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It goes "POOM-poom pa-DUM pa-dum, dum-ba-dum-ba dum". Got that computer?

My brain often composes short melodies that float around my head for a while and then dissolve. Since my inner composer is twelve years old, these melodies tend to sound like the background music to old Nintendo games, early Zelda / Mario Brothers and that kind of thing. What they cry out for is to be put on loop while Link ventures out to boomerang Octorocks. I'd like to make this a reality. Presumably we're talking MIDI. Please suggest (a) software for this purpose, and (b) approaches to learning basic harmonization and instrumentation, especially in the context of some specific answer to (a). [more inside]
posted by hoist with his own pet aardvark on Sep 19, 2014 - 3 answers

How To find readings in the "How To" genre?

I am teaching a First-Year Composition course and we're heading into a unit in which students will write a "how to" or process essay. I'm looking for recommendations for readings that might go along with this unit. What readings can you recommend -- either essays, articles, or short fiction -- that are "how to"/process essays, or that use this format? [more inside]
posted by dryad on Sep 18, 2014 - 9 answers

Standard musical cues for TV programs?

I want to learn about the types of musical cues that are commonly used for television programs. [more inside]
posted by ErikH2000 on Jul 23, 2014 - 8 answers

Awesome lessons in college writing?

What really great activities, exercises or lessons do you remember from your undergrad-level writing or composition courses? [more inside]
posted by yersinia on Jan 17, 2014 - 12 answers

Learning composition by transcribing music?

I have read that John Zorn and Unsuk Chin, among others, learned music composition by transcribing music. Am I correct in thinking that this means copying an existing score? Is this a good way to learn music composition (and are there any others)? Does one copy the piece verbatim, or is there a strategy for targeting significant parts?
posted by myitkyina on Aug 26, 2013 - 11 answers

Mysterious classical piece

There is an aria/section of a classical piece in my head I cannot identify. There is a soprano or mezzo-soprano solo (with an orchestra behind I think, though I cannot remember any details of the music), who sings a line that is something like "never seen his face (possibly "this place") before". It also contains a chorus shouting in between the soloist's phrases, with children's or an amplified child's voice quite prominent in parts of this shouting. [more inside]
posted by solarion on Aug 1, 2013 - 5 answers

Unsure of the procedure to obtain copyright permissions in this scenario

Okay, so I've composed a bunch of music to go with selections from a book of short stories, and things are coming together and I've started to perform & record them. They're mostly 1-2 minutes and the idea is that I'd record myself reading them along with the music; think of something along he lines of Ken Nordine's work. Anyways, it's just something I've been doing for fun, creativity for the sake of creativity and all that. But as it's finally coming together, I have an urge, naturally, to share it with people, at which point legal considerations arise. [more inside]
posted by mingo_clambake on Mar 13, 2013 - 1 answer

Computer music with linux

I just discovered the wealth of audio programs for linux, and it's very exciting except I don't know how to use any of it. I'm learning linux, computer music composition, and music programs all at once. [more inside]
posted by lhude sing cuccu on Jan 21, 2013 - 5 answers

Some music for making money to.

I'm looking for perspectives on what music composers generally charge for work on video games and films. [more inside]
posted by hanoixan on Jan 19, 2013 - 3 answers

Where can I find music classes?

I live in Brooklyn and want to take classes on electronic music composition. [more inside]
posted by prunes on Oct 11, 2012 - 4 answers

Open courses that teach writing skills: where are they?

Open courses that teach writing skills: where are they? [more inside]
posted by pracowity on Jul 11, 2012 - 6 answers

How to Compose a Picture

I'd like to learn more about visual composition, especially for photography and painting. Are there any books or websites you would recommend as a primer to the subject?
posted by lirael2008 on Jun 18, 2012 - 14 answers

How to compose solo flute folk music?

I want to compose a piece of unaccompanied folk music. What do I need to know? [more inside]
posted by teraspawn on May 6, 2012 - 3 answers

What are some good books on English Composition?

Here's my question. I am a returning non-traditional student, and would like to know of some really good books on English Composition, Language, Literature, and Research that would help me in my studies. Thanks.
posted by Lillian7 on Apr 8, 2012 - 13 answers

How can I be the next Koji Kondo?

