How to Organise Musical Material

How to Organise Musical Material

EP 26: How to organise musical material 

In today’s podcast, I am going to expand on last week where I offered some ideas on how to get organise the material you have developed.

As I said last week…

Once you have the material, you can go about “organising” or “arranging” it.

WAYS TO DEVELOP AN MOTIF / IDEA:

      • Repeat/cycle
      • Invert
      • Retrograde (play it backwards)
      • Expand the interval (intervallic expansion) or Contract the interval (intervallic contraction)
      • Transpose
      • Displace the pitch (change the octave of one note)
      • Fragment the melody
      • Extend the end of the melody
      • Rhythmically augment or diminish the melody
      • Rhythmically alter the melody
      • Change the articulation
      • Vertically arrange the notes of the melody
      • Change the instrument combinations
      • Metric changes
      • Rhythmic displacement through accents, syncopation, morphing, addition, subtraction, repetition.

WAYS TO ORGANISE BLOCKS OF SOUND:

      • Consider the roles of the layers – traditional vs non-traditional (Melody, bass, accompaniment, primary, secondary, rhythmic )
      • Repetition of ideas as interjections
      • Transposition of the idea as a whole or in part
      • Limited pitch set with rhythmic change to create different moods or sections
      • Limited interval set with rhythmic and register change to create different moods or sections
      • Juxtaposition of two ideas
      • Stop – Wait – Go sequence with ideas (good for two or three cellular ideas)
      • Interruptions or interjections (good for chordal ideas)
      • Dovetailing, call and response (antiphony)
      • Superimposition of both ideas simultaneously
      • Polyrhythms
      • Cyclic patterns (good for motivic ideas) – use addition and subtraction like the minimalists.
      • indeterminacy – (good for timeless ideas to create a bed over which something more important grows or develops)
      • Traditional formations – AB, ABA, ABACADAE (with smaller ideas), sonata, minuet and trio
      • Traditional roles – as in jazz arranging style or pop arranging style.

THINGS TO ADD TO THE BLOCKS OF SOUND OR MOTIVIC IDEAS:

      • Countermelodies
      • Ostinati
      • Drones

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