I have finished a new song today. I didn't think much of it when I first started working on it, but it grew on me. It's called Victory through Grace. I started this one in Harmony wiz and edited it and orchestrated it in Logic. I'm working on composing this stuff from scratch in Logic, but I'm not there yet. But that would give me more possibilities I think. How do you start a piece? Orchestrate from a piano score or just start with the voicing measure for measure?

Victory through Grace.mp3

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  • Wonderful piece Lennart. The theme is very beautiful and well served by your choice of instruments. It has a "Christmas spirit" quality to it that genuinely brought a smile to my face. A bit early yet, but thank you for that :-)

    On the down side I have to say that I'm definitely not sold on your idea of the use of drums at the end, especially in this rock style. I would have kept things purely orchestral, possibly bringing in some light percussion, kettle drums, cymbals ... maybe even military snares to "beef" things up a bit at the very end. Just a passing thought ... :-)

    As for your question ... Difficult to answer that as I find that it can vary greatly depending on the musical genre I'm engaging in, but usually :

    1) Basic harmony on the piano

    2) Melodic ideas through vocals and other lead instruments (choice of sounds is critical for me at an early stage, right or wrong)

    3) Then comes the long, usually tedious, job of working on the structure which more often than not defeats me and see's the song lying on the shelf for days, weeks, months ... sometimes years :-)

  • I'm glad you liked it Jean-Michel! I haven't really thought about that Christmas spirit, but I believe you're right. That's the spirit I follow for sure : )

    I do like to spice things uo a bit most of the time. I have a bone for progressive rock, but that often gets to noisy and harsh. Your own music spices things up quite a bit too : )

    I'm working on new ways to structure things up and arrange and orchestrate. I'm sort of in a very exciting new step right now, not sure where my feet will land. Blowing up a piano track to a full arrangement and orchestrate it big is something I'm trying to get a grips on. My latest albums have been rather much chamber pop like. This time I'm going for something bigger.



    Jean-Michel George said:

    Wonderful piece Lennart. The theme is very beautiful and well served by your choice of instruments. It has a "Christmas spirit" quality to it that genuinely brought a smile to my face. A bit early yet, but thank you for that :-)

    On the down side I have to say that I'm definitely not sold on your idea of the use of drums at the end, especially in this rock style. I would have kept things purely orchestral, possibly bringing in some light percussion, kettle drums, cymbals ... maybe even military snares to "beef" things up a bit at the very end. Just a passing thought ... :-)

    As for your question ... Difficult to answer that as I find that it can vary greatly depending on the musical genre I'm engaging in, but usually :

    1) Basic harmony on the piano

    2) Melodic ideas through vocals and other lead instruments (choice of sounds is critical for me at an early stage, right or wrong)

    3) Then comes the long, usually tedious, job of working on the structure which more often than not defeats me and see's the song lying on the shelf for days, weeks, months ... sometimes years :-)

    This is how I do it. How do you do it?
    I have finished a new song today. I didn't think much of it when I first started working on it, but it grew on me. It's called Victory through Grace.…
  • Hmmm...interesting question, since "how do you start a piece" also involves what one considers "starting" to be: thinking about it without writing anything, doodling in some way that isn't a score, getting the first notes on a staff, etc. I used to be a straight-to-the-score person as soon as I had the first motive pop into my head. I'd start with the main theme and a vague idea of the orchestration that frequently changed several times by the end of the notating process. That required a lot of noodling time though in front of a digital score. More recently I often start a piece as sticky note scribbles and the occasional fragment of actual staff in the margins between meeting notes to capture important things that I need to remember when I finally have a block of time where I can actually break out the DAW and get something concrete as a score (or whatever equivalent level of representation for things that don't have a good traditional score representation). 

    I wasn't expecting the drums in "Victory" either, although I found them a pleasant surprise. Shortly after that though I also sort of expected some change in the other instrumentation rather than still being orchestral+drums, and it also struck me as odd that the drums only show up right before the end, so I found it a bit unclear what you were going for stylistically.

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