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Designed for the composer with a basic understanding of music theory, this program begins with an explanation of the creative process and proceeds to provide composers with several exercises to improve technique. Composers complete multi-level exercises designed to improve the ear, increase analytical abilities, and complete practical exercises in music composition.
Develop Composition Skill Through a Daily Practice Routine
Start notating your ideas anywhere
There is a scarcity of resources available on music composition methods that help composers improve their technical skill. Most instructional materials deal only with music theory, counterpoint, form, and voice leading but fail to provide the necessary technical training a composer needs to actually create music. With this course, you’ll build a daily practice regimen that will keep you actively involved in the process of composing music and will increase your proficiency with motives, melodies, chords, voice leading, form and other concepts of music composition.
Technique Builder for Composers won’t teach you how to read music. You should already understand the underlying mechanics of music before undertaking the exercises in this text. However, these exercises also don’t require the prerequisite knowledge of how to build a major or minor scale, chord progression, orchestration, or symphonic form. Although, if you are unfamiliar with these foundational concepts, your future efforts would greatly benefit from first reviewing an introductory theory text.
The techniques found in this book will take your present ability and build upon it using simple exercises. These technique builders are based on the same ear training assignments I provide to my students at The Composers’ Studio, but they have been edited to accommodate a wider range of students. I have thusly only chosen exercises that have been shown to work with the majority of my students.
Inspired by Master Composer, Johann Sebastian Bach
A Fugue a Day
Bach reportedly composed a fugue every day before breakfast. Many other composers kept similar routines, employing basic composition exercises to continually develop their skill. In Bach’s lifetime, music underwent an experimental phase with guidelines created summarily with each new composition.
Orchestration was barely even a subject of discussion in the baroque period. If there wasn’t an instrument available, Bach would often just give the part to the closest musician. I feel that we are presently going through a similar period of experimentation, however, music is much more accessible now and we also have a wider variety of musical genres compared to any other time in history.
Music composition has basic structural rules, but you can break most any rule if you discover a better method with which to replace it. The trick is learning when it’s appropriate to break those rules. You develop this knowledge by strengthening your technique through daily practice. First, you must understand the principles behind each rule so you know the reason certain theories exist. Once you grasp the reasoning behind the rules and have mastered using them, you can break them or bend them to your will.
The Technique Builder Course
Take the first step towards writing more effective compositions
The text is organized into several chapters. Each chapter provides insight into the technical side of composing music. When you download the book, skim through and select the exercises that are relevant to the technique you want to develop first. Create a practice routine, and get to work improving your ability to compose effective music.
- Increase your knowledge and accomplish the following goals, and more:
- 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 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.
This text has been used in private lessons to help a number of student composers develop their technique and make it to the next level. Each technique is designed to take at least one month to master. Composers have enough material in this book to create a training program that will last a year or more.
This version differs from versions on other retail websites since you'll get the latest updates as they become available. On other websites, you won't receive these updates. I'll also provide special incentives and offers to subscribers who enroll here.
Table of Contents
The Genesis of the Technique Builder
A Fugue a Day
Using This Book
Chapter 1: Composition Technique No. 1
The Inspiration and Motivation to Succeed
Composing Music More Effectively
Chapter 2: Composition Technique No. 2
Developing a Compositional Style
A Composer’s Personal Style
Comparing Mozart and Beethoven
Possible Mozart Answers:
Possible Beethoven Answers:
Analyzing Music Scores
Chapter 3: Composition Technique No. 3
Developing Your Ear
Part I: Preparing the Foundation
Part II: Building Chords
Completing the Exercises
Exercise No. 1: The Stepping Process
Stage 1: The Single Pitch
Stage 2: Imagining the Pitch
Stage 3: Adding a Note
Stage 4: Internalizing Intervals
Stage 5: Creating Your Intervals
Stage 6: Run Through the Process
Exercise No. 2: The Chord Stepping Process
Stage 1: Cycling Chord Members
Stage 2: Extending the Chord
Exercise No. 3: Circle of Fifths Rotation
Stage 1: C to E
Stage 2: C to F#
Stage 3: Major Chords
Stage 4: Random Pitches
Stage 5: Adding Chords
Chapter 4: Composition Technique No. 4
Rhythm Drives our Music
Composition Technique: Find Your Rhythm
Chapter 5: Composition Technique No. 5
Creating Original Chords
Following the Path of the Masters
Part I: The Basic Tenets of Voice Leading
Using Voice Leading
Composition Technique Exercise
Part II: Creating Original Chords
All Levels: Editing the Composition
Chapter 6: Composition Technique No. 6
The Building Blocks of Music
What Are Your Motives?
Guidelines for Creating Motives
Composition Technique: Composing More Effectively
Chapter 7: Composition Technique No. 7
A Composition’s Structure
Embellishing the Melody
Chapter 8: Composition Technique No. 8
Experimenting With New Combinations
Some General Orchestration Guidelines
Chapter 9: Composition Technique No. 9
An Introduction to Form
The Origins of Passacaglia
The ‘Early’ Folia
The ‘Later’ Folia
Creating a Passacaglia
The Modern Passacaglia
Problems With Sonata Form
Chapter 10: Score Preparation
How to Get Rejected Immediately
Submitting a Work Deserving of Attention
Computer Generated Scores
The Score’s Cover
The Front Page
Chapter 11: Basic Composing Techniques
Developing Your Music
Chapter 12: Composing Music
Creating a Composition With Restrictions
The Note Restrictions
Use Articulations and Performance Markings
Restricted Note Composition Rules
Chapter 13: Additional Resources
Self-Study Music Composition Courses
The Elements of Music Composition
What You Need to Know That Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and Mahler Knew
Providing the Road Map
The Concepts You Must Learn to Compose Effective Music
How the Elements of Music Composition Will Help You