Is Major Really Happy and Minor Sad

There’s a common assumption about music that major is happy and minor is sad. In today’s lesson we look at what this statement really means and perhaps more importantly, we examine how much of it is true and where it goes wrong. To help us along the way we have some great song examples – …

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Cadences in Music: Beyond the Harmonic Formulas

Cadences are where the harmony, rhythm, melody and other musical aspects come together to produce a sense of arrival in the music. The arrival can be a dramatic moment, a simple end of phrase and anything in between. Whether big or small, the cadence is a sense that the music reached its destination.

How to Add Bar Lines

To add bar lines, count the note values (aka. time values) and organize them into bars according to the given time signature. When counting a rhythm always double check the details such as any dotted notes, rests, tied notes and triplets.

How to Get Better at Music Composition - School of Composition

The short answer is simply “practice”. Just like anything else, the more you do it the better you become. That’s just how our brains and bodies work. But of course, there is more and it’s the combination of several musical activities and exercises working together.

How to Name a Piece of Music (schoolofcomposition)

Traditionally, composers stuck to 2 ways of naming a piece of music. The first is by describing an element of the music itself such as its form and key (for example, ‘Sonata in A major’). The second is by an extramusical suggestion of a mood, an inspiration, a dedication, and so on.

Harmonic Rhythm Explained

Harmonic rhythm is the rate at which chords change. It is the duration of the chords within a chord progression.

In today’s lesson we’re looking at Bach’s Invention no. 1, the first out of a collection of 15 written in 1720. We’ll be looking at the full piece: the subject, the motifs, the rhythm, the harmony and the structure because there is so much to learn!

What's the difference between a hook and a riff

The riff is a short and catchy melodic idea and it recurs so often that it gives character and structure to a song. The hook is any part of a song that is meant to grab the listener’s attention. The hook is also catchy but it doesn’t recur as often so that it makes a greater impact when it turns up.

How to remember key signatures

There are 15 different key signatures in music so how do we figure out which ones have sharps and which ones have flats? How do we know how many sharps and flats they have? And where do the minor keys fit in? We’ll answer all these questions and others like them thanks to a few …

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