Discuss Notion Music Composition Software here.
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Hello, and apologies in advance if this subject has been discussed before. I searched before this post but could find no other references to it.

As a composer, I find it helpful to lay out a song in advance by its form before writing a single note. By form, I mean the number of measures in each section, rehearsal marks, repeats, DS / DC, endings, etc.

Do others use this approach as well? And, is there an easy way to do layout a song by only its form as described in Notion or Progression?

Please let me know your thoughts. If this ability does not already exist, then perhaps a wizard that does this may be a useful feature request.

Thanks in advance
~SC
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by Surf.Whammy on Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:25 pm
scavanagh wroteHello, and apologies in advance if this subject has been discussed before. I searched before this post but could find no other references to it.

As a composer, I find it helpful to lay out a song in advance by its form before writing a single note. By form, I mean the number of measures in each section, rehearsal marks, repeats, DS / DC, endings, etc.

Do others use this approach as well? And, is there an easy way to do layout a song by only its form as described in Notion or Progression?

Please let me know your thoughts. If this ability does not already exist, then perhaps a wizard that does this may be a useful feature request.

Thanks in advance
~SC


You can do this, but it requires doing some copying and pasting if you want it to be relatively easy . . . :)

THOUGHTS

As you might know, I have three general strategies for composing songs:

(1) Based on a kernel of an idea which primarily is mathematical and geometrical or perhaps is keyed on a particular musical phrase or lyrical phrase . . .

(2) The Aliens From Outer Space "beam" me an idea for a song, which usually is musical (notes-only) but occasionally includes lyrics or a hint to lyrics . . .

(3) A complete song appears in my mind, and I transcribe it in a few minutes . . .

Of these, the third is the most rare; while the first two are what I consider to be the standard strategy . . .

If your primary strategy results in knowing everything about a song in such detail that you can create a template for its form, then I think the Aliens From Outer Space fitted you with a significantly more advanced communication chip--perhaps even one the the new quantum communication devices . . .

The general rule here in the sound isolation studio is that one only needs perhaps 30 measures of music to compose a song or a symphony; and in a variation of the various strategies sometimes I just start with 30 empty measures and add notes one-at-a-time until it sounds "good", which is a "by ear" strategy (a personal favorite strategy) . . .

For reference, I know more about music theory than I acknowledge; but overall I do everything "by ear", since this works for me and is the way I taught myself electric bass, electric guitar, and drums . . .

It's a bit different for grand piano, which I taught myself by directed dreaming over two decades during which I only thought about playing grand piano other than perhaps doing a one-hour "progress experiment" each year . . .

This is part of an ongoing experiment based on the hypothesis that the unconscious mind ("id" in Freudian terminology) knows a lot of stuff about everything, which in a practical way maps to making it possible to do extraordinary things simply by suspending all conscious and supervisory mentation ("ego" and "superego" in Freudian terminology, respectively) . . .

The only obvious drawback to this strategy is that one tends to drool a lot when composing and performing lead guitar solos in real-time on the fly, but so what . . . :P

This is an example of the strategy of "not thinking consciously" when composing and performing a lead guitar solo in real-time on the fly, which for reference was done while I was listening to the other instruments and singing (which is heard in the third YouTube video), hence I was composing and playing lead guitar with everything else being heard . . .

[NOTE: Once someone discovers how to do this and for lead guitar has a carefully selected set of effects pedals and a custom-modded Stratocaster that has two independent output circuits, which in turn drive two elaborate sets of effects pedals, thereby becoming a "Wall of Guitars", this is easy. The only problem is that it's impossible to memorize, but so what . . . :P ]

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[NOTE: This is the grand piano for "Starlight", which was done the same way as the lead guitar, but after the lead guitar, hence the grand piano was composed and played in real-time on the fly while listening to everything else, including the lead guitar solo. For reference, I augmented the directed dreaming in the more recent decade by watching YouTube videos of Floyd Cramer, Liberace, Chico Marx, and John Lennon, where Lennon tended to use the same strategy of going entirely unconscious on keyboard . . . ]

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[NOTE: This is the complete song, which in many respects is based on the quantum mechanical fact that if you play enough notes rapidly, some of them actually will sound "good" . . . ]

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This is an example project in this forum that shows and explains the way I compose songs using techniques from Joseph Schillinger's System of Musical Composition (SoMC), which is very mathematical and geometric; but once the song essentially is defined, I switch more to "by ear", although I ensure the notes, chords, and rhythms are consistent with the mathematics and geometries . . .

Project: SoMC ~ Paint a Song with Numbers (PreSonus NOTION Forum)

ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS

There is a way to create your own custom templates, which is very easy to do on the Mac; and this might be a way to simplify the "form definition" aspects . . .

As a general rule, I do not use repeats and all that related stuff, which in part is based that even with an extraordinarily simple song like "Louie Louie" (The Kingsmen), it might appear to be highly repetitive, but it's not; and it's not absolutely repetitive because it's played and sung in real-tme on the fly by humans, who as we know are imperfect beings, at best . . .

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SUMMARIZING

I like the way you think! :+1

Lots of FUN! :)

The Surf Whammys

Sinkhorn's Dilemma: Every paradox has at least one non-trivial solution!

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