I recently completed two piano compositions. The first is just above, and came about due to an exercise I was doing from my Music Composition for Dummies book. I had to make an 8 bar chord sequence, using randomly selected chords and create a melody to fit it. As it happened I steered away from the exercise pretty early on and instantly started placing extra chords between some of the random ones to help keep it smooth. But I managed to use all of the chords within the first minute of the piece and from then on I had to choose all of my own chords. The reason I like this piece is because I use the same theme again and again, and each time play it in a different key. Modulation isn’t something I’ve spent time learning about, but back in May, when I learnt the first movement from Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, I noticed that he was continuously changing key and so tried to emulate the way he changed key. I’m quite pleased with the end result as I feel the modulation happens quite naturally and even comes full circle, ending on the key it began in, A minor. However, I’ve still a lot to learn about modulation as I don’t fully understand it yet. So far I’ve merely been exploring it through experimentation, which has been great fun, but I also plan on gaining a theoretical understanding of it.
This next piece started out as a mistake. I was teaching my friend a song on the piano but had my hand in the wrong starting position and played four completely wrong notes. Although surprisingly they actually sounded really nice and I could hear the next few notes in my head, so I decided to play on. I came up with a simple four chord loop, recorded it on my phone and then went back to playing the notes I was supposed to, for the song I was teaching. Later that week I then sat down at the piano and worked out the melody.