beccatoria: (londo loves it!)
[personal profile] beccatoria
SO. Earlier this week I discovered an amazing programme! It is called Musescore and it is a free, open source, platform agnostic (Windows, Mac, Linux, even BSD) programme that lets you score music and play it back.

I mean, it's not perfect - the default soundfont (what the instruments sound like) wasn't amazing, so I downloaded a different one, and playback has some limitations as it was initially implements as more of a "checking" service than a way to create a final product. But it's pretty freaking good, and the piano, particularly, sounds fairly authentic.

YOU GUYS. This programme.

This is just a fucking AMAZING demonstration of the democratisation of information and creativity and education on the internet.

I decided to compose something. I haven't done that since I was about 16 and doing my GCSEs, and I remember back then not having the musical skill to play it properly on the piano so only half understanding how it sounded til my teacher could help. But then, of course, she couldn't stay with me for long, so I was back to guess-work and swearing. I remember working out minor/major triads mathematically (how many half steps...?) on paper. And just...generally things being harder. Like trying to look at a giant mural with a match for light.

Now we have this website which over the course of a few evenings reminded me of all the basic music theory I knew and had forgotten in an easy to understand, bite-sized way, and then provided fucking TOOLS like CHORD CALCULATORS and CHORD PROGRESSION GRAPHS to help me.

And now, fifteen years later, building off a rusty recollection of I, IV and V chords going well together and a bunch of TOTALLY FREE SHIT FROM THE INTERNET, I have composed a song!, you guys, I think it's good?

I mean, I have to be honest, I was raised in a culture that focused more on music than most. I was lucky that I was able to have subsidised group lessons (and a year or so of private ones) for most of my childhood. I had the chance to play in orchestras. The fact I can read sheet music (however haltingly when it comes to Treble Clef) is an enormous advantage here. I'm not saying that I came at this out of nowhere.

But...but GUYS. It's like the first time I made 10 seconds of vid and just had to rewatch and rewatch and rewatch.

I simultaneously feel like I have uncovered a great, sleeping talent, like, holy shit, I CAN DO THIS? I CAN COMPOSE MUSIC? I AM MAGIC. HOW. HOW AM I DOING THIS. While at the same time wanting to run around screaming at everybody to wake up because if I can compose music this means you can too! Like this great, hidden secret that's been concealed from us and that I want to share with everyone.

So I present to you:

A Song in E Major for People with Large Hands because it's full of 10th intervals which I shouldn't really have used probably

So, uh, yeah.

Hopefully those of you who've seen me exploding over twitter don't think I oversold it too much. Half of my excitement is the high of successfully finishing it.

But, um, I guess yeah. I'm proud of myself - I think it sounds pretty good for a sort-of-first-attempt-in-fifteen-years.

I hope you guys like it too. All 81 seconds of it.


Date: 2014-10-11 01:58 pm (UTC)
spiralsheep: Woman blowing heart-shaped bubbles (Bubble Rainbow)
From: [personal profile] spiralsheep

Date: 2014-10-11 08:04 pm (UTC)
muladhara: (music)
From: [personal profile] muladhara
I have heard of this programme but for some reason I didn't download it??? (I am a fool, because I love monkeying about with music. I have LMMS installed for purposes of messing about with tones and so on. Except I haven't really because of stupid brain).
(I may not have downloaded because it was a tarball and I can never make them work. Anyway going to look now, because I want to compose stuff!)

I like the titling of your piece :) I also really like your piece, it's awesome. Does it make the video for you, or did you do that yourself? I like that it follows the score as the music plays (I was hoping it would and it did!)

ALSO this is TOTALLY how Hitoshi Sakimoto composes! I don't know if you know his work at all??? (He's done some of the Final Fantasy games but I don't know if you play/have played them; obviously he's scored other stuff as well) But I didn't know till last night - apparently he does it all on the computer because it saves on the expense of hiring an orchestra (which makes sense!) and I wouldn't be surprised if he used software similar to this. (He probably uses something a lot posher, but yanno, I can dream!)

Date: 2014-10-12 08:37 am (UTC)
muladhara: (music)
From: [personal profile] muladhara
It's possible to make good sounds with LMMS, I just don't know how to do it yet (I was transposing a piece of Final Fantasy music in there, since I had the sheet music but lost interest, I guess!)

I have got Musescore now! I did it via the website, and it opened in the Software Centre, so all I had to do was click install *phew* It reminds me a lot of a scoring program we had on the Acorns at school. I wrote a piece by hitting random notes - I actually still have the printout I made, because obviously the file won't exist by now. And I've been obsessed with composing since (I am highly rubbish, and I didn't even take music for GCSE).

Yeah, and I remembered this morning as well that this is how Clint Mansell composes, as well. But I'd forgotten that, because it's about a year since I saw the documentary where he talked about that. ANYWAY. YES. Exciting that music is being scored and produced this way (I'm sure there are people crying about it being the death of the orchestra, but honestly I don't think that will happen).

Ah, OK. Yeah, I like following the score if I can (when I'm learning something it obviously helps, and I just find it interesting because I'm a dork???) I think in my case if I make anything listenable, I'll make a soundcloud account and upload it there.

Date: 2014-10-11 08:30 pm (UTC)
odessie: (Default)
From: [personal profile] odessie
For a first attempt in 15 years, it sounds pretty bloody amazing to me! Fabulous. <3 (You've inspired me to download the programme myself and I haven't composed music since GCSE either.)

The fact I can read sheet music (however haltingly when it comes to Treble Clef)

Hmm...I'm going to guess...cello? I could never get the hang of the bass clef, it's the reason I gave up on the piano.

Date: 2014-10-11 08:46 pm (UTC)
muladhara: (music)
From: [personal profile] muladhara
The bass clef is evil. I can't read it, either (also piano). Treble, I have no qualms with (although it gets a bit sketchy on anything above the stave), but not the bass.

Date: 2014-10-12 08:42 am (UTC)
muladhara: (music)
From: [personal profile] muladhara
Put us together and we could probably play a piano! ;)

OH MAN TENOR CLEFS. They're the funny squiggly ones that look like threes, right? I read stuff about music theory by myself (being, as noted above, into music since forever ago) and they just. Yeah, what is that about? I mean at least treble and bass make sense, don't they?

Date: 2014-10-11 10:54 pm (UTC)
frayadjacent: Buffy smirking over Giles with quarterstaff (!Squee!)
From: [personal profile] frayadjacent
This is great! I especially loved the, uh, thing you did in the last 10-20 seconds. (Sorry I don't know music terminology!)

This tech is awesome and so are you. :D

Date: 2014-10-13 02:16 am (UTC)
chaila: Minerva McGonagall, wand pointed, directing suits of armor like a badass. (hp - minerva)
From: [personal profile] chaila
This is amazing! <3

Date: 2014-10-13 03:58 pm (UTC)
pellucid: (Red Shoes)
From: [personal profile] pellucid
OMG, that's awesome!!!

I mean, I would have walked right away again when I was playing piano because omg, left hand craziness right there, but for someone with bigger hands and a better relationship with the bass clef than I, amazing!

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