I want to compose scores for video games as a career. I have no idea how to get there. I'm looking for advice from composers, game designers, and people generally working at the intersection of music and video games. [more inside]
posted by bumpjump on Dec 7, 2011 - 11 answers

Me fail English? That's unpossible.

So, this is a a little embarrassing. Apparently, I know nothing about the rules of grammar and English composition. Obviously, I have some of the basics of writing down (you can read this right?), but I don't know any of the terminology and nitty-gritty details about how sentences are constructed in English. I need help with resources to quickly catch me up to all the other kids in my Advanced Composition class. [more inside]
posted by runcibleshaw on Sep 7, 2011 - 28 answers

What music theory stuff is going on here?

What music theory stuff is Yngwie Malmsteen having a hard time explaining about his composition "Arpeggios from Hell"? [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Jul 23, 2011 - 4 answers

Software to explore chord progressions

I am looking for Windows software that lets me play with chord progressions and hear how they sound. I think Band in the Box does this but it's way more powerful and expensive than what I need. [more inside]
posted by PercussivePaul on Jun 6, 2011 - 2 answers

I am forty pounds lighter than you, therefore if you aren't fat, I'm not fat.

Fitness Filter: A male friend of mine is just about the same height as me and weighs 40 lbs more. Can muscle mass/being a dude really justify this weight discrepancy? [more inside]
posted by stormygrey on May 18, 2011 - 23 answers

Help finding a composition from an experimental film.

I can't seem to find out if a song used in a short experimental film is available anywhere. The film is "Tango" by Zbigniew Rybczynski. You can check the film out here. I believe it's from 1980. More details inside... [more inside]
posted by raintheory on Apr 14, 2011 - 1 answer

What do students want from a freshman composition course?

I'm a freshman composition instructor who wants to rock the evals. But how? If you've taken a first-year college writing or rhetoric course, what teaching practices made for a good (or horrible) experience from the student's perspective? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 15, 2011 - 12 answers

Can occasionally saying "I don't know" make me a better teacher? If so, why?

Can occasionally saying "I don't know" make me a better teacher? If so, why? [more inside]
posted by 6and12 on Jan 20, 2011 - 35 answers

Give me your best essays on secrecy and privacy.

What are some very well written, brief, persuasive articles (not very short-form journalism) on questions of secrecy and privacy? [more inside]
posted by LucretiusJones on Jan 12, 2011 - 3 answers

Resources for beginning lyricists

Resources for beginning songwriters and lyricists (that would make kickass Xmas presents?) [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 5, 2010 - 9 answers

I'd like a semester where students wrote blogs, podcasts, and filmed vlogs instead of writing essays.

Help me find some great sources that discuss New media (and/or Web 2.0 tools) for use in the university classroom. [more inside]
posted by joyeuxamelie on Dec 3, 2010 - 7 answers

What is the modern-day music composition process like?

Composers, musicians, songwriters: What steps do you take to create a piece of music from scratch? Additional questions about working as a composer, music software, planning processes, etc. inside. [more inside]
posted by matticulate on Nov 23, 2010 - 23 answers

What are some good resources and community things on the web for teaching yourself to compose

Modern Classical/Western art music - What are some good resources and community things on the web for teaching yourself to compose ? (for a 'returning student') [more inside]
posted by Not Supplied on Nov 14, 2010 - 4 answers

computer aided essay grading

Have you used software to help you grade student essays? Tell me about your experience. [more inside]
posted by landlubber on Oct 7, 2010 - 8 answers

Piano-heavy movie scores to inspire a budding composer/pianist?

Piano-heavy movie scores to inspire a budding composer/pianist? [more inside]
posted by tippiedog on Sep 2, 2010 - 32 answers

Thinking about imagery

I enjoy Ken Rockwell's photography website. Can you recommend similar ones? [more inside]
posted by meadowlark lime on Aug 27, 2010 - 7 answers

essaying to persuade

What are the best and most interesting persuasive essays of 2009-2010? [more inside]
posted by washburn on Jul 21, 2010 - 11 answers

gameboy music making...

just got an original gameboy and i'm wondering what the better music making cartridges/solutions might be. any ideas or suggestions? thanks!
posted by artof.mulata on May 23, 2010 - 7 answers

Will a good college take me?

