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COMPOSER CHALLENGE
Last post Mon, Jan 15 2018 by agitato, 99 replies.
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Posted on Wed, Dec 20 2017 03:22
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5192

What is your best melody? 

The ability to create a melody that is good is the ultimate test of a composer. 

You can be an academic composer who creates a melange of nightmarish dissonance than no one wants to hear -

but you can't do this.     

You can be a film composer like Hans Zimmer who creates a harmonic pad with some drums -

but you can't do this.  

You can be a rapper who just yells in rhythm with drums-

but you can't do this.  

Only the real composers can do this:  create a good melody.  

You want examples? -  Schubert, Ave Maria.  Beethoven, Ninth Symphony Last Movement.  Jerry Goldsmith, Star Trek Main Theme.  John Barry, Somewhere in Time.

So show off your melodies, you real composers!  I am tired of all the bullshit here:  by whiners, by fakers, by assholes who pretend to be experts - I want real music.

Please note:   I will assume that anyone who does not post anything is:

1) scared,

2) not a real composer,

3) a troll

(btw I may try to post a real melody as part of this challenge but need to gather some courage, also look anxiously through my melodies...)

Posted on Wed, Dec 20 2017 08:39
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1378

Easy there William!  Easy does it

For future reference, It's three parts eggnog to one part whiskey.  Not the other way around

But I do confess, the holidays are all the more cheerier when it is the other way around

As to your challange... It's bold, brash and unapologetic,  I love it 

But instead of posting "My best melody" I'm actually going to post one of my least favorite pieces.  Something that I'm not at all proud of.  In fact, it's rather an embarassment. A superficial and sappy strings keys and choir piece that can best be described as a big steaming pile of sentimental excrement. However, my wife is rather fond of it calling it her favorite.

Afterall, I think any composer worth his salt should shine even when they are at their worst and least popular.

So I post it here along with a chunk of my conscience


"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it."
- W.C. Fields
Posted on Wed, Dec 20 2017 09:43
by fahl5
Joined on Fri, Feb 04 2005, Hall One, Posts 932

Originally Posted by: William Go to Quoted Post

Please note:   I will assume that anyone who does not post anything is:

1) scared,

2) not a real composer,

3) a troll

(btw I may try to post a real melody as part of this challenge but need to gather some courage, also look anxiously through my melodies...)

OK you just need a "melody" to believe that I am not a troll here is one of mine, even if composing of "melodies" is definitly not my main interest (since for me there are already so much good musical Ideas existent, which deserve to be heard) and I dont like at all to look for my "best" in any way (since it is not up to me to judge what is about my own musical Ideas) So I just looked for something, what might be regarded in the most conventional view as "melody".  However there still are people who even like this little piece of my very first experiments with digital music-production which is scarcly anything more than a very very simple bossa-"melody":

sheepish-bossa (2003)

Now it is up to you to prove who is

Originally Posted by: William Go to Quoted Post

1) scared,

2) not a real composer,

3) a troll

At least you are currently the only one in this thread "who does not post anything" to prove his melodic ability

http://klassik-resampled.de ... 3443 mp3 with 162 hours of sample based interpretations of complete Scores from 7 Centuries

http://synchron.12sf.de ...Synchron-Strings explored in 44 mp3 with more than four hours of complete and ambitious scores from 19th, 20th and 21th century produced with Synchron-Player Strings.

...anything comparable anywhere?
Posted on Wed, Dec 20 2017 20:49
by Dominique
Joined on Fri, Aug 08 2008, Posts 165

Thought about contributing for a second, and I would really have liked to. It is a nice idea for a thread to share some melodies. But then reread the opening post. What a pretentious load of unreflecting flimflam. Assume whatever you want, I couldn't care less.

Posted on Wed, Dec 20 2017 21:25
by Guy Bacos
Joined on Sun, Jan 16 2005, Quebec, Canada, Posts 1974

I've always thought Tchaikovsky was the greatest melody maker. I'm so much in aw with his melodies. 

