Computer Music Studio : MIDI Sequence


Type of project: CD audio files from MIDI sequence

Format to turn in: class presentation/audio CD bring composition in your laptop environment if possible

Due date: (3/2)


- Getting Started Guide for Reason. Especially, chapter 6 - "managing the rack," chapter 7 - "the sequencer," and chapter 8 - "using pattern devices." You may not need to read these in full, but many questions you may develop will be answered here.
- Additional information about individual instruments and their operation, pattern and drum tracks, writing soundfiles to disk, sequences, routing etc. can be found in the Full Manual.


Put your melodies, drum loops, orchestrations and harmonies together to form a new composition in any style you wish using the MIDI sequencer. Think about the form of the piece and try to make a clear beginning and end, and a structure with at least two differing sections.

The following terms and examples illustrate different concepts and musical textures resulting from putting two notes together...

The physical basis of sound - harmonic series and acoustics.
Concepts of strongly related notes, or consonances, and distantly related notes that we hear as disonance can be traced to aspects of the ways in which vibratory sound energies relate.

Drones - Sometimes called biphony, he simplest way to add harmony to a melody is to play it with drones. A drone is a note or sonority that provides a context for your melody and changes rarely or not at all over the piece or section of a piece.

ex: Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia - Mian Ki Malhar - alap

Parallel Harmony - a form of Homophony, Parallel harmony occurs when different lines in the music go up or down together (usually following the melody). can be thought of as a thickened line.

Organum from Musica Enchiriadis

Organum with drone
PEROTIN - Organum 4 Vocum (excerpt, short)

Smoke on the Water, Deep Purple (opening)

Supersax arrangement of Charlie Parker's Au Privave
example of Charlie Parker jazz solo

Implied Harmony - A melody all by itself (Monophony) can have an implied harmony, even if no other notes are sounding at the same time. In other words, the melody can be constructed so that it strongly suggests a harmony that could accompany it. For example, when you sing a melody by itself, you may be able to "hear" in your mind the chords that usually go with it.

Mischa Maisky Bach - Cello Suite No.1 i-Prelude


Homophony - "one voice," commonly called melody and accompaniment. Homophony has one clearly melodic line; it's the line that naturally draws your attention. All other parts provide accompaniment or fill in the chords. In most well-written homophony, the parts that are not melody may still have a lot of melodic interest. Some earlier examples can fall in this category too, such as parallel harmony and drone.

B ig Yellow Taxi - Joni Mitchell
Miles Davis/ John Coltrane - so what

Polyphony - "multiple voices," can also include counterpoint, or contrapuntal music. These terms refer to a texture of music in which there is more than one independent melodic line at the same time, and they are all fairly equal in importance.

J.S.Bach G minor fugue (the great)

A Heterophonic texture is relatively rare in Western music. In heterophony, there is only one melody, but different variations of it are being sung or played at the same time.

Original Dixieland Jass Band - Livery Stable Blues (1917)


Creating Chord Progresssions

understand strong harmonic relationships:
- related by an interval of a fifth, V I, the strongest cadential sound
- the IV chord is an interval of a fifth below the root

Strong melodic relationships. a leading tone or step is the strongest melodic relationship as we see in the movement of B natural to C when resolving a V I cadence in C.

the most common progression in rock and popular music: I IV V I
we see both the strong harmonic relationships of I to IV and V to I and the strong melodic relationship or 4 to 5.

think of the gravity of the progression:
I falls to IV, steps up to V and falls to I

Relationships of a 3rd tend to make closely related sonorities - not much tenision change but a change of color. I vi, or I iii.

Balance strong resolution tendencies (movement by 5th) with color changes (movement by third) and melodic motion, movement by step).

find more here:
Understanding Basic Music Theory, Catherine Schmidt-Jones
The Textures of Music: Catherine Schmidt-Jones
Harmonic Analysis - constructing chords and making progressions:
basic approaches to understanding musical form: