Hello Composers, Mike here! =)
Do you want to learn how to compose majestic music? Music that has a character of being: Majestic, Noble, Grand, Deep and Powerful.
Now, of course “majestic music” come in many different styles, moods and character. However, I will share with you 5 great guidelines that I believe covers all styles of majestic music.
And I will even give you some practical examples. Alright, here we go! =)
Majestic Music – Example 1
This is my own composition, with the following description of my vision and mission when composing it:
Majestic Music Composition – Noble, Grand and Deep Music. Imagine a great discovery of immense magnitude. A discovery that pushes the boundaries of knowledge of the entire human race. One giant leap for mankind! =)
I chose the name “The Final Frontier” inspired by Star Trek, the exploration of space, and discoveries of new worlds and amazing knowledge.
Majestic Music – Example 2
David Olofson is the composer of this incredibly dynamic piece of music, which starts in a classical, romantic tone, and then opens up with a huge majestic sound. I love the interplay between the intimate, romantic vibe and the majestic vibe.
David also wrote a detailed description of his composition:
Software: Cubase Pro 10, Kontakt 5, VSS3, Ozone 8.
Libraries: Spitfire Symphonic Strings, Spitfire Symphonic Woodwinds, Spitfire Percussion, Orchestral Tools Metropolis Ark 1, 8Dio Century Brass Solo.
Idea and orchestration:
My original idea was mostly sound design based on three orchestras in a huge space (an idea I had for another project originally), and I planned on having a long, mellow buildup, for more contrast when the actual majestic part was to start. However, I just couldn’t get anywhere with that composition, so I started over with a waltz for a somewhat ordinary orchestra instead.
Parts of the original idea remained, though, with tremolo strings fading from section to section, and some percussion, flute trills and woodwinds around that. And of course, french horns and a flugelhorn, because, noble. 😉 The plan was to build the majestic feel around a slow waltz rhythm, and some… well, majestic chord progressions, and I suppose that worked, but I’m more pleased with the more melodic parts.
The arrangement is based on the usual strings (vln1+2, vla, vlc, db), some brass (horn, flugelhorn, horns a9, bass trombones a3, trumpets a4, tubas a3), and some woodwinds (flutes a2, oboes a2, english horn, bassoons a2) backing one thing or another up most of the time, for that proper orchestral sound. Bass drum in the mellow parts; timpani doubling the basses in the more intense parts, and glockenspiel subtly marking themes in some parts.
Majestic Music – Example 3
This piece composed by David Michael Tardy has a fantastic, uplifting and “fanfare-ish” character that truly feels majestic and noble. I almost bowed when listening to it, expecting a great king or returning hero that just saved the universe!
David description: It is titled “A NEW DAWN” and my intention for this composition, was to give the listener a sense of new life, rebirth and discovery.
How to write Majestic Music
I want to give you my personal practical tips for writing majestic music, regardless of style. These are, what I consider, fundamental guidelines.
- Slow & Graceful
Majestic music is the opposite of action, energy and adventure music. Slower tempo, but also longer, more soaring and graceful melodies and harmonies.
- Crescendos & Swells
You will often use lots of big swells and climactic crescendos which help to elevate the sense of importance that majestic music should have.
- Authority Sounds
Power notes, or authority sounds, are great to sprinkle around in your majestic music composition. However, remember to not overuse them, as it is like overusing bold text. The less you use it, the more impact it will have when using it. Authority sounds can be anything from classic crash cymbals, bold stabs, big swells, timpani hits, and tubular bells (or even church bells).
- Minimal Rhythm
The focus of majestic music is on a graceful, bold and powerful flow. Dial back the rhythmic drive, both on percussion as well as ostinatos etc. You can still have rhythm, but make sure to keep the main focus on those long, elegant and powerful notes that carry the melodies, harmonies and chords.
- Warm & Deep Sound
You should focus mainly on those deep, warm and powerful sounds in your music to get a majestic vibe. Brass is extremely important for this, both for their warm and noble tone in the lower dynamics, but also for their swells, crescendo, and power notes capabilities. Then you of course have basses, low strings, and deep choirs, which are are all very useful to get a majestic tone.
Now Take Action! =)
Now it is time for you to take action! Meaning to compose and produce a new “Majestic Music” track, to add to your composer portfolio.
Use these reference tracks, and guidelines for motivation and inspiration. But remember, guidelines are not rules. You always have ultimate creative freedom as a composer when creating your music.
Have fun writing Majestic Music, my friends! =)