synths to make some music on FL Studio.

I was going to make a follow-up thread via a Music Composition/History thread, but I need to do some research before I am ready to do that.

I knew IBs would be perfect for me since the pacing and format of them, especially on /vg/, would lend me to actually delve into these topics more without sounding too pompous. I just really love these kinds of topics, and hope others would join in the discussion but I see why they don't so I did this so they can at least participate or even develop a new hobby.

I really appreciate that.
Edited last time by Muses on 12/07/2019 (Sat) 06:05:44.
I can't hear it, to be honest.
>pushing the limits of certain soundchips
i normally only deal with irl instruments, but id be lying if i said i wasnt extremely interested in how in the fuck you guys do this
the only hands on exp i have with such things is shitting around with trackers, and using them to mutilate whatever audio files were sitting on my HDD. those are very interesting, powerful little programs. especially after you MIDImap all the various parameters for every single effect, on every single track, with every single not, then automate it.

yea if youre not familiar with the song its totally useless
but if you are, its invaluable no music teachers ive ever met seem to have a memorable example for this interval, for whatever reason. other than a brief pentatonic run, literally the entire song is a minor7th interval being played on bass
embed related
I hear it now when you said the bass, because I was too focused on the guitar riffing.
>some tricks I can use to make melodies that don't sound too shitty
like >>184 was saying, any notes that are in the underlying chord will work just fine for a melody. but if thats all you do, your melody will be very boring and gay.

so lets ruminate on what a melody is, and what its purpose is in music, and to a minor extent, what music even is
>what is music? bear with me here for a sec
at its most basic, it is a series of sounds that create tension and release in a listener. well composed music will have every one of its parts, from the rhythm, to the harmony, to the melody, the timbre/tone, even the song structure be crafted in a way to build tension and then eventually release it
>what is a melody?
the thing you sing along to. not always a vocal part obviously, but it is the thing that you would hum to someone if trying to recall a song. in this sense, melody is perhaps the most important part of the music to the average listener not talking about modern pop obviously. more rhythm if anything (there aint much to it tbh). if thinking of music instead as a painting, melody would be the lines. harmony, the colors. rhythm being the background, frame, type of canvas, or overall feel of the piece. and timbre being the type of paint

melody is also notable for being the only one that can stand alone, and still actually be a "song" in the technical sense.
harmony and rhythm, while definitely not unimportant, if played by themselves could be any number of songs or progressions or beats.
but they are not clearly a specific "song". you sing a melody by itself, and it will be instantly recognizable

lotta flowery bullshit, i know, but its helpful to understand why were doing some of these next things, in regards to actually making a melody

so now onto the major """"rules"""" as with all rules in theory, read: "extremely vague guidelines"
very important, as the purpose of the melody is just that: to let the listener sing along, aloud or in their heads. they aint gonna sing the chords, unless theyre mongolian throat singers, and no one "sings" drum parts maybe hiphop? they still tend to alter their pitch to create tension/emphasis tho so its debatable. i suppose punk bands do this a lot too
some ways you can keep a melody singable:
>not too many large jumps. large leaps are generally much harder to perform on any instrument, and many vocalists will have a hard limit on the range they can reliably jump. this increases the chance of your melody being mangled or not "popping out" properly, and is a general composition no-no
<not too fast. if it goes by way too fast, it will be hard to discern what it even is, coming across more like a sheet of sound, or a blur/smudge, than a clearly drawn "line"
>mostly consonant in terms of notes ie not dissonant. you would do this by mostly sticking to notes in the underlying chords or scales. adding notes outside of this is very important ill prolly get into this later, but it must be done tastefully. too much dissonance and no one will be able to sing it, and most everyone will prolly hate it too

