Composing Music

Call the tune - Talk about whatever!

Postby marcy » Sat Apr 15, 2006 1:27 pm

I think I've only attempted serious, focused composing once or twice. Not much came of it. On the other hand, I have roughly a dozen or so original tunes, all composed since I got into HD, and maybe as many original songs, mostly composed since high school or so. Some of the songs are serious in their meaning, but the composition process was more spontaneous than determined. I have a hard time with serious lyrics, because I want to be personal, meaningful, and interesting without being clever, too vague, or too revealing. The tunes are mostly fairly traditional, with some twists. Sometimes I am just noodling with chords or other patterns, sometimes I aim at a particular meter (say, a jig) or mode (like Dorian). You can hear lame MIDIs of my tunes at my website, if you're so inclined --
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Postby JAGinSunnyland » Sat Apr 15, 2006 1:42 pm

Wow! Very impressed with the creativity required to compose!! I voted that I'd like to try someday....but I think that will be several years down the road!!
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Postby Sheila » Sat Apr 15, 2006 5:14 pm

It sounds like I need to get together with some of you 'tunes are easy but lyrics are hard' folks, since I am the opposite!
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Postby dulcibeader » Sun Apr 16, 2006 9:48 am

Mostly what I write is what I call 'ditties'. I write them for my students who are having trouble learning something. Have a bunch of 'chord ditties' - 8 whole measures long - all the same chord - and as many words that start with the same letter as I can use. i.e. D Chord Ditty has only D chords and words like Daily D chords and dum duddy. etc. Other than that - I seem to do better taking words already written and putting in the music. Some of those have turned out quite well. Elizabeth
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Postby Rosalie » Sun Apr 16, 2006 11:08 am

I have written a couple of songs - having written poems for years before I picked up the dulcimer. My lyrics are better then my music - the problem is I am not a good singer, and if I sing in front of people my voice tightens and is inaudible. It makes it difficult to attend songwriting workshops, which I find very helpful in writing, but so frustrating during the presentation part that I won't attend any again. Therefore I hardly ever write music anymore. I keep my writing and my music separate, but hope to bring them together again someday. Rosalie
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Postby Peter Alway » Sun Apr 16, 2006 11:46 am

Originally posted by Rosalie I have written a couple of songs - having written poems for years before I picked up the dulcimer. My lyrics are better then my music - the problem is I am not a good singer, and if I sing in front of people my voice tightens and is inaudible.
The challenge is to find friendly place to perform. I'm lucky in that my brother is connected up with the Filk subculture, which is very freiendly towward less-than ideal performers. However Filk is fundamentally for science fiction fans, and if your songs aren't geeky/funny, it's probably not the scene for you. Actually, I am wondering if anyone out there knows of any other way to find friendly groups for amateurs to exchange new music in. Some sort of local amateur composers group if ther is such a thing.
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Postby MT Player » Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:16 pm

I really enjoy writing songs but I do have to be in the right mood. Most have been written to fight off cabin fever during the long winter months or for special personal occasions. I like variety so I vary the tunings: DAA, DAC and DAD. Started writing a couple of years ago and have around 12 originals so far with most having lyrics. Lyrics seems to come much easier if I try to stick to things that I know something about like wildlife, wildflowers, Yellowstone, fly fishing, friends and, of course, the hubby. I don't know if others have experienced the same thing but writing the tabs for recorded songs that I like also seems to come much easier since I started writing my own songs. Once you give it a try, you may find yourself getting hooked. Smile
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Postby Mike » Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:24 pm

I didn't vote in the poll since there wasn't a category that was close. Mostly, I play trad. or trad.-based tunes, though some are contemporary by others. But I do play some of my original tunes in the mix. I have written tunes for a good number of years. It isn't something I have done continuously, though it is changing to be more continuous since I started playing the HD. My first tunes were ''composed'' on keyboard. Since the advent of HD in my life, though, everything I've ''written'' has been on HD, and usually because I was bored with the tunes I knew and had time to make something up at the Farmer's Market. Wink Several years ago, I arranged a piece for keyboards, electric guitar and percussion for Good Friday at our church. It used a judgement theme I had written with ''O Sacred Head Sore Wounded'' to musically portray the crucifixion of Christ. I was told it brought the appropriate picture to mind during the performance. I haven't recorded any of the keyboard-written pieces yet, though one is in the list of tunes for an upcoming fiddle/HD CD. Of my HD pieces, three (3) are on my Of Things To Come... CD.
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