Neil Sedaka is a close 2nd. :) 

 

Guy

Posted on Wed, Dec 20 2017 21:27
by Errikos
Joined on Tue, Jun 12 2007, Posts 1013

I'll also take my cue from Jasen, and since we're sheepishly putting our "worst" melodies forward (maybe slowly we'll get to the better ones), I'm putting a link, not to a bad melody as such, but to a very-very early one - I've developed incalculably since... This is a fast VSL rendition (so no production comments thank you) of what was a Kurzweil K250 track, in my second TV job (and only 'cause I can't get my hands on my first), somewhere back in the late '80s (yes, I was too young and bloody lucky to have gotten my foot inside the door of national Australian television, but possession of gear that only a handful of composers possess at any time, plus a little talent, can open doors prematurely).

Apparently the documentary was nominated for a UN Award back then, so that got everybody a little notoriety.

This is the 'Main Title' theme, but this is the end credits music:

https://soundcloud.com/errikos-vaios/fractured-city-main-title

P.S.: Yes, I got paid properly, as I also had the first time around.

P.S.2: I really hate to admit I enjoyed that Sheepish Bossa quite a bit, even though I thought it was about a minute too long.

P.S.3: Agree with Guy. 'Oh Carol' is a gem (yes, yes, I almost forgot 'The Nutcracker' of course - the right season for it too).

If you can't notate/MIDI it yourself, it's NOT your music!

In these modern days to be vulgar, illiterate, common and vicious, seems to give a man a marvelous infinity of rights that his honest fathers never dreamed of. - Oscar Wilde
Posted on Wed, Dec 20 2017 21:54
by LAJ
Joined on Sun, Dec 13 2009, Posts 401

 

Troll is ugly. I'd choose a (younger) Santa or an angel instead ;) ... so short before Christmas.

 

Cheers William! I raise a glass of Champagner to you and wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

And don't take music-topics and composing-topics too serious. Life is short ... and there's more!
Yes, we all share a certain passion for (not only) classical Instruments-sound here. ... not only = Think of my passion for U-he/Xilslab-Synths (or Paul's Virus TI )

One thing is important: Live and let live!

Again: Cheers.

—Lurker-mode—
Posted on Thu, Dec 21 2017 00:07
by Guy Bacos
Joined on Sun, Jan 16 2005, Quebec, Canada, Posts 1974

I see people aren't taking this thread very seriously, so I will post what I think is my greatest meldoy.

My Greatest Melody

Posted on Thu, Dec 21 2017 05:10
by agitato
Joined on Mon, Jun 22 2015, Posts 332

Great thread William. Except I didnt feel there is a need to label anyone who doesnt want to post.

I loved Guy's melody! Fell off the chair laughing though.

Errikos, absolutely beautiful piece. I loved it so much that I am listening a third time now. Is the vinyl noise in the beginning intentional? This is in a different class. 

Just so I dont get branded as a troll, here is a tiny clip (one of the 100s I have started but never finished) that will look even smaller amongst the giants posting their music here.

https://soundcloud.com/ankumar333/sketch8c

btw whats wrong with rap music? I am not a fan but I know enough to respect it as an legitimate form of musical expression.

Also I feel that "melodies" are overrated. To me there is much more to music than melodies. Most of great classical music does not have melodies, but musical phrases. John Lennon wrote more famous melodies than Mahler, does that make Lennon a greater composer than Mahler? I dont think so.

Cheers

Anand

Anand Kumar
Posted on Thu, Dec 21 2017 05:31
by LAJ
Joined on Sun, Dec 13 2009, Posts 401
Originally Posted by: Guy Bacos Go to Quoted Post
I see people aren't taking this thread very seriously, so I will post what I think is my greatest meldoy.
My Greatest Melody


Please push the link and listen from 2:28

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ky3SlUrFJ24

... Now we know WHO was playing the Piano;)
—Lurker-mode—
Posted on Thu, Dec 21 2017 07:14
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5192

I guess that challenge was a little obnoxious but whatever.  Here are some of my melodic excerpts though not necessarily my "best" - that is hard to judge.  I will definitely listen to these other postings - they look interesting... 

https://youtu.be/gS7Oik-kkJY

Posted on Thu, Dec 21 2017 09:03
by JimmyHellfire
Joined on Tue, Dec 24 2013, Posts 313

There have been no good melodies since "All my Little Ducklings" and "Mary had a Little Lamb."

