Improving Your Composing Skill
Hello everyone. I'm Helene.
It seems that lately there has been a surge of interest in composing music, and people have been putting that to practice with various kinds of songs being written on music scores. It is true that the World of Erinn is becoming a beautiful place to live thanks to many people who share their beautiful music with us. It is also true that equally many people seem frustrated by what they believe is a complex way to compose songs, and as a result, they could not overcome this difficulty and wrote songs that left a lot to be desired, triggering depression among others.
Through all this, I can't help but think about what's asked of me in this world. I believe I'm here right now to share my knowledge of music composition to everyone in the world of Erinn, and I have been working hard to make sure that everyone can write their own music through this game.
I've tried really hard to spread my knowledge out, but even with all that, I ran into a number of difficulties doing that, and it is quite daunting actually to spread this all by myself.
That's when someone suggested that I organize it and put it out as a book, and that's when I decided to write one, based mainly on the trials and errors, and the know-how I've accumulated over the years of composing songs through the music score. This may not be the most well-known collection of knowledge, but it's something that if you put a little bit of effort to it, you'll good at it in no time. I am confident that this book will help aid people that have wanted to compose songs, as well as the future bards-in-training that have wanted to get over the hump.
I sincerely hope you'll get something meaningful out of this, and help raise your level of music composition.
Helene and the red kitty hat
2. Key Symbols on the Music Score
I'm sure most of you will know this, but every sheet music has special symbols that depict the notes and beats. (These symbols can't be covered in here, so please refer to the book A Guide to Composing)
I am sure most composers have studied the symbols that were featured in that guidebook. But, I also understand that your curiousity towards putting in something other than those symbols may be tempered by the fact that the music score isn't the cheapest in the world..
To clarify, all the symbols on the score OTHER than the symbols featured on the Guide will be ignored when playing the score. The reason why I wrote this is because I believe this will help you composing songs down the road. I'm sure there are some of you out there who have already written a song, but is having a hard time reading through the symbols again for possible edits.
On instances like this where the bar is near impossible to find, it is actually quite useful to use a dummy symbol, placing them right on the beat as a way of separating each bar. I use / often, but / or // really doesn't matter.
Even after entering these symbols, your song will not change on bit. You can even use |, if you want to. Whatever it takes to help you see the separation, it's fine, but please remember that this does NOT affect the actual playing of the song.
3. Economical Use of Notes
A smart composer, however, may have picked up on a problem from that piece. Yes, you're right. The limited number of notes your can enter in the score just decreased even more because of those symbols. This method may work for the perfectionists writing a rather short song, but this may be quite burdensome for some that decide to write an epic.
In this case, if you want to erase the song, use these symbols on the practice sheet, and once you implement the song onto the sheet, you may remove the symbols and just enter it in the score. If you find this too complicated, you can use Find/Replace function using other programs to remove the /, and just enter the codes in the game.
4. Using the Triplets
When you're composing, there may be times where you'll want to put in triplets in one beat, but don't know exactly how to enter that. This is when the triplets come in; unfortunately a lot of the composers do not even recognize seeing triplets on a real music sheet.
When this happens, it may be a little difficult for you, but you'll have to calculate the beats first, and then do the following. Here's an exacmple with a 4/4 beat song. One beat here equals 1/4 of the bar line, which means a quarter note. So how should you enter triplets to meet this length? All you need to do is calculate the beat, and you'll realize a single note of a triplet in this song is 1/12. If you are a composer who is familiar with I, use this and enter l12 to simply depict a triplet.l4c c l12ccc l4 c means bop bop bop bababa bop, a Triplet rhythm simplified. (Of course, there's nothing wrong with writing c4 c4 c12c12c12 c4)
In this case, you can use this method to use the following:
This should do~
Another one that catches a lot of people is the use of Octaves. This is actually one that's still debated to this day by the music historians, and using < or > for raising/lowering octave may be easy, but people complain that it takes more time to actually apply this to songs that have already been made.
Come to think of it, a lot of people seem to have trouble marking octaves, so for now, use the symbol On, but you'll have to remember exactly which octave it was whenever you swith sides. Also the symbol for a raise in half-note 'n, along with other special symbols. I understand that this may be a tad confusing, but at least your can accurately express yourself through song-writing, and hopefully this really heped you with expanding your horizon as a songwriter.
6. Composing Music with an Instrument in Mind
Now I'd like to discuss the impression I get from talking to people playing instruments in the street. Whenever I observe a number of musicians playing in the street, I notice that eventhough the song may be the same, they weren't playing the game. That may depend on the level of music theory you've studied, but honestly I think it has more to do with composers creating different versions out of the same song.
Since most composers use melodies that have been passed down from generation to generation, and are trying to transpose those pieces into brand-new Music Scores, it can't help but change. It's a combination of the reasons above, plus the fact that a little bit of personal preference and/or habits got into the music. But it does seem like even though it's the same melody, one seem to play the music with flair and beauty, while others seem to be lacking. This is not even the problem of beats and notes. Even after following all of them, you can't help but feel like you could have done better.
So, where does this problem stem from?
I think this came from the possibility that the composed song and the instrument may not necessarily match. This means every instrument has its own range of notes it can play. For example, Lutes and Mandolins play at its best within the range of o3 and o5, and as for o6, it's alright but it may seem a bit high. The problem is, most people when they compose neglect this aspect, so eventhough the song seemed nice from the Music Sheet,if the instruement doesn't mesh with the song, it won't sound as good..
If you are one of these people, and if you have a Lute or a Mandolin, please test it out immediately. You may notice that your songs just sounded so much smoother.
One more thing. If you find yourself carrying another instrument, please test it out first by buying a Music Score and write a test music that may seem right for your instrument, and once you find the range of notes where the instrument most likely pulls it off, then that's when you can start writing a masterpiece.
Hopefully this book helped you in some ways.
From here on out, whenever you find yourself composing a song, if you do not forget the lessons learned from this book, you will have no trouble writing beautiful music. If you had already known this, then I suppose you feel offended by this, but if you watch out for these points when composing a song, you'll find yourself renowned as one of the best.
Last thing, for those of you using Lute as a weapon instead of an instrument. Lute is an instrument that carries the spirit of those that play it. It just cannot be compared to a brutal weapon. Even with such, some people use it as an emergency weapon. Yes, I'm also calling out the ones that use it to strike town objects, foxes, and wolves, but I'm actually calling out the select few that use the instrument to create noise pollution by playing ridiculously high notes at a ridiculously fast tempo. This is the worst thing you can do as a musician; you're supposed to move people with music, not make them cringe at you. Please refrain from doing this.
May the spirit of the greatest bard in the history of Erinn, Corple, be with you every ntoe of the way.