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  1. #1

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    I've composing some quite traditionally functional music recently and something occurred to me about standard songs. Standard songs are an endless source of inspiration to me as a composer.

    Standard songs are largely diatonic, and accidentals are used very sparingly.
    Yet they still describe harmony.
    Yet they leave enough room for chromatic counter melodies and basslines and reharmonisation.

    My tendency is outline harmony - for example always stressing a Gb on the Ebm6 chord going back to Bb, but if you overdo this in melody it can make melodies sound cluttered and didactic. Might be better to have a Bb or an Eb and let the Gb (or something else) be in a different voice.

    Might also have relevance for improvised lines. See also vertical vs horizontal.

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I've composing some quite traditionally functional music recently and something occurred to me about standard songs. Standard songs are an endless source of inspiration to me as a composer.

    Standard songs are largely diatonic, and accidentals are used very sparingly.
    Yet they still describe harmony.
    Yet they leave enough room for chromatic counter melodies and basslines and reharmonisation.

    My tendency is outline harmony - for example always stressing a Gb on the Ebm6 chord going back to Bb, but if you overdo this in melody it can make melodies sound cluttered and didactic. Might be better to have a Bb or an Eb and let the Gb (or something else) be in a different voice.

    Might also have relevance for improvised lines. See also vertical vs horizontal.
    Good post. You've no doubt noticed how many often-covered modern jazz tunes (Kurt Rosenwinkel's Zhivago, Aaron Parks' Nemesis) have simple, open heads despite their underpinning harmonic complexity. I have the same tendency and found that creating melodies away from the piano and guitar helped enormously, particularly while in half sleep or driving somewhere (mutually exclusive states, I assure you).

  4. #3

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    Problem is writing the harmony first, if you ask me.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I've composing some quite traditionally functional music recently and something occurred to me about standard songs. Standard songs are an endless source of inspiration to me as a composer.Standard songs are largely diatonic, and accidentals are used very sparingly.Yet they still describe harmony. Yet they leave enough room for chromatic counter melodies and basslines and reharmonisation.My tendency is outline harmony - for example always stressing a Gb on the Ebm6 chord going back to Bb, but if you overdo this in melody it can make melodies sound cluttered and didactic. Might be better to have a Bb or an Eb and let the Gb (or something else) be in a different voice.Might also have relevance for improvised lines. See also vertical vs horizontal.
    I'm not in the habit of sharing personal correspondence, but I was sending tunes to Phil Woods. I don't think his widow Jill would mind, and it's HILARIOUS! Dig the fatherly chiding, and he's right---of course---about everything. He became a mentor after this, as did the late, great Bill Finegan. I was largely self-taught, and stole a few things here and there---from Thad Jones, Tom Harrell and others. I just didn't know the correct---the EASY way to write, where it gets read right down.

    I still have problems with lead sheetd---guys say they're scores and there's too much to look at (I've taken to writing rhythm parts now). Bill was looking at a lead sheet and said'you have all this exotic harmony, and suddenly here's a "barbershop chord". Why?' (He also dared me to write a simple tune, averring that my music was 'too sophisticated for the average player'. I disagreed, and have written many simple, approachable melodies---but that was my 'clever' phase, and I had to get it outta my system).

    Here's Phil's email. Make sure you're sitting, and have't eaten mini-franks in blankets, as you may spit them up:

    A couple of thoughts on your music from the 'Mellow Mick' himself. "November" is beautiful! But the key sucks-for guitar players maybe. And watch when you do Tpt. and alto parts-we don't go that low. Get a Groves Orchestration book or something. But the tune is really very nice. I am not sure you need all those A2-no3 things-we know an A2 does not have a 3! Elementary dear Watson. On bar 1 of chorus I prefer a ll chord with a flat 5 (D sharp half dim instead of G sharp 7 flat 9 sus 4.) But the key has got to go! Up a 5th or 4th is better for all concerned.

    Now about "Ether". Good tune-illegible parts. too much info-From the top--"Concert score, clarinet, trumpet" (We can see that , rhythm""lay back" "steady crescendo" "with force" "loud" (something wrong with double forte?) and "building" Give us a fucking break! And space the changes with a metric sense. Like letter A, 3 beats of Bflat, and 3 of Flat (and that is enough-we don't need to be told it is Flat major seventh 6/9 sharp 11. Very Jewish of you. Remember, we are musicians. We know that if a melody contains a 6 and 9 that it is a 6/9 chord. Why don't you do computer parts for "Ether"? Put some bass shit in the intro with the mallets-some kind of ostinato Bflat to A Flat or something. Two staves please!! All right my friend-the music is good but your graphic communication skills need some work. I repeat-the music is good!! but CLARIFY! CLARIFY! CLARIFY!

