Sonar composition.

This casual music-making tool from the blog littleover. is a great introduction to composition. The premise couldn’t be simpler: click on boxes to add notes to the looping, sonar-like “strum.” As you add notes you start to get a feel for what the low (“bass”) notes bring to the piece, how multiple notes stacked together (“chords”) can add richness, and how overstacking leads to a muddled, less desirable sound. You start to hear potential melodic lines as the highest notes in a pattern begin to stand out, and you begin to appreciate the value of space and variety when planning rhythms and harmony.

The low barrier to entry is what I like most about this little widget. While aesthetically similar to Soundprism, it functions more as a tool for brainstorming and warming up the creative juices rather than formal composition. Its repetitive looping led my brother to dub it: “instant Radiohead.”

It’s surprisingly addicting, too…

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