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Difference between Composers and Arrangers in Hello Project 8 replies to this topic Started by jigenbakuda , Jan 24 2018 03:11 PM · 

#1 jigenbakuda

jigenbakuda
  • Kenshuusei

Posted 24 January 2018 - 03:11 PM

I know they give credits in songs for both the arranger and the composer. I am wondering what do each of them do? How much of the song is finished before it is given to the arranger?

 

I understand what a composer is and I understand what an arranger is (at least I think I do...). I also understand what an arrangement of a song is. What I don't understand is when I'm listening to a song, am I fanboying for the composer or the arranger's contribution. Like does tsuku just give chord changes and harmonization for the melody before the arranger gets it, or is the song largely complete when the arranger gets it and the arranger just oversees recording and programming of it into a digital audio workstation?

 

Is there any articles online about the music making contributions that people have. And even better are there examples of the bare composition and then the finished arrange version. It might be equally helpful to have a song that was arranged more than once, so I can compare what the arrangers did. (was the best updated album the best example of this I might have?)

 

I'm planning on writing a detailed fan reaction to the last album the girls dropped and I need to know this distinction before I get too into writing it.



#2 Anderei

Anderei
  • つんく♂

Posted 24 January 2018 - 06:18 PM

The version of Love Machine that Tsunku originally sent to Dance Man was just Tsunku and a guitar. Dance Man is the one who added all the instrumentals and turned it into the disco track we know now. Tsunku did the melody and most of the chord progression. And I'm guessing that's how he did it for most of his music. AKIRA mentions in his he mostly got piano demos. Interviews with the other arrangers would suggest that they get the demo and the office kind of gives them the direction they'd like to go in and leaves them to it, and then lets them know if they feel it needs a bit more at the end.

I'm no musician so someone else would probably have WAY more to offer than I would to this conversation. If you want some interesting reading, Henkka has translated interviews with several H!P arrangers and Tsunku over at wotaintranslation. Hirata's might especially be of interest since he's one of their main arrangers and has done a lot of more recent stuff although he's been working with them consistently for over a decade.

#3 DonJuan

DonJuan
  • ANGERME

Posted 24 January 2018 - 07:30 PM

I can't say much about it either, but Henkka's translation really give a good overview. 

 

One thing that stuck with me is though that originally Tsunku planned for "How do you like? JAPAN" to be in hip hop style, and the arranger made it quite rockish. So yeah, the arranger might even be more important than the composer.



#4 Madara

Madara
  • ANGERME

Posted 24 January 2018 - 07:49 PM

Can anyone provide links to those interviews at WotainTranslation?

 

Thanks.



#5 JPope

JPope
  • Dick

Posted 24 January 2018 - 07:54 PM

It depends on the composer, I think, but from the stories I've read it's usually just voice and one instrument. Arrangers are given some level of instruction with regards to rhythm, feel, tempo, instrumentation, etc, and their influence on the finished song will depend on how strict those instructions are. For the most part,  though, I don't think they are very strict, otherwise why hire an arranger? So to answer your larger question, you're a fanboy of both to one extent or another. There are songs I really like that I wish I were arranged better and others that I think are carried by the arrangement. 



#6 jigenbakuda

jigenbakuda
  • Kenshuusei

Posted 24 January 2018 - 08:03 PM

Can anyone provide links to those interviews at WotainTranslation?

 

Thanks.

 

http://wotaintransla...complete-books/



#7 aine

aine
  • 名無しさん‮

Posted 25 January 2018 - 10:55 PM

This doesn't answer your question directly, but MUSIC+ and later Upcoming used to have great behind-the-scenes segments on recording the instrumental tracks for the songs. They may give you a better idea of what each person's responsibility is when you actually see them at work.

DANCE*MAN, JUMP MAN and WATA-BOO recording J=J's Keep On Joshou Shikou

Marty Friedman feat. Japanese Danny Trejo Human Capo (thank you JPope for this description) recording guitar solo for C-ute's Jounetsu Ecstasy

C-ute's Tsugi no Kado wo Magare recording Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, probably the longest and most thorough making of material they ever did

Lovendor recording Curry Rice

There were more, but I don't have them bookmarked so that's all I pulled up from searching old BBS posts. Unfortunately they moved away from this format a while ago to focus on showing us the most boring part of every Hellopro song, that is the vocals recording. :tongue:

J=J Fiesta Fiesta vocal recording, linking it just because you can see Taisei directing the girls on how to deliver their lines

#8 jigenbakuda

jigenbakuda
  • Kenshuusei

Posted 26 January 2018 - 02:43 AM

This doesn't answer your question directly, but MUSIC+ and later Upcoming used to have great behind-the-scenes segments on recording the instrumental tracks for the songs. They may give you a better idea of what each person's responsibility is when you actually see them at work.

DANCE*MAN, JUMP MAN and WATA-BOO recording J=J's Keep On Joshou Shikou

Marty Friedman feat. Japanese Danny Trejo Human Capo (thank you JPope for this description) recording guitar solo for C-ute's Jounetsu Ecstasy

C-ute's Tsugi no Kado wo Magare recording Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, probably the longest and most thorough making of material they ever did

Lovendor recording Curry Rice

There were more, but I don't have them bookmarked so that's all I pulled up from searching old BBS posts. Unfortunately they moved away from this format a while ago to focus on showing us the most boring part of every Hellopro song, that is the vocals recording. :tongue:

J=J Fiesta Fiesta vocal recording, linking it just because you can see Taisei directing the girls on how to deliver their lines

No this was great, especially because I learned about Takui... His melody in tsugi no kado hit me hard and I think I'm becoming a fan of his.

I'm learning that a lot more hands go on this music than I thought.

Its gonna take me a while to get my thoughts together because I really want to honor their effort. I am also glad to see that Hello Project has such a varied cast of people contributing. I thought I might stop being interested in Hello Project when the tsuku compositions dried up, but I'm not worried about that any more. I think they will continue to hold my interest...



#9 Farrah

Farrah
  • ANGERME

Posted 28 January 2018 - 03:51 AM

In most cases, in pop music, the composer basically does the bare bones of the song - the chord progression, basic melody, setting the rhythm, so forth.  The stick figure of the song, if you will.  The arranger is the guy who comes in and says "Okay, why don't we add this here and maybe some sort of guitar part here and oh how about some cool synth section here to beef up the chorus?"  The arranger is basically in charge of turning the idea into the song.  90% of songs you hear just started out as some guy and a piano, or some guy and a guitar, banging out some chords. 

 

How much say the arranger has tends to depend on the team and how they work in particular - sometimes the arranger will also do some things that you would expect the composer to do (like changing the structure of the song by adding in a rap section or instrumental break that the composer did not, for example), sometimes the arranger is working within very strict guidelines in a very specific role. 

 

There are also topliners, which is what I currently do for a living.  This kind of a newer thing - back in the day your composer was also your melody guy, but music is produced very differently nowadays, and a lot of times your composer is a guy who doesn't really do the whole singer-songwriter thing.  That's where the topliner comes in - they send us whatever the composer/arranger/producer came up with and say "We have the music but nothing to put with it - come up with a catchy vocal melody to go on top of this."

 

I'm pretty new to this industry, only started in October, so don't take my word as gospel LOL I have friends who have been working in it (including some idol songs you've probably heard!) for a couple years and this is essentially the breakdown they gave to me, so I'm assuming it's fairly accurate.