It's no use.

Posted on Thu, Dec 21 2017 13:57
by fahl5
Joined on Fri, Feb 04 2005, Hall One, Posts 932

Originally Posted by: JimmyHellfire Go to Quoted Post

There have been no good melodies since "All my Little Ducklings" and "Mary had a Little Lamb."

It's no use.

No Jimy I can not agree at all: 

"The true goal of music—its proper enterprise—is melody. All the parts of harmony have as their ultimate purpose only beautiful melody. Therefore, the question of which is the more significant, melody or harmony, is futile. Beyond doubt, the means is subordinate to the end." Johann Philipp Kirnberger (1721-1783)

And even more true: "Different musical styles use melody in different ways." for instance.

"Melody from Anton Webern's Variations for orchestra, Op. 30 (pp. 23–24)"

This is what make "challenges" a bit difficult, since a challenge (like it is proposed in the opening-posting) assumes that there will be a certain general quality which might allow to rule out all other ways to create recognizable sequences of notes.  To me this seem to be as if someone who just speaks one language believes there would be only this one language (his own) and all others were simply wrong. Or if someone only understands one single book and hitherto believes that this would be the only true one and all others with different content, Ideas or opinions must therefore be wrong simply because they are different. 

For me personally I am not that much interested in composing melodies not because I dont like them, but because I know that there are already that much out there to discover and to make audible that I do have still enough to do before believing it would be necessary to ad a new one to the universe of already existing ones. I confess I always have had high esteem for those composers, who struggled to realy enrich our musical culture with new, never heard inventions. But to compose things we already have more than enough always seemed to be a lack of respect for those who have already composed such things earlier in very good quality. 

To appreaciate Beethoven or Schubert mean to me not to try to make bad and outdated copies of their historical musical attitude, but to either create something different convincing in its own way as Shubert and Beethoven do convince in their very own way to compose or to show the beauty of their inventions simply with playing the music of Schubert, Beethoven or any other inspired composers of the last 1000 years music.

http://klassik-resampled.de ... 3443 mp3 with 162 hours of sample based interpretations of complete Scores from 7 Centuries

http://synchron.12sf.de ...Synchron-Strings explored in 44 mp3 with more than four hours of complete and ambitious scores from 19th, 20th and 21th century produced with Synchron-Player Strings.

...anything comparable anywhere?
Posted on Thu, Dec 21 2017 13:59
by Paul McGraw
Joined on Mon, Feb 29 2016, Georgia, USA, Posts 360

I think this was a good idea for a thread, it is focused on one (perhaps the most crucial) aspect of composing. It would be interesting to have an entire sequence of such challenges, best harmonic progression, best orchestration, and so forth.

Here is a link to the B theme, the Princess Anna theme, of my piece Saint Vladimir. The theme sort of gradually morphs through several iterations. When the trombone sings with the woodwinds, the trombone represents the voice of Vladimir. 

Princess Anna Theme

I think this is my best melody so far, but perhaps I will write a better melody tomorrow. 

Posted on Thu, Dec 21 2017 14:24
by Paul McGraw
Joined on Mon, Feb 29 2016, Georgia, USA, Posts 360

Originally Posted by: William Go to Quoted Post

I guess that challenge was a little obnoxious but whatever.  Here are some of my melodic excerpts though not necessarily my "best" - that is hard to judge.  I will definitely listen to these other postings - they look interesting... 

https://youtu.be/gS7Oik-kkJY

You have a real talent for melody William. I enjoyed every minute of this YouTube! You had an awesome idea for a thread. Why people are not willing to cut you a little slack (is that still an expression? it used to be) I do not know.

