Henri Aalto instrumental music

Music composing technique

Music composing technique

I want to show you a composing method of mine. You will have to know the basics of music to be fully able to use or understand this. The technique is not a lesson in scales, chords, mode.It is not either a lesson how to put harmonies on a melodic idea, nor how to come up with a melody.

It is a method that I am using that inspires and unlocks creativity in me! The result is often: new music! The technique that I am using here requires an understanding of the power of contrasts. Let's take a closer look!

If we look at the structures in life or nature: dark and light, black and white, evil and good, the devil and God, Ying and yang, sorrow and joy, rain and sunshine, minor and major musical key, winter and summer, autumn and spring. In music, we have dissonant (notes that don't sound well together with tension) and consonant (notes that sound well and natural together without 'tension')

By using dissonant musical notes, we are achieving drama, darkness, or tension in our music. However, on the other hand, by using consonant notes, we will accomplish the opposite!

So I often keep these in mind and using them for tension and release in my songs. By writing sections within the composition with different degrees of tension and release it will add much more colour to the music. It is much like a painting by using a lot of different colour shades.

An exercise or example could be: Take a look at the picture below. Study the image; if you look at it, you will notice contrasts of light and dark, black and white etc. However, you will also probably see things that fall in between these extremities 🙂



What kind of feelings does this picture awake in you? Moreover, how do they sound if they would be music? Try to still your mind, listen to yourself, and the ideas that awake inside of you. Try to imagine how this picture would sound like if it were a piece of music. How would the contrasts sound like? Only you will know how your part sounds like. It is like drawing a mental 'sound sketch.'

You can, of course, add anything you will find useful for these creativity exercises!  Here's what I did: I used some keywords and the classic ABC theme symbols for a sketch:

A Theme: dark sounding, consonant, dissonant, minor key, heavy rain clouds

B Theme: Major key, sunlight, different shades of yellow and brown. Light fighting the dense clouds.

C solo section: Crazy! Out of control, complex chords, weird fast melody passages over the chords, fast double tempo.

A theme: same as above

B theme: same as above

B theme - same as above. This is a happy ending! The light won over darkness in my version.

Hope you found my technique useful:-)  Take care! See you again!




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3 Responses

  1. Ingrand Xavier
    | Reply

    Excellent technique, will give it a go 🙂 thanks
    I’m very much interested in creative techniques these days.

    • Henri Aalto
      | Reply

      Great! I am glad that you found it useful.

    • Henri Aalto
      | Reply


      I am glad that you found it useful:-) !

      Best Regards Henri

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