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Digital Music Production

Part Five: Arrangement

Put all of your new digital loops together into a structure that tells a compelling story and provides surprises for your listeners.

Your First Assignment

  1. Login to SoundTrap and open up one or more of the sections of drums, bass, and melody that you have created in this course.
  2. Now that you have a good idea of what it means to arrange your song, edit your existing loops (drums, bass, melody) and create new sections by adding or subtracting instruments. Have fun with this and see all of the different combinations you can come up with.
  3. Take the new sections you created and organize them into a full song with an introduction, verse, hook, second verse, second hook, and an outro.
  4. Review this list of key music production terminology that Charles introduced in the video.
    • musical form: the structure of a music composition (e.g., beginning/middle/end, or intro/verse/chorus)
    • arranging: making decisions about how to add, subtract, or rearrange parts of a musical composition to create variety and sustain interest
    • orchestration: the activity of organizing the instruments or sounds that are part of a musical composition
    • theme and variation: a musical form that starts with a single melody (theme) that changes slightly each time it is repeated (variation)
    • transition: musical material that announces the end of one section and the start of another

Your Second Assignment

  1. Open up the basic arrangement you put together in SoundTrap.
  2. Add transitions between the different sections of your original song. Do you want your sections to flow seamlessly into one another, or do you want abrupt switches from one section into the next?
  3. Try recording your own vocals for your song, or collaborate with a friend to add lyrics.

Your Third Assignment

  1. Listening back to your new original song, what parts of the music stand out to you as the most interesting?
  2. Which parts of the song could use the most work as you continue to edit and play with your song?
  3. As you wrote your song and explored the elements of digital music production, what did you learn about yourself as a creator?
  4. Now that you have a taste of what it is like to work in digital music production, what goals do you want to set for yourself as you continue to learn more?

Explore Other Parts of Digital Music Production

Charles plays an audio sampler.

Digital Music Production | Part One: Loops

Explore the origins of modern digital music production and learn how to create loops that will form the basis of your original music.

Charles plays drums.

Digital Music Production | Part Two: Drums

Groove along with Charles as he breaks down the parts of the drum set and uses a digital sequencer to create new drumbeats.

Charles plays bass.

Digital Music Production | Part Three: Bass

Establish the foundation of your original piece of music with a bassline that connects with the drums and sets up the harmonic space for your new tracks.

Charles plays piano.

Digital Music Production | Part Four: Melody and Harmony

Find the perfect hook as you try out different approaches to creating melodies for your new song.

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