this can mean a lot of things, some examples being:
>not too terribly complex see above. tho if its too boring, it becomes forgettable which is just as bad. so you gotta split the difference
<have some sort of a repetition to it. if the melody is too long, it will be hard to remember. too much repetition, and your melody becomes an "ostinato", which is essentially a pitched type of rhythm. again, one must find a happy medium
>have something to grab the attention of the listener
now i know this one^^^ is super vague, but its very important. a really well written pop song will have the melody stuck in your head almost immediately. some examples are
<using dynamics to emphasize certain parts
>using "hooks" look up "pop hook" if you dont know what i mean
ok holy fuck this got autistic quick
gonna have to come back to this at a later date to discuss how to build tension/release with melodies
in the mean time, try and take some of these """rules""" and qualities of melodies that ive listed here, and go listen to some music. dont even worry about writing anything yet if you dont feel it. just listen.
pick out the melody. pick out what makes it stick out to you. can you sing along to it? what makes it appeal to you? is there any part in particular thats always stuck in your head? why?
to go further, try listening to some sort of experimental type of music. try and figure out what ways they are purposefully perverting or parodying these melodic rules. to internalize this concept, try thinking about how this type of abandonment of traditional melody makes you feel. is it effective, or merely abrasive? why?

i always hear that the greatest, most talented composers can just spew out good melodies without thinking about it. while that may be true, its my opinion that anyone who is not tone deaf can too, so long as they actually think a bit not too hard tho about what theyre doing, and practice it
>not talking about modern pop obviously. more rhythm if anything (there aint much to it tbh)
I really don't get people who act like modern pop songs have well-written melodies. They just get into your brain via brute-force repetition and not due to having the kind of melody that sticks with you by virtue of being memorable on its own. I wouldn't say the rhythms are usually very interesting either.

The way I see it, a good melody will probably be recognizable no matter what instrument you're playing it on. I'm no musical god, but when I'm putting a track together I use chintzy soundfonts to keep myself focused on writing something memorable (as opposed to getting distracted by cheap production tricks). If it sounds good like that, it'll sound even better when it's playing on instruments closer to how I imagined the end result to sound in the first place (assuming I wasn't going for a cheesy Far Side Virtual style). Similarly, you could test out a pop or rock song with a piano or acoustic guitar and see if it still holds up.
i was actually implying that most modern pop doesnt really have a melody at all, i just worded it kinda funny

>when I'm putting a track together I use chintzy soundfonts to keep myself focused on writing something memorable (as opposed to getting distracted by cheap production tricks)
this is actually very good form
a lot of people, especially electronic musicians tend to rely on fancy FX to cover for them.
the result? in one ear, out the other
perfectly consumable, but totally vapid
fuck it, i got time
continuation of >>212 >>213

again, let me preface this by saying that any "rules" i outline here should be treated as very vague guidelines that you can totally disregard should you wish. these are merely some common conventions that seem to be effective most of the world over in creating tension and ultimately releasing it within a melody

pretty simple. rising throughout a melodic phrase is perhaps the simplest, and slowest/most gradual, way to increase tension.
this is in no small part due to the fact that basically any instrument, or even voice, will need to push harder to hit progressively higher notes notable exceptions being low brass like tuba, baritone etc iirc. not a brass guy sry. electronic music obviously fits outside this mechanic, but the effect remains just as useful.
it is very noticeable when you are the one playing it, but even for listeners with no musical aptitude it can be felt.
basic take-aways:
>the longer the consecutive duration of the rise, the more tension it will build
<the higher it goes, the more tension it will build
>does NOT have to be purely scalar, as in going straight up the scale. can include small skips like 3rds/4ths with no problem.
<can also contain larger leaps as well, but take care not to overextend whatever instrumentalists range/ability that youre composing for
in regards to ^^^ larger leaps have a tendency to want to resolve downward and the instrumentalist will thank you as well, so they are perhaps better reserved for the climax of a phrase. that said, resisting this natural urge to resolve down will crank up the melodic tension quite a bit, and quickly, so its still very useful

again, the slowest most gradual way to relieve some of the tension you built
basically the same exact concepts as above, but in reverse

of note is that both of the above concepts can be utilized along any timeframe, or even along multiple timeframes at once. within the length of a phrase or even as a mere part of one, over the course of several phrases, to encompassing the entirety of the song itself. in fact ill go so far as to say that if youre truly trying to create a melody that draws people in, you must try to utilize this concept along multiple timeframes simultaneously, or it will be "unclear" whether it is increasing or relieving tension. an example of this unclear-ness, would be a phrase that rises, followed by another phrase that rises but starts at a lower register. this kind of idea would sound much more ambiguous which you may in fact desire to the listener. this kind of ambiguity is often utilized in the bridge of pop songs, so as to prevent the boredom/monotony of having song only get more intense on the way to its climax which can, oddly enough, sound really boring, as its so predictable
a good example of effectively using these concepts along multiple timeframes that many might be familiar with coming to mind for me is radioheads "jigsaw falling into place"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJD6wXLraEA invidious is giving me issues rn, apologies
opinions on radiohead aside, this song illustrates my point perfectly.

