The Elements of Music Composition
Composing Music Series, Vol. 1, 3rd Edition
Introduction to Music Composition
Organicism in Music
The Elements of Music Composition gives composers the missing puzzle piece to create musical works that endure and become richer and more meaningful with each performance. Composers learn how a musical work can grow out of a single seed and connect the different disciplines within music composition. Applying the concepts in this book will help composers create highly effective works that resonate with audiences.
The education of a composer typically includes instruction in subject areas that are designed to teach composers about the methods that composers of the past used to create original works:
◆ Counterpoint teaches composers to combine multiple melodies that create harmony.
◆ Music theory teaches chords, progressions, and how to write established harmonies.
◆ Orchestration colors a musical work and adds depth.
◆ Form serves as the container for expansive musical ideas.
These cornerstones of music composition are important to the development of a composer’s technique and skill, but they do not teach how to think like a composer. The Elements of Music Composition introduces the concepts of coherence and comprehensibility, which results in a single theory of composition that is flexible and teaches composers to think like the master composers of the past. This book provides the missing puzzle piece for composers who want to learn how elements in music can work together to create an organic and coherent musical work.
Designed for Composers of All Levels
Pulling back the veil to reveal how master composers create original works
Deconstructing the dogma associated with the seemingly impenetrable art of music composition is one of the primary aims of this work. Composers are introduced to the concept of organic music and begin to develop an understanding of how coherence and comprehensibility play a major role in the creation of musical works.
Understand the Principles Composers Use to Create Masterworks
Music theory is only a stepping stone to the creation of original music compositions
Music theory teaches a composer to create derivative music of an established style. While music theory is essential to learning how the masters constructed their musical works, it doesn’t necessarily teach composers how to compose original music. This book shines a light on the process of composing music by showing how composers can use melody, harmony, form, orchestration, and counterpoint in a connected process where every element contributes to the composition and serves a role.
A Practical Approach to Music Composition Without Arbitrary Exercises
The craft of music composition is revealed through a careful review of the elements of music
Composers will not complete exercises, improve technique, or learn the typical concepts addressed in your average music composition course. This book also does not prescribe generic exercises that instruct a composer to create a melody on an established chord progression, fix voice leading errors, or create modulations to scripted keys. Learn a philosophy of music composition based on centuries of musical development. Travel deep inside the process of composing to reveal fundamental principles that can be applied to almost any style of music.
The 3rd Edition includes minor updates to make it easier for customers to read and view the printed musical examples.
Changes to 3rd Edition
Edited for clarity and conciseness
Improved image quality
Discussion of the phrase model in tonal music
Introduction to sentence structure in relation to organicism
Music Composition Technique Builder
Composing Music Series, Vol. 2, 3rd Edition
For Composers Who Want Greater Technique: 3rd Edition
Designed for composers who have basic musicianship skills, this program begins with an explanation of the creative process and proceeds to provide composers with several exercises to improve technique. Composers receive multi-level exercises designed to improve the ear and analytical ability through practical composition exercises.
Develop Composition Skill Through a Daily Practice Routine
Grab a napkin and start notating your ideas anywhere
Performers have scales, arpeggios, and repertoire to help develop technique. Studying an instrument requires a formal program of instruction that’s designed to develop technique and skill. As a composer, you can also develop your technique so that when inspiration hits, you’re ready to write down your ideas.
Inspired by Master Composer, Johann Sebastian Bach
A fugue a day for breakfast helped Bach become one of the greatest composers
Bach was known for his ability to create music quickly. He reportedly composed a composition every morning as a warm-up exercise. For composers, the old maxim of “use it or lose it” is absolutely true. The more you compose, the better you’ll become. Developing a better overall technique requires practice. Any composer can improve, but it requires work and challenging exercises to achieve mastery of your craft. Complete time-tested exercises and develop your practice routine to become a more effective composer.
The Technique Builder Course
Take the first step towards writing more effective compositions
Each chapter provides insight into the technical side of composing music. Create a practice routine, and get to work improving your ability to compose effective music. Increase your knowledge and accomplish the following goals:
◆ Create a program to develop your technique
◆ Learn to analyze scores and hear printed music in your mind
◆ Discover how to color your compositions with unique instrument combinations
◆ Unleash your potential and refine your ear to create music anywhere
◆ Uncover the “secret” guidelines used by music publishers, adjudicators, and colleges use to weed out composers quickly
◆ Discover the basic principles of music composition to help you improve your music
A Course for All Composers
Exercises for the beginning, intermediate, and advanced composer
Each chapter is designed to meet you at your current level and propel you to the next one. Designed for all composers, most exercises allow you to choose from three levels to match your level of experience. Begin to work on your technique today and compose your story. Exercises designed for composers at all levels:
◆ Beginning Composers: Come to this course with only a basic knowledge of music theory, and you’ll be able to dramatically improve your understanding of the basic principles of music composition.
◆ Intermediate Composers: Enjoy intermediate exercises to help take your technique and music to the next level.
◆ Advanced Composers: Refine and solidify your technique to ensure you’re prepared to create music that will stand the test of time.
Technique Builder Workbook
Music Composition Aural Technique Series, Book 1
The workbook contains the Daily Routines and Mirror Exercises that are available in the Music Composition Technique Builder text. It is not necessary to purchase this text to make use of the Technique Builder book that is available separately. There is a link to download the files in the Technique Builder DRM-Free. However, this text includes larger images to make it easier to read and additional ear training exercises. It’s also possible to use the code inside the Technique Builder text to receive a DRM-free copy of this book along with the audio to print and use in full-resolution.
There are 7 Sight Singing Sets and 7 Rhythm Sets included in this book that are not available in the Technique Builder textbook.
Etudes included in workbook:
① Daily Routines 1-7*
② Mirror Exercises 1-12*
③ Sight Singing Sets 1-7
④ Rhythm Sets 1-7
This text complements the Music Composition Technique Builder textbook. While this book may be used standalone to develop the ear, it is intended only for musicians who already know how to identify notes on the staff and can play an instrument. Through a series of simple etudes, musicians can develop their technique and learn to sight-read and hear music in their mind’s ear. These exercises have been used in various undergraduate music courses across the country.
Please do not purchase this workbook unless you already have a basic ability to identify notes on the staff and play written sheet music at a very basic level.
*Included in the Music Composition Technique Builder. The workbook totals 65 pages in length.