Sequential Music (sɪˈkwɛnʃ(ə)l ˈmjuːzɪk / noun)
‘A musical composition where the instruments are played one after the other in a serial fashion.’

Back in 2011, Edward De Bono’s book ‘Po’ and Steve Spacek’s album ‘Black Pocket’, inspired the experimental musician, Klis, to create a new and alternative method for writing songs. This vision gave rise to the limited two track ‘Sequential Music EP’.

klis ep

Whilst producing those two prototype Sequential Music tracks, Klis outlined the following guidelines for successfully composing in this manner.

Guidelines for composing using The Sequential Music Method

  1. More than one instrument must be used.
  2. Employing a familiar core structure (such as a drum pattern or chord sequence) early on will allow for track development around those elements.
  3. Pick a range of sounds that sit well when placed side by side rather than when they are layered on top of each other.
  4. Each sound is by itself at every point of the mix so it must be EQ’d accordingly.
  5. Be careful with extreme placement of instruments in the stereo field.
  6. Set up your recording / sequencer equipment in a way that allows you to see that you are developing the track one instrument at a time.
  7. An instrument must fully conclude playing (including any effects such as a delay) before the next instrument is employed.
  8. Elements of a drum kit are considered to be individual instruments in this instance. This would mean that a snare would be one instrument as would a kick drum.
  9. Vocals can be employed but must be considered as and incorporated the same way as an instrument would.
  10. Elements such as harmony, chord progression, verse / chorus do not need to be adhered to in this context.

The above points are merely for guidance and any attempt should work to the basic defintion ‘a musical composition where the instruments are played one after the other in a serial fashion.’ The Sequential Music method employs restrictions but a creative approach can lead to interesting and distinct results. We have seen uses of extreme sidechain via Kin;Aesthetic, the adoption of extended multiple solos by Scaling As Karma and various takes on programming, performance and sampling courtesy of Delicasession, Freethos, Delta, Klis, The Unknown Stuntman Feat. Clemency Jones and Glass Ark Maniac.