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Old 06-14-2009, 10:29 AM   #1
James Isaac
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Learning music composition

I have a MIDI composition software, a MIDI keyboard and can play 'grade 6' piano. I'd like to learn music composition for use in amateur adventure games (so, in the style of LucasArts games).

I've had a go before, but everything I learnt has been by examining MIDIs from other adventure games - I haven't once been able to find any resources or guides online for this type of thing.

Does anyone have any advice, useful websites, books or anything?

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Old 06-14-2009, 11:53 AM   #2
Ascovel
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I would advise you to ask this question at AGS (Adventure Game Studio) forums. There are many composers there that do exactly what you would like to do.


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Old 06-16-2009, 06:45 PM   #3
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I did actually ask a similar question there before, haha. But the suggestions weren't extremely useful (basically along the lines of 'it takes experience' and 'let your imagination flow'), when I'd really benefit from some sort of concrete guidelines to follow or pointers.

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Old 06-17-2009, 07:10 PM   #4
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What is it exactly you want to learn? If you have the equipment and know how to use it then the sky's the limit as far as what you're supposed to write. It's all about creativity. Deciding for yourself what best fits a specific scene and how to make that theme sound (or following the direction of the game designer, if that's not you, if he has a specific musical direction he wants the soundtrack to go for the game). There are no "guidelines" for such a thing. I've had the privilege of composing for two full-length amateur adventure games and I'd been given the reigns to do whatever I wanted for the most part.

It really is all about letting your imagination flow. There really are no rules except for one: make sure whatever music you're writing fits the scene in some way. There are all kinds of tricks that people learn over the years for how to go about doing that but it all comes from experience and it's all based on their own personal preferences and creativity. There's no one rule to....er...rule them all.

Don't look at it so much as a duty and a specific set of guidelines you must follow in order for it to be an acceptable adventure game soundtrack. Don't worry about attempting to write anything "correctly" as there's no wrong way to do it. Have fun with it. Do whatever you feel. That's what composing music is all about. At least, that's how I look at it.


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Old 06-18-2009, 04:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Isaac View Post
I did actually ask a similar question there before, haha. But the suggestions weren't extremely useful (basically along the lines of 'it takes experience' and 'let your imagination flow'), when I'd really benefit from some sort of concrete guidelines to follow or pointers.
I still think that you have good chances to get some pointers in there. Try to PM a guy who has the nickname Mods (check his website with music samples first). He is really excellent at emulating styles from classic LEC adventures soundtracks.


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Old 06-22-2009, 08:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MusiclyInspired View Post
It really is all about letting your imagination flow. There really are no rules except for one: make sure whatever music you're writing fits the scene in some way. There are all kinds of tricks that people learn over the years for how to go about doing that but it all comes from experience and it's all based on their own personal preferences and creativity. There's no one rule to....er...rule them all.
I think this might be the point that's causing confusion... different ways of making music. Some people can compose music just by going with their imagination of what sounds good, but I can't haha. Maybe because I'm much more into maths/programming type stuff, but I find things a lot easier when there are rules to follow. Erm, this is hard to explain, but basically I found this site extremely useful and pretty much what I was looking for:

http://www.dolmetsch.com/musictheory1.htm
(there are 44 pages and it's all free)

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