the beginning of the song has him singing in a very low register, and by halfway through the second verse he leaps immediately up an octave. forgoing the foreplay of going up the scale slowly, thom decides to increase the tension rapidly. after a short bridge in a similarly high-ish register but not as high, the melody rises back up again and the final verse comes back, with him singing in an even higher register, with the climax being the final "on your back". these are the highest notes he sings in the whole song. afterwards, the song very rapidly begins to wind down with him floating down at a good clip until the drums and everything else lose enough steam to let us down without it being too abrupt
so if too zoomed in, it would seem that thom mightve broken most of our rules above, but by zooming out and viewing the whole song, we can see that that octave leap was part of a song wide increase in tension. since the song continues, and he wants more tension, this rising continues more or less straight upwards until the very climax of the song. the result is a song with basically two riffs/parts, that manages to get more interesting as it continues, rather than fading into the background from its repetition.
imo its a very well written song melodically speaking.

next time ill talk about consonance and dissonance, and the ways one can utilize repetition to go both ways increasing and relieving tension
>i was actually implying that most modern pop doesnt really have a melody at all, i just worded it kinda funny
No, I got it and was agreeing with you.
I'm not OP and I didn't read anything, but I want to tell this to people who start on this: Music first place ----> analysis second -----> Theory third
>>230 What's the difference between analysis and theory?
>>233 If I have to guess, Analysis comes in as you listen to a certain songs a lot. Basically, you pick on the elements of the songs like the instrument choice, repeated parts in a song like the bridge for example. Basically, you ask yourself what makes the piece so iconic. For example, why is Gustav Holst's Mars the most iconic movement of his whole The Planets Suite. Just have a listen, and you will see why. And this is THE piece that John Williams based the whole Star Wars soundtrack on. Music Theory is breaking down music into its simplest form. It is why I said in the very beginning that is best to learn Music Theory while you practice that way you understand what music is and you can understand the techniques to acheive those sounds.
>>230 This is very true in my experience. Music is ultimately a creative art based around conveying and receiving emotions, not in how many different chords and scales you can name. Getting too caught up with theory may hinder your music's ability to connect with people, and can make it feel overly robotic and lifeless. If nobody can feel anything from your music, then all that theory you've studied isn't doing you much good. That said, it can easily work the other way too; if you don't learn enough theory, your "musical vocabulary" might be too limited to express the musical ideas you're trying to express, so it's important to find the right balance for the type of music you're trying to create. >>233 To me, analysis means taking an existing work, breaking it down, working out the various different components of the piece, and then using those components in your own works. Music theory on the other hand, is simply a way of describing musical concepts through language and symbols, rather than through sound. It's handy to know if you want to express musical ideas in written or spoken form, or to have a more concrete understanding of those ideas, but knowing music theory without learning how to apply those ideas won't do much for you.
Open file (866.83 KB 747x1869 1372659770749.jpg)
Found this in my /mu/ folder. Looks kind of pulp but figured I'd post it.
Is there a good way to drill the keys/major chords into memory? I can figure them out if I sit down and do that circle of fifths shit, but it's not practical. I was thinking of trying to play them, but there's no way to know if I fucked up.
>>268 I had the same problem. I was doing different circle of fifths routines every day for a week or so at a time for each, but at this point I don't think I remember anything I've learned.
>>269 I realize the circle of fifths is just a mechanism to get your foot in the door. It's a cool tool for passing tests in school, but it's absolutely fucking worthless for actually learning the shit. Like 95% of other shit they teach in school.
