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Overcome progression wall

pinki

Active Member
Such great advice. I would like to add: go to a really wonderful art gallery.
Composition yes is technical but ultimately the technique is of no value without an artistic intent. What is it you are trying to say? What is the meaning? What is art? Why are we here? These are questions all great artists touch upon in their work.

Listen to Charles Ives' Fourth Symphony

Attach yourself to nature.

Discover the purpose of existence.

Sing!

(notes to self as much as you :)
 

eph221

Member
I'm in a huge rut as far as songs go. What I've done is to start writing for string quartet or other ensembles, and some of those themes become useful.
 

MWMelis

New Member
Fantastic ideas and feedback given by all. What works best for me is to listen to music and write down the moments that catch me off-guard, or come across as novel or unique. Those moments could be due to the composer's choice of instrumentation, meter, sound design, rhythmic elements, mixing, or any other elements that catch my attention and evoke an emotional response. I save these ideas for later experimentation and as a jump-off point for developing new material. Once enough time has gone by, the idea fragments are sufficiently distanced from the source material that I can essentially work to replicate them with fresh ears and end up with a completely different result.
 
OP
Wassim Samad

Wassim Samad

New Member
After browsing quick through many of your tracks on sc, I encounter that very often you use the same kind of recipe for your tracks:

1. Orchestration: Epic Percussion, Strings, Choirs almost in every piece. (Guess why it starts to sound so similiar?)
2. Articulation: Long string or brass notes (there is more than long sustains or staccatos)
3. Harmony: Same chord progressions (Hans Zimmer tropes all over the place, there is definitely more than that to explore..)
4. Tempo: More or less the same or similiar tempo without any change
5. Dynamics: Same dynamic build up, starts delicate, ends loud.
6. Using percussion like a Bandmusician and not like an orchestrator for symphonic music. It is not the percussion which are exciting your music really, in fact they are making your music boring and very predictable. Probably throw out your typical percussion tropes at all. Can your music be interesting without any of that?


So just by listening through your pieces "once" I allready encountered all these things. No wonder why your tracks sound not only similiar but like also very much like having no real "identifier" at all which I find even more concerning or lets say that you should focus on trying to develop your own sound. But do you want that? I don´t know if that is of any importance to you personally. I guess for many composers these days not that much rather than sounding like somebody else.

My advice: Study different music rather than modern (epic) filmmusic, go back in time musically, there you will find imo more interesting harmonies, more edge and complex harmony and arrangements. So if you aim for more diversity you should be aware of that writing in your comfort zone with Points 1-6 will not give you diversity in your music. But if that is what you love to do, then do it because I can imagine that you like it the way how it is, but there will be nothing more interesting in your music when you limit yourself to 2% what an orchestra is able to do.

Go and Write a Woodwind only piece. Not your comfort zone and dont know how to orchestrate for winds? Well go and study windwriting from the greats (e.g. Tschaikowksy). That is how it can start. Want more edge in your harmony? But donß´t know how to replace Dom chords lets say with an open voiced Dom7 flat9 chord which is not diatonic but works and adds some sexy reharmonisation with a definite chance to modulate to multiple different keys? Go and study Jazz harmony and voicings. There is an endless list of things you can do. But you need first to ask yourself what you really want. Wanna write modern (cliche) filmmusic then you do a pretty descent job already (take a deep breath its all good). But it can be boring after a while I guess because of what I said. Reducing your palette to a fraction of colors and harmony will not give you any diversity in your music, it is simple as that.
Thank you for your very accurate analysis. I should definitely expand my composer palette (I mean learning new ways of music writing / harmonization / instrumentation not buying new libraries haha). Knowing how a good composer you are I will definitely listen to what you advise me!
 

AlexanderSchiborr

Senior Member
Thank you for your very accurate analysis. I should definitely expand my composer palette (I mean learning new ways of music writing / harmonization / instrumentation not buying new libraries haha). Knowing how a good composer you are I will definitely listen to what you advise me!
And mate: Just try out things. Its all meant with the best intentions. And believe me: I struggle with the same things because we all love our comfort zones :D
 

DavidY

Active Member
Listen to Charles Ives' Fourth Symphony
I couldn't exactly hum the tunes of Ives' 4th but I do remember a story about his father being the local band-leader who would set different parts of the band marching separately around the park (perhaps playing different tunes?) and listen to the sound when they came together.

It also had the oddest (or perhaps most against conventional rules) time signature, which got my attention when I saw it.

Not sure how to draw it better on here, but normally you see a time signature like:
3
2
to represent 3 minims (half-notes) in the bar/measure.

But Ives 4th (4th mvmt, bar 31 as it turns out) has

2
... to represent 6½ minims in a bar. Which I'd not seen before or since.

It's ages since I came across it but these days one can find this sort of thing on Youtube.
 
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