Coriakins Addendum to Treps Fabulous Music Scrolls
This scroll is just a quick effort to point out some useful things not covered in Treps scrolls. You can find them here.
NOTE: Play any examples on a starbuck harp at tempo 120 unless stated otherwise
Unfortunately, the introduction of dynamics only allows us to make notes quieter than the default volume, not louder. One way you could get around this is by setting most of your song to a volume such as %8 and then using %9 and % for the louder notes. There is also a sneaky way to make notes louder on chorded instruments, but it sometimes sounds strange. If you have a note in the melody, and have a chord with that note in playing at the same time, that note will be played louder. For example, in the short phrase
All the cs will be played louder. If you listen closely to this following group of G chords, listen for which note is louder in each chord.
When used correctly, this volume change can make for some pretty neat effects. I used it in my song Journeys End. Also, it is central to Rakshasas song Fog of War. If you havent heard that song, I suggest you do. :)
However, it's important for me to note that sometimes the quicktime midi player reacts badly to this trick, and the note might get cut off or not play at all. I'd need to do more extensive testing to figure out what's really going on, though.
2. The Invisible Note
Thanks Trep! I didnt know that you could use that high C, and it actually is very handy. HOWEVER, you should know that its not there on all the instruments. If your instrument can use it, great! However, if it cant, the note wont get played in Clanlord, and if youre playing it in the tune helper, you will get a 'note out of allowed octaves' error message.
The instruments which can use it are:
Orga Drum (No, really! Try it!)
Those that cant are:
This used to be a known, repeatable crashing bug, and Michel was originally going to get rid of it, but so many bards wrote so many good songs using it (naughty bards! ;) ) that he made it a "feature." Thank you, Michel! :)
Trep does a really god job of explaining this, and I just have one little trick to add. Whenever youre writing a melody, its a good idea to divide it up into phrases. A phrase is a segment of the melody that could be pulled out of the melody, and sound like a complete (but short) melody on its own. Generally, most melodies can be divided up into 4 phrases as follows:
1: Basic phrase
2: First phrase repeated, possibly changed slightly
3: Different phrase, based on the first one
4: First phrase repeated, end changed slightly to provide a conclusion.
For example, here is the main melody for Electric Clay
<Phrase 1> [=a]p[=b]p[/c#]p[/d]p4[/e]p6[/d]p4[/c#]p[=b]p4[a]p6
<Phrase 2> [a]p[=b]p[/c#]p[/d]p4[/e]p6[/d]p6p8p
<Phrase 3> [=a]p[=b]p[/c#]p[/d]p4[/e]p6[/d]p4[/g]p[/f#]p4[/d]p6
<Phrase 4> [=a]p[=b]p[/c#]p[/d]p4[/e]p6[/d]p6
But the big main important part here is this: Make sure all your phrases are the same length!!!!! Otherwise your song will sound weird. Of course, if thats what you want, then go for it. But heres a simple trick to make sure all your phrases are the same length. Add up all the numbers behind all the notes in your phrase. Lower case letters count as 2, upper case letters count as 4. Chords dont count, cause theyre theyre included in the note that follows them. If your phrases dont add up to the same number, somethings probably wrong.
Or, the dead simpe method: When your song is playing, clap your hands along with it. If you can't clap a steady beat to accompany your song, something is wrong. Unless you really, really, really want it like that. i.e. the Qual Song. :)
3. Song Sizes
Treps method will work, but theres an easier one. In CLTH, theres a Copy for Clanlord option under the Edit menu. When you select it, if your song is too long, youll get a message like This song wont play properly in Clanlord. It is [x] too many characters long. If you didnt get a message like that, open a simpletext file or something, and hit paste. Your song will appear, plus /use and whatever tempo youre at. If your tempo is 120, then therell only be /use. The only problem is that, if you use this method to format multi-part songs,youll need to add /part to each part yourself.
To learn more about /part and /with, two very useful commands, go here.
4. Chord Stacking
Have you ever thought "Gee, this song could really use some syncopation?" Well, so have I. And this is how you do it.
Note: the examples don't show well on harp. use vibra or gitor for these ones.
Chords are written [ceg]p, and you're allowed to put a duration on a chord that's independant of the melodic line. This allows for sustainined passages like [c]8p[e]6p[g]4p/c. But wait, there's more! You can also 'stack' chords of different durations onto a single note, allowing for things like [/c]8[\ceg]4p4[cfa]4p4, in which the high c is sustained through both chords. For a bigger example of this, look at "Nameless" in my favourites. It's a 100% chord piece, and if you can figure out what's happening in it, it's a perfect example of this.
5. Composing for Instruments
Obviously, every instrument is different. Each is played a different way (IC, at least), and each has its own sound. A bard should keep this in mind when composing. If you write a masterpiece for harp, it probably won't sound quite as good on gitor. Or on an ocarina, for that matter. Here's some ideas I had for what sort of songs work well on certain instruments:
Go back to my music.
Psst! If you have a copy of Tune Helper 2b8, it expired on September 1st, 2004!