>>177 nitpick: Dorian isn’t a minor scale. It’s another “mode” altogether, though it is a "minor mode". >>268 What I would do first is learn how to play a major scale first for basic keys such as C, F, G (assuming you’re on the piano). If you can memorize the notes for those scales, then it’s just about playing the first, third and fifth notes of those scales to form a major chord. If you are playing on the piano, you can also count the distance between notes to play it. Three notes in between the first and second note, and two notes in between the second and third note. The advantage of the first method though is that you can recognize chords in ‘’inversions’’. For example, a E-G-C chord is also a C Major scale, just in a second inversion format. But if you’re counting the notes in between chord notes instead of learning the scale it’s harder to recognize chords when the root note C isn’t on the bottom. After learning the easier scales, try learning scales such as D, A, and E. It’s all going to be made up of the same intervals between notes, so if you’re uncertain about that just slow down and check the intervals. After that, maybe B and B-flat, and then the rest. Knowing the circle of fifths helps you remember how many sharps there are, and when they’re added. Each time you go up from say C to G, you play the same notes except the note beneath G (which is F) sharp. If you’re going from B to F-sharp, you play the same notes except the note beneath F-sharp (E) is sharp (which is an F on the piano). When going down a fifth, say from C to F, it’s the same except the note below C is now flat (B is now B-flat). What exactly were you doing for exercised btw?
>>268 For reading music: to memorize both the order of sharps/flats in a key signature, have this dumb but effective mnemonic: "Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle" If you already know the key you're in and want to know number of sharps? Move a half step down from the key name. Playing in D? then drop that down to C#. For order of, and number of flats in a key signature you read it in reverse: "Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles' Father" Flats are slightly more difficult to deal with. For all key signatures that have more than one flat? Go backwards one flat from the end. For E flat? it's going to have B first, E second, A last. If your key signature only has one flat then you're in the key of F, but that's the only one you really have to memorize. For the more performance oriented side of things? That depends heavily on the instrument you're playing but there is one big thing. Practice time cannot be 'banked' so if you're serious about learning it you need to make an active effort to improve everyday until you get it into long term memory. Stringed instruments will make learning different keys significantly easier because the positions of your fret hand fingers relative to each other (in the case of guitar for example) don't change ... if you know how to play a major scale in one position? You can play them all, except for the open position ones. Other instruments tend to not have this neat feature so it's a matter of getting into the woodshed and playing your ass off until it sticks. SUPER IMPORTANT: make sure your practice time is focused on actual improvement in order to gain anything. so that means being uncomfortable and pushing yourself. Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. And bad practice makes bad.
ok this seems like the right place to asks about technique, methods, pattern, riffs, or approach to play songs like 0:51-0:53 of https://youtu.be/fbMEbZjN0ME ? generally i just need something good enough/as good as to be on my own way playing my favorite songs like jpops, rocks, and simple christmas songs in the nicest way possible... or as good as what i shown above... both hands being nimble and fun is there anything in theory that can help? or similar to that? i m abit in hurry for those
>>770 Music theory is not going to help you play music well, what will is practicing simple maneuvers over keyboard. When I started learning playing the piano, I started with basic stuff like posture, how your hands should be positioned, and finger movement. Those three with the addition of practicing over time should help you get there. I would ultimately suggest finding sheet music of songs that you like and finding exercises that would help you get comfortable maneuvering over keys. Simple exercises will do for you, nothing like Hanon(that's only if you want to be a virtuoso, which is very unlikely). Here's a playlist going over how to play the piano properly: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnGcAf7PBaWWBhCV5vnlcqei_r3FQZ4Ea
>>771 .... you re suggesting there is no theory in advanced manuever then?
>>772 That's called technique, and that comes from practicing and playing other people's music. From there, you can develop your own. It's just that it would take time.
>>773 what technique? what my own? cn you be more specific?
>>770 hi its me again looking for tips and ideas to help me improve faster and be mor critical of my practices especially those bar above... looking for the particular technique that can cover that bar?
help me notate songs so i know how much variation of notes and keys i can play for a song
is there theory that helps you choose chords based on the supposed songs to embelish it nicely
>>777 yeah it's called music theory :)

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