Mark's Music

I thought I’d start to share some of my original music, and this is my first topic:

Anatomy of a song.

This is a brief history of the creation of a song, for those curious to see the process. It involves the composing of the music, the writing of the lyrics (words, think of a poem), and the picking/composing of a melody line (the tones sung to the lyrics).

I’m primarily an instrumental musician (though I’ve sung backup harmony in various bands). I have a friend (stage name Jonathan Stars, so I’ll just call him Jon here) who’s a singer and musician (guitar). He’s spent his life in musical and comedic entertaining and has written over 100 songs. We talked in 2022 and decided to combine our musical talents and see if anything came of it.

I’ll briefly describe and present three audio versions of the evolution of the song, snapshots in the timeline of the process of collaborating to compose/write it. These three versions can be heard here:
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1_JTZaOHSsaOq91PBNHrtb-V22M-6z9Nn

  1. Believe 1 Precursor.mp3 4/27/2022
    At my first visit to Jon’s home recording studio I played various things for him on his electric piano (he chose to record everything via the piano’s audio output cable so he could peruse the pieces later on). We had conversations about what I was playing while I played. In this piece I played him an exerpt from a tune I had composed in D major, and he quickly decided he would try to write song lyrics for it, and said the word “Believe” came to him as a title/theme.

  2. Believe 2.2 V04.mp3 8/17/2022
    I composed and recorded this from my Yamaha synthesizer at home. I worked on it after Jon brought me his lyrics, and vocal melody line (which he based on the precursor piano piece above). This arrangement/composition encompassed the tempo he wanted, the number of measures and which chord changes he wanted for each verse and for each chorus, any transitions, and one key modulation with brief tempo change transition. This version was getting close to the final version to fit the structure of his song. In it, I also introduced a piano “hook” designed to give folks something to hum in their minds after hearing the song. It is a simple 4 note piano line that uniformly harmonizes over 3 chord changes, repeated in each verse. He liked that hook, and we kept it. He did decide to tone down the volume of the string orchestration track, I assume to avoid drowning out the vocals.

  3. Believe 2.2 V12.mp3 11/24/2022 (also, see below for a 4/10/2023 live performance).
    The “final” (for now) version of the song includes the vocal track sung by Jon, and also incorporates some studio arrangement tweaks we worked on together. A friend asked me if the song would be religious or secular. I had not given much thought to that, but my guess was secular. Jon must have really liked this song because he later told me “I’ve entered it to be reviewed by NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International) under the Gospel category and into two song contests”. So, perhaps some would put it under the genre umbrella of “Inspirational - Christian & Gospel”? For me, I actually imagined it as an example of a song that may work in something like a Disney animated movie. Jon also mentioned that he later may have the song remastered by a professional if he decides to produce an album containing his best songs.

NOTE: Jon has a one hour VIDEO MUSIC BLOG he does every Monday at 7pm EST. Here is a link to his 4/10/2023 show, cued up to 15:30 in the show where you’ll see him sing Believe live.

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What I expected:

giphy

What I got:

listen

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“What I expected:”

I’m not seeing any images?

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That is weird. It must be a quirk when using startpage. I saved something similar and uploaded.

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Yeah, I see those images now, heh. I have certainly performed enough rock music in my life (though not any heavy metal). In my old age I do prefer music to relax to, lol. I recently found a cassette tape with some music I recorded on my old Casio synthesizer in 1992. I’ll try starting to digitize a few of those tunes and eventually start putting them up here (still mostly slow, but some fast). I am a fan of old tunes, especially swing, and also like new-age stuff. But I also like doing funk (though my fingers don’t have the same lightning speed they did when I was younger, heh).

If I can find some time I may also compose some new things on my Yamaha, and I could actually take requests here to do something folks would like me to try, style etc. :drum:

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Ok, here’s a piece that’s a little faster tempo. I digitized one of my 1992 cassette recordings. It’s my smooth jazz 3/4 swing arrangement /cover of “Oh, What A Beautiful Morning” by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Yeah, I forgot to mention, I also like Jazz (of course the original song was not Jazz).

SURVEY: Which of these sample post production tweaks (audio processing) do you like the best?
(just subtle differences in the sound)

  1. Oh, What A Beautiful Morning (1 normal)
  2. Oh, What a Beautiful Morning (eq-bass-boost)
  3. Oh, What a Beautiful Morning (reverb)
  4. Oh, What a Beautiful Morning (tremolo)
  5. Oh, What A Beautiful Morning (tremolo&eq-bass)

Listen to them here"
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1brvtV-JnU3th3ebuYThbThNAf0opYK8G?usp=share_link

Thanks!

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I am not really educated in music. So my opinion is worth half a cent.

To me the music sounded the same and I wasn’t able to notice the subtle differences.

Though there was this sound that I didn’t like. It is hard to describe. It is sometimes constant and bothers my ears a bit. If I had to describe it, it would be as though I was holding two wooden chopsticks and rubbing them together. Maybe it was too loud but it distracted me.

Aside from that, it gave a calm atmosphere as though it was background music for something.

Sorry that I can’t say which is the best one.

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I DO like that song. Thanks @markwr :heavy_heart_exclamation: :heavy_heart_exclamation: :heavy_heart_exclamation:

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