    With love I remain your friend and, I hope, helper.Phil (Mr. Mellow) Dubois (I know that's French but I feel Irish!)
    Last edited by fasstrack; 04-15-2017 at 08:00 AM.

  6. #5

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    Is there a thread here to show our own compositions?

  7. #6
    There is a composition sub forum.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    There is a composition sub forum.
    I've found it. Precisely 7 posts, two contributors, and all the videos of one of them removed.

    Not a great success :-)

    I know one thing, that composing alone in your room is safe. Having a forum to post it on perks you up and heightens your capacities no end; it provides incentive. There may be those who've never tried it, or those who firmly believe that everything they compose (or could ever compose) is worthless, but it's still worth making the first move. Always is.

    (I don't think Showcase is quite the same thing as composition).

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by fuzzthebee View Post
    I think you start a new thread.
    If I thought it would get an enthusiastic response and have some life to it, I would, but unfortunately I'm not sure it would take off. Which is a great shame because people don't know what they're capable of till they try.

    And I certainly don't want to be the author of a miserable failed thread. I have my pride, you know :-)

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    If I thought it would get an enthusiastic response and have some life to it, I would, but unfortunately I'm not sure it would take off. Which is a great shame because people don't know what they're capable of till they try.

    And I certainly don't want to be the author of a miserable failed thread. I have my pride, you know :-)
    I'd be up for it!

    Anyone else?

  11. #10

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    I'll be up for such thread as well. I love writing and have plenty to show. Do it!

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    Is there a thread here to show our own compositions?
    Historically, I find much of the original compositions have been in the showcase section of the forum, the composition subforum hasn't existed that long.

    Actually reading the descriptions of the subforums goes a long way in figuring out where to place content.
    Last edited by cosmic gumbo; 04-16-2017 at 01:21 AM.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I'd be up for it!

    Anyone else?
    Okay, but no posting in sheet music by itself, it's performance time. You gotta play it!

    I think copyright issues are resolved by the mere act of posting them here. Of course, if anyone starts getting lawyer letters from outraged musos outside here then you're on on your own

    Agreed? Do we start the thread?

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  17. #16

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    [QUOTE=ragman1;762671]

    I think **copyright issues are resolved by the mere act of posting them here. Of course, if anyone starts getting lawyer letters from outraged musos outside here then you're on on your own



    Hi what does this mean ** i would be most interested but the I think part makes me think you are uncertain/unclear as to whether is true.

    not being funny, i am worried about the people i use who are Professionally editing my scores (Rhythmically)
    i send to them. So am interested in knowing about this as i have thought pretty much what you suggested.
    My own Solicitor (Lawyer) has no experience with music business.

  18. #17

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    If you wrote a piece and posted it here under your own name then it's yours. If someone then comes along screaming plagiarism it would be up to them to prove and you to disprove it. Equally if you think someone else has pinched your tune then the same applies.

    If you have any worries at all about other people lifting your ideas don't post them here. In fact don't post them anywhere unless they're legally copyrighted.

    How to Copyright Your Music & Why You Should Register Your Copyright

    How copyright protects your work - GOV.UK

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Durban View Post

    My own Solicitor (Lawyer) has no experience with music business.
    Then you need a music lawyer, don't you?

  20. #19

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    In the U.K. its easy just register your compositions with the PRS. In the US don't you need to start a publishing company? According to Steve Vai in his interview with Rick beato that's pretty easy.

  21. #20

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    In the US, the act of recording or writing an original work of composition in tangible form (e.g., by writing out a score or recording a demo) establishes authorship, which in and of itself confers copyright.

    Registering a work with the US Copyright office helps in defending against infringement because it establishes an official record of you claiming authorship at a particular date. But registration itself is not what establishes authorship. If you never register a work, you still own the copyright, but registering is a way of putting the world on notice that you authored a work.

    You do not need a publisher to register a work with the Copyright Office. You do, however, typically need a publisher in order to enroll with one of the performance rights organizations (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC), which is how you get performance royalties.

    John


    Sent from my SM-J700T using Tapatalk

  22. #21

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    This was addressed in another thread but isn't just having a time tag on a digitally recorded composition act as basic protection for the composer? Although a formal copyright is a plus.