Last week I talked about the doctoral-level arrange puzzle Anders Edenroth gave himself in his new piece, “Water.”
Here’s a list of corners you can try painting yourself into. It’s a great way to refresh your writing on your next arrangement or if you’re just stuck on the next A Section.
Links are to examples of successful pieces written using that particular challenge.
- Limit yourself to 4 voices.
- Don’t use a soloist for an entire arrangement (looking at you, 99% of CASA-style arrangements)
- Place the melody in a different part every verse.
- Write for the studio – overdubbed as much as you like.
- Rearrange that arrangement to be performed live by a quintet.
- Significantly change the tempo and feel from the original.
- Make the alto line the most interesting.
- End every phrase with a different sus chord.
- Don’t Modulate.
- No doubled notes in the chords
These are just a few of the many challenges you can give yourself while writing. Successfully navigate one of these challenges and you can be assured of new ideas and more a creative final piece.
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