In this video I concentrate on the seventh and last storyline out of the orchestral composition Seven. I named it “Happy and loving ending”. How did I write this? What were my thoughts? My process? Which pointers can I give you to write something similar? Music for a closure scene. All topics in this video which I will address. So let’s start!
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Timestamps of the video
- 00:00 – Introduction
- 00:59 – Tip 1: ionian feels trusted and familiar
- 03:19 – Tip 2: bring the melody back for closure
- 04:23 – Tip 3: embrace the sound of the good old vibraphone
- 05:23 – Concentrated listening session vibraphone doubling
- 05:46 – Tip 4: end on the tonic for full closure
- 06:24 – Next week: exporting STEMS out of StaffPad
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Tip 1: Ionian feels trusted and familiar
If you have followed me along during the deconstruction videos of Seven so far, you know I already used six of the seven available modes. I used myxolydian for the friendly opening scene. Phrygian was my mode for a dark and suspenseful sound. I used lydian for a floaty and mystical scene. Dorian for a melancholic sound and aeolian for the saddest scene of all. Last week I wrote a weird and fun scene based on the mode you will hear the least in music: locrian. So one mode left and that is ionian!
For this seventh storyline I pictured myself a happy ending scene. I needed some closure. Remember, the resuscitation in last week storyline was successful. The animal didn’t die. He survived. Everybody in the garden came together and gave each other a warm and loving hug. Really sweet!
The choice for such a scene led me towards the mode that you probably will hear the most in music: ionian. It’s one of the most common scales (or modes) in the world and probably the first thing people will learn to play. How is that so? Well, ionian is exactly the same as the major scale. C major is also C ionian. And so on.
So if you have never heard of the ionian mode, the likely hood is that you know it without knowing that you do!
About the formula of tones and semitones, ionian follows the structure of: T – T – S – T – T – T – S. Or in half and whole steps: W – W – H – W – W – W- H.
When we have a look at the score of the seventh storyline and the notes I have used, you will see one flat: Bb. That means I wrote this storyline in F ionian.
Tip 2: bring the melody back for closure
When we have a closer look at the score of the last scene, you can distinguish two main parts. One part is purely concentrating on hammering in the tonic. It lays down a sonic bed that provides guidance for the listeners. The piano, the vibraphone and the violin.
The other part focuses on the melody that we have heard before in this composition. But this time played by the instruments in F ionian. So it sounds familiar, but yet fresh too. Remember the tip I gave you about this in the video of Storyline 5?
Because it sounds familiar and therefore comfortable, it is a perfect element to use for closure. Throw in some derivations of the melody, make some great sounding doublings and wrap it up. Complete the circle.
Listen to the full mockup of Seven
Tip 3: embrace the sound of the good old vibraphone
One instrument that I cherish more and more since doing all kinds of orchestral sketches, is the vibraphone. So I wanted to give it some special attention in this last composer walkthrough video.
The vibraphone is – in my humble opinion – a great sounding instrument that I typically grab for doing subtle doublings. This time with the piano. It just blends in perfectly and it gives it that extra special sound.
I also used the vibraphone once as a doubling with violas in one of my other pieces. That combination sounds wonderful too! It’s very subtle. More warmer, rounder … give it a name. I truly like it!
So for what it is worth, I hope you embrace the sound of the good old vibraphone too in your works!
Tip 4: end on the tonic for full closure
I guess this is an open door. So I won’t spend much time on it.
To get full closure, you have to end on the tonic. Otherwise, the listener will experience the story or music as unfinished. You will leave him or her with a question. A feeling that it still needs to resolve.
Of course, you can do that on purpose. But be aware of it and the possible consequences of it. I know listeners who get really frustrated by music that doesn’t resolve!
Next week: exporting STEMS out of StaffPad
That’s it for this week. Hopefully I gave you some valuable insights and pointers to start writing your own music for a warm loving scene that brings closure.
Next week I will continue with a more technical video. I’ll show you how to export STEMS out of StaffPad. And how to prepare them for a mixing session. Already looking forward to that! I hope you do too!