I need to understand where i place among the crowd of college bound kids. [more inside]
posted by NotSoSiniSter on May 9, 2010 - 28 answers

I don't want to crop anymore.

I'm a zoom junkie. What do I do with a 17mm lens? [more inside]
posted by Skyanth on Apr 23, 2010 - 22 answers

Writing and editing midi files on a Mac

Please help me find cheap, easy-to-use, music recording/MIDI software for Mac. [more inside]
posted by jalexc on Mar 3, 2010 - 9 answers

Best Canadian/North American Schools for Electronic Composition

What are some of the leading computer music (electronic composition) schools in Canada? What about North America? [more inside]
posted by ageispolis on Mar 2, 2010 - 5 answers

Fugal writing in popular music?

Do any popular musicians (as opposed to art music composers) use fugal writing in their music? I'm looking for hardcore, Well-Tempered Clavier complexity, not simple 2-voice counterpoint.
posted by archagon on Feb 20, 2010 - 3 answers

Classical composers who sang instead of played instruments?

Are there well-known classical composers who aren't trained on a particular instrument? An acquaintance is a young singer who's interested in composition (mostly for voice), but in talking to him I get the sense that he feels a little inadequate compared to his fellow students who are accomplished on at least one instrument like piano or violin. Can you give me examples of classical composers whose work is respected but who weren't primarily instrumental players? Modern or otherwise. Thanks!
posted by mediareport on Dec 14, 2009 - 14 answers

Source of these quotes about photographic composition?

Help me find the source of these quotes about photographic composition. [more inside]
posted by jgwong on Oct 31, 2009 - 3 answers

Short passages of particularly strong or weak nonfiction prose?

In search of short passages of especially strong or weak nonfiction prose! [more inside]
posted by cymru_j on Oct 17, 2009 - 8 answers

How many units of Ableton Live sold annually?

Marke research: how can I find out how many units of Ableton Live music software have been sold annually? [more inside]
posted by SilentSalamander on Aug 25, 2009 - 8 answers

What are the best personal essays about technology?

What are some great examples of personal, non-fiction essay writing about technology, to be used in a freshman writing class with a tech theme? [more inside]
posted by Tesseractive on Aug 18, 2009 - 12 answers

Online writing system?

Online systems for writing teachers? [more inside]
posted by cymru_j on Jul 26, 2009 - 3 answers

Best jump-in-and-go software for n00b composer on a Mac?

Looking for good composition software on Mac. No actual recorded tracks- it'd be all Kurzweil PC-88 inputted MIDI. Must-haves include fairly easy ability to just jump in and start composin', a music score notation interface, very realistic quality of the instruments (i.e., that my midi inputted keyboard can still sound like a darn good bass guitar), and decent ability to refine the sound quality. [more inside] [more inside]
posted by hincandenza on Jun 23, 2009 - 9 answers

How was Merriweather Post Pavilion made?

Electronic music production. How, for example, were the sounds on Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion made? [more inside]
posted by invitapriore on Apr 13, 2009 - 15 answers

Long line composition

I'm looking for information on the so-called "long line" method of composition. [more inside]
posted by MattMangels on Mar 22, 2009 - 8 answers

Mac me a music machine

A family friend recently gave my kids a first generation iMac G3 (the bondi blue one). We've got loads of PCs around the house, but this is our first Mac. We also have a Yamaha P-120 digital piano. The kids are away for Spring Break and I'd love to surprise them by connecting the two so they can compose, experiment and generally mess around with music on the computer. The problem? Despite strong geekish tendencies, I know nothing about macs, midi or music. And googling isn't leading to anything particularly helpful for someone who knows zero about this stuff. [more inside]
posted by Hali on Mar 17, 2009 - 8 answers

How do I get harmony in my ear?

How do I get harmony in my ears? [more inside]
posted by invitapriore on Mar 12, 2009 - 10 answers

How to compose myself into an argument?

Recommendations for books that teach argument composition? [more inside]
posted by Sova on Feb 6, 2009 - 10 answers

What current rhet/comp issues are you into?

Describe some current issues in English Rhetoric and/or Composition that are interesting to you. [more inside]
posted by hpliferaft on Dec 3, 2008 - 7 answers

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