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From a South American dance to a romantically rubato performance piece, Bach’s Violin Partita in D minor has some funky rhythms and bizarre chromaticism!

The following post comes directly from Soundfly’s mentored online course, Songwriting for Producers. If you’re making music at home, you need to check out this course to learn the techniques and strategies of pro songwriters, master an efficient and productive workflow, and bone up on how simple music theory can improve your storytelling. Free preview here.

A few years ago, the NYU Music Experience Design Lab launched a web application called the aQWERTYon. The name is short for “QWERTY accordion.” The idea is to make it as easy to play music on the computer keyboard as it is with the chord buttons on an accordion. The aQWERTYon maps scales to the keyboard so that there are no “wrong notes,” and so that each column of keys plays a chord.

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Something most recently popularized in Post Malone’s work, Free Form writing is when your song structure is very loose, or follows little to no repetitive form at all; eight bars or this, 11 bars of that, the chorus not always falling in the same place after the verse, etc. In modern music it usually is represented as a song with no repetitive verse structures, and with the chorus still remaining somewhat, or completely the same each time.

With overwhelmingly positive results, we’re happy to share a few select testimonials of Soundfly’s Beginner Harmonic Theory course directly from our students.

It may sound corny or cliché, it may sound like bad advice at first, but “fake it til you make it” is one of the core tennets of visualizing your success.

As pop songs are usually given a pretty conservative time limit (2:45 on average and shrinking by the decade), there isn’t usually time for an outro. Intros are becoming increasingly rare as well. On top of that, the chorus (or more commonly referred to nowadays as “the hook”) has become the primary focus of most pop songwriters today.

Speaking of international recognition, while they may not be an electronic group, per se, Kokono No.1’s approach to technology is reminiscent to early Suicide records, and they exist in a world of their own. At the core of their sound is three electric likembé combined to make a single instrument that is then amplified through home made speakers that illuminates its sound with cracks, pops, and hisses. Their frenetic energy and multitude of singers on each track makes you feel as if you’ve stumbled across them on the streets of Kinshasa.

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The complicated squiggles you see in real-world string vibrations are the mathematical sum of all these different harmonics. Each harmonic produces a different pitch, so when you play a note, you’re actually hearing many different pitches at once. It’s possible to isolate the different harmonics of a string and hear their individual pitches. Harmonics are very useful for tuning your guitar. They are also the basis of the whole Western tuning system generally.

Soundfly welcomes new voices each month to offer unique perspectives, shine a light on unexpected musical worlds, and help our readers find their sound.

As one commenter pointed out, though, “Clair de Lune” is in 9/8, so of course it’s going to sound strange over a 4/4 beat. However, for me, the 4/4 beat actually makes it sound less strange. I find 9/8 totally unnatural; I can count it deliberately but I haven’t internalized it intuitively. On the other hand, groups of triplets over 4/4 is a common sound in the African-descended American music, and I can feel it just fine.

“Lucid Dreams”: This opening synth motif throws you a bit by going to a different second note on the repeat. And then you get thrown by the fact that he’s only singing five notes within a perfect fifth tessitura: scale degrees 3^-4^-5^-6^-7^. Don’t be alarmed, but there’s no tonic being sung, so if you took away the chords it would sound major, like 1^-2^-3^-4^-5^ (do re mi fa sol), like effing Beethoven’s 9th and stuff. To my ears, it makes the melody feel lost, adrift, never going home. Of course, that’s appropriate for the song’s theme of heartbreak.

Sometimes days seem to end up where they first began     A