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...

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...

Spontaneous Modulations

Spontaneous Modulations A very common device used in film scoring, especially when writing action music that leads to a climax is to spontaneously modulate up a semitone, whole tone or minor third. This works most effectively on ostinato-driven music with...

Stacking Two Triads

Stacking Two Triads A really effective way to create interesting harmonic structures is to stack two triads on top of each other. This procedure is called polychords, bitonal chords or under certain conditions upper structure triads. Depending on what chords you stack...

Organ effect problems

Organ effect problems One of the most common problems of inexperienced orchestrators is the “organ-effect”, which happens when you double too many instruments in a middle register with relatively long notes. At a certain point, the transparency gets lost and the whole...