Marten Jansen Rock Music

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Tell Me

I told you I’m into Vocaloid, the singing computer.  Today’s track is a song based on Vocaloid, in the sense that it inspired me to write some music I would never write without it, even if I had a real singer.

It’s  a simple song, in that it consists of a bass, keyboard and a singing voice. The voice is computer generated, as said, so don’t expect too much from a performance point of view. The power of Vocaloid is in its compositional usefulness. There’s only so much you can ask from a real singer, but with Vocaloid you can experiment endlessly.

The song consists of two and three part counterpoint (counterpoint is several melody lines sounding together) and I know that if I want to be Bach, I will have to write five or six part counterpoint. I tried four parts, but that obscured my melodic intentions and I find two and three parts more effective for my style.

Because I tend towards a melodic way of writing, I assume that my melodies have more movement in pitch, per unit time, leading to the harmony being more defined. Writing more than three parts would then over-define the harmony, because there has to be an aspect of suggestion, as opposed to using every note in the chord.  The latter would be too unambiguous and therefore uninteresting, but I’m not a musicologist.


The voice you hear on the track is that of an opera singer, and it’s evident that many classical singers nowadays are familiar with modern styles such as jazz. The song isn’t jazz, but it does have a jazzy flavour, perhaps because of the bass (I’ve always been interested in the jazz bass) or because it has some dissonants that may be more proper to jazz than to classical music.

For the keyboard part I used a synthesizer sound, but an acoustic or electric piano will do just as well. For the keyboard part all that is required is a one-armed pianist, because the part has no chords, just melodies.

The song has a few bars that require a background singer.

A couple of months ago I wrote on my art blog about a former music teacher who complained about the weird harmony I wrote (at 17), because it conflicted with my desire to reach the mainstream audience. All popular music consists of I-IV-V chord schemes, but I interjected that the composer can arrange his music such that the mainstream audience can understand unorthodox harmony. On my blog I conceded, but now I’m on the offence.

It appears that my music is better liked than I anticipated, which can only mean people understand it. In fact, the same situation exist on the painting part of the equation.

The song I’m talking about is called “Tell Me”. It’s essentially lyricless, because I’m not into that. I just keyed in some words to make Prima sing. Prima is a the name of the computer voice. The voice is that of a real person, but it seems she wants to be anonymous as a vocaloid.

The song, at long last, can be downloaded here:

Tell Me

….and always from the sidebar on the right of each page of this music blog.

Your speakers or ear phones HAVE to HAVE a strong enough bass sound, or else half of my music will elude you.

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