I followed your allusion to the old schoolyard dares of our childhood when the dare was always accompanied by taunts and accusations of "chicken" if one did not take up the dare and "prove himself." Have things really changed so much since our days of youth? I find myself sad about this situation. Your challenge/dare gave me a laugh and reminded me of those days long ago. Then I read how people were responding, and I couldn't understand how they were not seeing the humor and playfulness.

But thank you for posting some really awesome music.

Posted on Thu, Dec 21 2017 16:08
by fahl5
Joined on Fri, Feb 04 2005, Hall One, Posts 932

Originally Posted by: Paul McGraw Go to Quoted Post

I couldn't understand how they were not seeing the humor and playfulness.

obviously there seem to be more people here who felt inspired to make jokes about this "challenge" than people who found notably funny what William posted initiallly. BTW I personally have no problem to take this subject (composing melodies which is definitly a sensible point in every musical esthetic) serious and don't think this would do anyone any harm or misunderstanding.

http://klassik-resampled.de ... 3443 mp3 with 162 hours of sample based interpretations of complete Scores from 7 Centuries

http://synchron.12sf.de ...Synchron-Strings explored in 44 mp3 with more than four hours of complete and ambitious scores from 19th, 20th and 21th century produced with Synchron-Player Strings.

...anything comparable anywhere?
Posted on Thu, Dec 21 2017 16:13
by Jos Wylin
Joined on Mon, Dec 03 2012, Flanders, Belgium, Posts 575

Hi William,

As you said, it's extremely difficult to pick one melody out of the lot. It would always be a very personal and subjective choice. I my case, I've written in so many different styles, instrumentations, with our without choir, for solo voices, orchestral tunes, themes of all sorts and purposes, religious, musical stage play... In Dutch we say: "It's like comparing lemons with apples". But I like the idea to come forward with one preferred melody or tune or theme (whatever you have meant).

This one could in some way be representative (from about 4:32 to 5:40). The rest is mainly a fully orchestrated Czech folk song for choir and orchestra.

My melody

http://www.joswyl.be
compositions and sampling exercises
Posted on Thu, Dec 21 2017 16:43
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5192

Jasen I didn't hear any steaming in that example.  Also the other melodies sound better than the composer's opinions of them.  But since this topic is changing into "worst'  I have been inspired to find my worst melody now.  I have done some truly sickening ones, including one written for a golf course commercial that should have resulted in my imprisonment or at least a large fine.  

Anyway it is interesting to hear these separated from the development in the original pieces.  I was doing this partly to look over my own also, wondering what I would find.  It is impossible to judge though.

However, I do have to say that Guy's composition is one of the most magnificent examples of Post Modern Minimalism I have ever heard.  The way he incorporated a subtle nod to tradition - and therefore a connection with the past - with the V-I cadence at the end fills me with admiration.  The espressivo throughout was masterfully handled, the touch delicate yet firm. Bravo! 

Posted on Thu, Dec 21 2017 17:19
by Guy Bacos
Joined on Sun, Jan 16 2005, Quebec, Canada, Posts 1974

Thanks William and everyone else who heartedly enjoyed my melody. It will be a great Christmas gift for me. I hope herb will consider putting it among the demos, perhaps among the top demos.

Posted on Thu, Dec 21 2017 18:11
by Paul McGraw
Joined on Mon, Feb 29 2016, Georgia, USA, Posts 360

Originally Posted by: Jos Wylin Go to Quoted Post

Hi William,

As you said, it's extremely difficult to pick one melody out of the lot. It would always be a very personal and subjective choice. I my case, I've written in so many different styles, instrumentations, with our without choir, for solo voices, orchestral tunes, themes of all sorts and purposes, religious, musical stage play... In Dutch we say: "It's like comparing lemons with apples". But I like the idea to come forward with one preferred melody or tune or theme (whatever you have meant).

This one could in some way be representative (from about 4:32 to 5:40). The rest is mainly a fully orchestrated Czech folk song for choir and orchestra.

My melody

Very beautiful. Well done indeed.

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