Musical Composition, Theory and Songwriting/scales


how do you know what scales to go to next, when writing in specific scale/key? I know if your writing music in a major key, you can look at the circle of fifths, and a good place to move to is a relative minor key. But what if your composition is all in minor key or keys? Are there any rules,for using notes/chords of a certain scale, and knowing which scale to move to, so it still sounds good?

Hi Daniel:

   This is confusing and not even sure what the context is for ''KNOWING what scale to go to next'' EVEN REFERS TO>> .. Composers write what they feel, hear (in their head) and want to express, like a painting; THERE ARE NO RULES for writing a song, concerto, ballad, contata or Aria.. The fact that music has evolved and changed and morphed over the centuries shows that THE ONLY RULES for anything written is based on COPYING a STYLE , or in other words, composing in the STYLE OF J.S.BACH, or Monteverdi.. etc.. Many classic pieces do abrupt key changes (no rules) and use 'shock value'' to express their sound.. SCHOENBERG is a good example of having his OWN RULES for his compositions.  
   YOUR QUESTION seems to span many years of progress in adding sounds and adapting tone colors and chord styles to the situation..
    EVERY THING ''sounds good'' IF IT IS continued to the point of ''acceptance'' (eg in the beginning, all ACCEPTED MUSIC was ''unison'' (nothing else) and then ''OPEN FIFTHS'' were the ACCEPTED NORM FOR ''SOUNDS GOOD'' ETC.. so this question is like asking if 'FORDS'' ARE GOOD CARS OR TOYOTA'S are good cars.??
this is subjective, and relative and all based on personal preferences..
      I don't know if that is helpful or not, but it is the answer to '' what sounds good''


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I am a professional musician, I can play by ear, I arrange music write music, teach music in the public school system, and teach privately. My father was a school music teacher, and I have written three volumes for teaching beginning string players, taking them from scratch to high school level. I have performed in a local production of Music Man (musical) with celebrities John Davidson/Susan Watson and have my masters degree in education. I retired from the classroom in 2004 with 38 yrs. experience-now still substituting for music- and writing arr. for my cello trio(with two audio cd's and one dvd of a performance) I have directed church choirs and am principal cellist in our local community orchestra. I really love to arrange music for the groups I perform in and sing and have music in my life every day. A day without music, is a mistake, like having a day without sunshine.


Employment history: I have been employed by our local school district since 1967 as a music teacher from grades 1-12 Organizations: I play cello principal chair in the local community orchestra, and sing in a chorus,and perfom in a barbershop quartet

Education: My early life in high school and college was summer workshops in choral conducting with founder of Westminster Choir College (N.J.) Dr. John F.Williamson (in Who`s Who in Music) and summer workshops with Robert Shaw in San Diego Grad. of Sacramento STate Univ.and masters from Univ. of La VErne, ca

Awards: awarded the Bank of America award in my high school senior year for music

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