Clark Ross – A Sampling of Ideas and Techniques for Composing – Music Composition Weblog

December 10, 2014

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A Sampling of Ideas and Techniques for Composing

1. Octatonic scale (A.K.A. “diminished scale”)
2. Other “modes of limited transposition” (Messiaen’s term), incl. modes that repeat every 2 – 3 8ves
3. Pentatonic scales (i.e., anhemitonic (e.g., CDEGA), hemitonic (e.g., EFGBC), hirajoshi (e.g., ABCEF), etc.
4. Whole-Tone scale
5. Any other made-up, or synthetic, scaleRHYTHM and METER
1. Motor rhythms (continuous motion)
2. Eastern European (asymmetrical; 2+2+3, 2+2+2+3, 3+2+2+3, etc.), West African, and other world rhythms
3. Jazz (?)
4. Non-retrogradable
5. Additive Rhythm
6. Added-Value Rhythms
7. Isorhythms
8. Cross Rhythm
9. Nonretrogradable Rhythm
10. Free (“timeless”, no sense of pulse)
11. Rhythms or phrase lengths based on Fibonacci (or other) Numerical Series.
12. Polymeters
13. Mixed meters ( 3/4 | 5/8 | 2/4 | 7/16 |, etc.)
14. Tempo fluctuations (i.e., sudden/gradual tempo changes, metric modulation)
1. Various programmatic moods, such as aggressive, pretty, wistful, playful, demented, nervous, sad (various kinds), numb (catatonic), angry, fearful, etc.
2. New jazz, third stream
3. Fusions; combining popular music genres (rock/electropop/trance/hippety-hop, etc.) with various post-tonal art-music devices
4. Minimalism (repetitive (trance-inducing); sparse and static (trance-inducing))
5. New simplicity
6. Borrowing/adopting elements of music from other cultures: Japan, Eastern Europe, India, etc.
7. Expressive (romantic) versus Non-expressive (mechanistic)


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