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chords or melody what comes first

Chords or Melody, What Comes First?

     Considering that melody and chords are one of the great building blocks of songwriting, one can wonder where to start first: chords or melody? Each approach can bring something different to the table so, read on: Melody-First Approach      A melody-first… Read More »Chords or Melody, What Comes First?

how to create tension in music

How to Create Tension in Music

     In this post I’ll be looking at some ways that you can use to create tension in music by using harmony, rhythm or form and how controlling tension and release cycles can greatly contribute to music expressiveness. Some of them… Read More »How to Create Tension in Music

arrangement planning tips for songwriters
how much music theory do you need to start making music

How Much Music Theory Do You Need to Start Making Music?

     To start making music, you shouldn’t have to wait until you have graduated from music university and know all about music theory inside out. In fact, it is quite possible, and highly advisable, to start making your own music with… Read More »How Much Music Theory Do You Need to Start Making Music?

the basics of song form

The Basics of Song Form

     When we talk about form in music, we are referring to the song structure. Or in other words, the different sections that make up the whole song. Each section usually pertains to a moment in your storytelling and that is… Read More »The Basics of Song Form

stimulating your innate creativity

Stimulating Your Innate Creativity

Creativity is Built-in      Some people may say that they are not the creative type or that they are not “feeling it” or are “uninspired”. But what we have to come to terms with is that we are all creative. We… Read More »Stimulating Your Innate Creativity

creative tips for starting to compose music

Creative Tips For Starting to Compose Music

     Making a song from scratch may sound like a daunting task if you consider all the things that go into making music. But if you follow some of the tips I will be suggesting in this post, you will find… Read More »Creative Tips For Starting to Compose Music

where do musical ideas come from

Where Do Musical Ideas Come From?

     This is probably a question that will always be open for debate as each and every one of us listens to and thinks about music differently. Nonetheless, all boils down to a musician’s ability of hearing sounds in its head.… Read More »Where Do Musical Ideas Come From?

why you should copy and steal from music

Why Copy and Steal From Music?

     In this post I will be making the distinction between the act of copying or stealing from another artist as tool in the creative process and, along the way, give you some suggestions of what to look for in… Read More »Why Copy and Steal From Music?

post-tonal harmony

Post-Tonal Harmony

     In the beginning of the twentieth century, the tonal system was already falling apart due to the extreme use of chromaticism and post-tonal is a term that is used for music that doesn’t follow the traditional conventions of tonal harmony.… Read More »Post-Tonal Harmony



     The chromaticism of the nineteenth century diluted the tonal system in such a way that it was only natural that the system would eventually be abandoned altogether. This new music without a tonal center, that was weakened or lost, eventually… Read More »Atonality

introduction to twelve-tone music

Twelve-Tone Music

     Also known as Dodecaphony, the twelve-tone technique is a method of musical composition devised by Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg, as an aftermath of “free atonality”, as a way to replace the structural differentiations present in the tonal system. The core… Read More »Twelve-Tone Music

tonality in music


     Simply put, tonality is a system of musical organization using the same set of notes and chords in which there are perceived relationships with the pitches or chords from within the same group of notes – stabilities, attractions and… Read More »Tonality

microform as a low level organizational structure

Microform as a Low Level Organizational Structure

     To lower-level organizational structures I call them Microform and these decisions are related to materials inside a given section or how to prepare to go to the next section. At this point, I am referring to rhythmic parts, melodies, harmony… Read More »Microform as a Low Level Organizational Structure

Form - Common Structures and Macroform

Form – Common Structures and Macroform

     A commonly accepted definition is that music is organized sound and to do so, we use the musical elements. Any of the presented materials, thus far, would not make much sense if they were not combined and organized in such… Read More »Form – Common Structures and Macroform