Computer-Music.com contains articles and product reviews related to making music using computers and creating 3D computer animation in sync with music. Computer-Music.com is also the home page of  Donald S. Griffin, an experienced professional composer, sound effects designer and audio consultant with an emphasis on computer games,  video games and internet music and sound effects. For pricing and contract availability send email to: DGriffin (@) Computer-Music (.) com

Computer-Music.com  contains articles and product reviews related to making music using computers and creating 3D computer animation in sync with music.
Computer-Music.com is also the home page of  Donald S. Griffin, an experienced professional composer, sound effects designer and audio consultant with an emphasis on computer games,  video games and internet music and sound effects. For pricing and contract availability send email to: DGriffin (@) Computer-Music (.) com



 

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Tricks or Treats?

I have experimented with a number of techniques that have proven unsuccessful. Random combinations of notes almost always lack an interesting quality, and I rarely get inspired to extend them into a melody. Taking someone else's melody and trying to change it usually just convinces me that the original composer had it right in the first place. Trying to build a new melody on an old accompaniment usually steers me in the direction of the original melody, just because I know that it works and I canít get that melody out of my head. I have also tried various manipulations, like turning melodies upside down, backwards, and shifting them down the scale. While these are tried-and-true methods, I donít find them useful. They make me feel like I am generating notes at random rather than making conscious decisions about what sounds good and what does not. After all, I don't want to find out if I can make a melody by randomly shuffling notes Ė I just want to bring my own creativity to the surface.

I have had some limited success with writing a chord progression first, and then designing a tune to go with it. Many beginners use this technique exclusively, but once you realize how few unique chord progressions there are, every direction makes you think of fifty tunes that have already been written. In fact, I try not to think in terms of chord progressions at all, since that often causes you to force the harmony to follow the chord symbols, which is very dull and very limiting. The harmony should flow naturally from the melody which does not usually flow in nice, neat little two or four beat segments. Instead, I try to think about how the notes will interact with each other from moment to moment, creating a harmony that ebbs and flows. This tends to give a stronger push to the melody, which is the whole point of harmony, at least the way I see it.

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