Diminished Chord Function

Diminished Chord Function Diminished chords usually serve the function of a dominant seventh chord, usually targeting to a chord a with a root a semitone higher. For instance the chord C#dim (C#-E-G) wants to resolve to a D or Dm. The reason for that is that the...

Melodic Tension

Melodic Tension Melody writing has a lot to do with melodic tension and proper resolution. Usually, the degree of tension is determined by the underlaying chord. An f in the melody over a C major chord has a strong tension and wants to resolve stepwise upwards to the...

Subconscious Plagiarism

Subconscious Plargiarism Another issue that bothers practically every composer once in a while is to subconsciously plagiarize existing music. Everybody writing music knows the feeling of asking oneself the question of whether that isn’t something everybody knows...

Key Change Dramaturgy

Key Change Dramaturgy Key changes can be not only effective musical tools but also very effective structural elements. Trying to build towards a climax in a piece that persistently stays in one key might not be the most interesting thing to do and approaching the...

The Danger of Composing on the Piano

The Danger of Composing on the Piano Composing on a piano is a great tool but can also be quite limiting. For example, chord voicings that sound good or decent on a piano don’t neccessarily translate too well to real orchestra. Usually, the biggest problem with such...