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“Meant to Be”: We’ve got a very cool, non-standard “shuffle treatment” of a chorus here. The chorus itself is AABA, and after the second chorus they chop it up and shuffle it to make a new section that goes BBA, which I’m going to call a modified half-chorus (c2). Then, we have the shortest bridge in history, just two pop-perfect bars of “maybe”s. Next we’ve got a more proper “non-chopped” half-chorus to end it. And we gotta give a shout-out to the inverted V chord they snuck in there with the moving bass line in the chorus.

When I started building the harmony, the changes ended up coming together pretty quickly. I jumped on my Rhodes to lay down some pretty standard F minor related changes, using the last bar of the phrase to take it a bit outside. For the harmonically curious, those turnaround changes are G♭ Maj7, D♭ Maj7, C Min7, and E Maj7(♭5).

Many of the acts that you’ll reach out to will have a booking agent or manager responding on their behalf, and while this may seem daunting at first, it actually makes everything much easier. Booking agents are typically more responsive (and more professional!) than musicians so don’t be scared off by their very official websites and emails.

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Part two of this groove is what I hear as C# Phrygian with a unique form. I’m going to call the “Someone said” and “Biggie” refrains part of the larger chorus, which would mean that the verses and choruses all have different lengths!

Ethan Hein is a Doctoral Fellow in Music Education at New York University. He teaches music technology, production and education at NYU and Montclair State University. With the NYU Music Experience Design Lab, Ethan has taken a leadership role in the creation of new technologies for learning and expression, most notably the Groove Pizza. He is the instructor of the free Soundfly course series called Theory for Producers. He maintains a widely-followed and influential blog, and has written for various publications, including Slate, Quartz, and NewMusicBox.

I settled on two drum loops that had an identical tempo but were vastly different in terms of energy. Most of my track features this intense groove. But I’ve switched the drums out for this chilled out groove in the outro. The thing is though, since those two samples worked so well together, I actually snuck the latter groove into the busier drum sample on occasion — almost like a drum fill.

The reverse crash cymbal technique is one of the most common impact accentuators. Some producers prefer imitating this sound with automated white noise samples fading in, or a reversed tambourine sample instead of a reversed crash cymbal. Either way, that whooshing sound leading up to the chorus can be so easily overlooked, but it’s one of those sound effects you’d miss if it wasn’t there.

Carla Malrowe is a singer, composer, keyboardist, writer, and music industry marketer from Johannesburg, South Africa. She is the co-founding vocalist, keyboardist and contributing songwriter for industrial goth-rock band Me’ek. As copywriter and content marketer, she develops marketing strategies for various music events companies to the purpose of  growing the South African alternative music scene. Marlowe is excited to announce that she is currently working on the debut EP of her new electronic project “Shiver Kiss.”

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In this edition of “Talking Points,” producer and beat maker Kaytranada talks about his grooves, his influences, and his upbringing, and we boil it down!

What’s this have to do with song lengths? Mainly, this unheard-of achievement outlines, among other things, that song lengths, album lengths, and music video lengths just don’t matter as much anymore. Why?

When you establish a color scheme strongly, it becomes even easier to then subvert it and supplant a freshness into your look. White’s video for his solo song “Freedom at 21” exemplifies this perfectly. Here, he puts a ton of emphasis on the neon green of his sports car and the bright pink of the policewoman’s lipstick; the colors feel as though they’re going to jump off the screen at any moment.

György Sándor Ligeti (1923-2006) was a Hungarian composer, active roughly from the 1950s until the end of his life. He has written music in many different forms and for many different ensembles, spanning from works for solo piano to orchestral pieces, chamber pieces, electronics and opera. Some of his music was featured in Stanley Kubrick’s films 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shining and Eyes Wide Shut. Specifically, his pieces “Atmospheres,” “Lux Aeterna,” “Requiem,” “Lontano” and the second movement from “Musica Ricercata” all appear in Kubrick’s cinema masterworks.

Inspiration may strike like lightning, but just about as frequently, so go out and find your own stories, ideas, characters, and narratives in these blogs!