Looking To Picking Music Composers Brains

Hi all been a while I hope and pray all well

I was wondering since I am still very much in learning stage and my mental illness do not help I do what I can

I am looking to get a great understanding of Your process from a lot different music composers and styles

What is Your process when You want to covey a certain emotion to Your listeners

Do You start with the chosen emotion first and then build everything around it ?

Do You chose what keys or intervals or scales modes ,etc to convey that that certain emotion?

Let say the two different emotion to work with Separately on their own is ( deeply longing for) and (frustrated)

How would You Music Composers out thier approach this and process of developing thier music idea in best way to convey though two emotions stated above ?

Thanks In Advance

God Bless

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Hey Brian. That’s a good question. Normally, I would say that there is no specific answer to this, as it is up to you as an artist and composer how you want to convey a certain feeling or emotion to your listeners. However, there are of course certain techniques and theory that you can look to as a starting point.

For my process, I’d usually have an idea of the story/image/emotion I want to convey first, then decide which type of harmonies/melodies/instrumentation/rhythm/tempo would work, in my artistic sense, for those ideas. If you’re asking about “frustrated” I would most likely choose dissonant harmonies or melodic intervals, like minor seconds or ninths, major sevenths, even note clusters. I would probably also use a lot of contrasting dynamics. Tempo-wise, it would depend on what type of frustration I was feeling.

For “deeply longing for” I would probably go with a minor key and use a solo instrument with a slower tempo melody with a light harmonic accompaniment.

My examples of both of these emotions are from two of the great masters. To me, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, third movement is the sound of “frustration”

Second, I’d choose Camille Saint-Saëns’ Introduction and Rondo Capriccio as the sound of “deep longing”

Again, it’s up to you as the artist to convey as you hear it, but I hope this gives you some ideas!


How would You go about using a story arc when composing a musically idea ?

Like if I
wanted to create a simple musically journey

Starting would be a character would be walking along a smooth dirt road feeling very calm and relax
and then as the character goes up the hill abit with no cares in the world
Suddenly the character finds himself falling down into a deep hole
where blackness ,doubt and fear grip his heart as he crawls around in the dark
as he seems to grasp for his last bit of air
a faint light appears way up above
and down tumbles a rope

Would this be the right way of thinking of a story arc ?

Hi, Brian!

That would be a good framework for a story arc. You could approach scoring it from a physical point of view (e.g. how would the walk itself sound in terms of speed, bounce in his step; what did falling down the hole sound like, etc.). You could also approach it from an emotional / sensual point of view (e.g. what emotions did he experience during each phase of the story arc?).

I tend to approach story arcs from the emotional side and attempt to capture a feeling of the moment or what I want the listener to experience.

The following “arc” to an original work describes my journey through several days of watching a disaster unfold half a country away from my home but one that touched me as if I were there.

In my “Children Of Moore” I was very moved by the loss of many elementary school children during the tornados in Moore, OK. I felt physical pain for their families just as I would have had they been my children. I had to express my experiences musically. Words were not adequate.

The opening statement is unison bass trombone and euphonium. I wanted to use the bigger horns for gravity and solemnity. The second statement adds trombones in octaves. It isn’t until then end of the second statement that I add a dissonant chord and the weight of the tuba. The mood is solemn. Respectful. Sad for so many futures cut short.

At the end of the piece the piano plays a quote from Brahm’s Lullaby harmonized with quartile harmonies as one final parental goodnight to sons and daughters lost. I sum it up with a simple major chord to reflect pure, innocent life.

Here is a link to that piece:

Children Of Moore - Stan Bann

Take care, Brian! I hope this is helpful!


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