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      UreMusic Education: The Craft of Music Composition - Level 1 (DRM Free)

      This course is for the composer who wants a traditional training program that allows them to move at their own pace. 

      Level 1 Course Overview

      Download the Introductory Lesson Free

      Looking for Something More Advanced? Buy Level 2

      The composition course takes composers through 16 self-study music composition lessons. 

      Learning to Compose Music

      Anybody can learn to compose music, but to be an effective composer you need to develop some skill. Talent and drive are essential, but you need solid technique and an understanding of basic principles of music composition to make your works stand out.

      While it's true that some composers have created music without knowing how to read music, these composers are exceedingly rare. The reality is that if you're going to be an effective composer, you must learn to read music.

      Prerequisites: Before Starting the Course.

      This course expects that you can already compose music. If this is not the case, take some time to learn about the musical staff and the notes of the treble and the bass clef.

      Before starting this course, you should know how to do the following things:

      • Build and recognize basic triads and seventh chords (A brief review is included)
      • Recognize and identify key signatures. Instant recognition is not required, but it certainly helps.
      • Read and write music notation
      • Clap rhythmic notation


      Before enrolling, you should understand the basics of music notation, including key signatures, time signatures, note recognition in bass and treble clefs, and common score indicators.

      The Goal of the Course

      This course is not a music theory course. It's designed to take composers from the beginning stages of composing a piece through to the very last edits. Each lesson will focus on a different element of a composition. If you follow the lessons, you'll have a completed work by the end of the course. You'll also learn about the mechanics of composing music along the way.

      Level 1: Craft of Music Composition Overview

      Please review the Table of Contents at the end of this product description.


      Programmed Music Composition Course Syllabus

      This is a programmed course designed for the beginning composer or the composer who hasn't gone through formal training. The syllabus covers a total of 16 lessons.

      This schedule covers all of the fundamentals of music composition while keeping composers actively engaged in the process of composing. Each unit should ideally last about 30 days.

      Level 1: Music Composition Curriculum

      Each unit may take several weeks to complete. Beginning students may need several weeks per unit while advanced students may only require one lesson per unit. In addition to the course, each unit provides an ear training exercise that the student is expected to work on daily.

      After composers have completed the course, they will have a strong understanding of the fundamentals of music composition. Students that graduate from this course are now ready to undergo advanced music composition lessons and begin working on their own original compositions while developing their unique voice and style.

      Unit 1: Composing Rhythmic Elements

      Composers are expected to improvise, memorize, perform, and commit to paper individual rhythms that have a recognizable and logical form. Student's are expected to pay careful attention to their rhythms, and free themselves from notation programs during this process. 

      While more difficult in the beginning stages, getting away from a notation program encourages the development of the composer's mind and intellect. Music notation programs can drastically decrease the time it takes to compose music, but composers must also have the ability to work without the aid of computer playback.

      Unit 2: Composing Pitch Elements

      This unit focuses solely on the pitch elements that will be used in the composition. Composers are asked to select several pitches that will be used in the final composition. The western musical scale uses 7 pitches for each scale. While this unit is a form of set theory, it's based on the same basic restrictions used in classical musical scales. 

      Composers should be able to compose a satisfying piece using any series of pitches. Bach once said that with only four notes, he could create a satisfying piece. The goal is not to create a masterpiece, but to challenge the composer to think about music in a creative and challenging way.

      Unit 3: Composing Non-Chord Tones

      Composers learn how to effectively use non-chord tones in this unit. As the student's composition is beginning to take form, embellishments in the form of non-chord tones are introduced into the structure. In traditional tonal harmony, a non-chord tone may be a passing tone, escape tone, appoggiatura, suspension, retardation, anticipation, neighboring tone, or changing tones. However, in real-life composition, these categorizations seldom actually matter. This unit teaches composers how to apply these concepts in a creative manner.

      Unit 4: Composing Motives

      After successful creation of the rhythm, pitch, and introduction of non-chord tones, the composer begins work on creating motives for use in the composition. A motive acts as the motor that drives a piece forward. Composers throughout history have used motives to drive a composition forward, link passages together, and create logic and form in a composition. Motives are one of the most important aspects of a musical composition, and students must learn to effectively edit and manipulate motives to write effective works.

      Unit 5: Composing the Melody

      The next unit deals with the creation of melody in a composition. Composers learn how to create a balanced melody with an antecedent and consequent phrase. The unit also deals with the most complicated aspect of periods, and how antecedent and consequent phrases are used to build an entire composition. The motives created in the previous units are developed into full-fledged melodies.

      Unit 6: Musical Form -- Creating the Exposition

      Composers begin to shape their composition in this unit. The exposition is the introductory portion of a classical form. In Classical music, the exposition functions as the initial entrance of the main thematic material. That material can extend throughout an entire movement, section or musical composition. In this case, the composer introduces the exposition by using the elements they have already created in previous units. Composers begin to build their composition and watch as it takes form and grows.

      Unit 7: Musical Form -- Building the Development Section

      The exposition provides an introduction to the main thematic material, and in the Classical and Romantic periods it also typically existed within one key center. The development goes through several key centers, breaks the melody up into fragments, reorganizes it, presents ideas in more than one key and takes you away from the home key, or in this case, the motivic material of the exposition. The development is a crucial par of the composition and acts as the middle section in the piece the composer is creating.

      Unit 8: Musical Form -- Composing the Recapitulation

      In a Classical era piece, the recapitulation typically repeated the exposition in a very similar fashion. The main difference is that the exposition would appear in the tonic throughout the entire recapitulation. 

      Think of the Classical period exposition as getting away from what you knew, and venturing out to experience new ideas and situations. Because of this, it was allowed to go to the dominant as part of that journey or thought of another way, a move away from its home. 

      The recapitulation in the Classical period was all about coming back home. This meant that the recapitulation almost always started in the tonic and stayed there. Since the composer is not concerned with Classical period ideals, some liberty is allowed and the recapitulation section of the unit takes a liberal approach.

      Unit 9: Connecting the Piece Through Transitions

      At this point in the course, the composer begins to connect the exposition, development, and recapitulation using transitions. Techniques and methods for connecting these three sections are provided within the unit. As with all units in this program, this unit contains an initial explanation of the concept of transitions, and then the composer works with the instructor to incorporate the transitions within the musical composition.

      Unit 10: Adding Harmony to the Composition

      At this point, the student has a completed work, but it's only a single melodic line. The student is now asked to add harmony to the composition. Advice on how to create chords, some quick tips for easily creating refreshing and unique chord progressions, and an introduction to the concept of counterpoint are explored. Composers may require several interim lessons to complete this unit.

      Unit 11: Advanced Treatment of Musical Harmony

      In this unit, composers learn about some advanced methods of incorporating harmony into a composition. The composer is led through analyzing their own work to determine the crucial elements required to effectively create a harmonic backdrop. A discussion of the difference between a chord progression and succession is provided, and composers are expected to enhance and improve the chordal structure established in the previous unit.

      Unit 12: An Introduction to Musical Counterpoint

      This unit doesn't teach the composer about sixteenth or eighteenth-century counterpoint. The unit instead focuses on a modern interpretation of counterpoint, with the goal of introducing multiple independent melodic lines that work together along with the harmony already established. Composers add a third line to the composition with the help of the instructor. Principles of counterpoint are explained, but ultimately, the composer is expected to use creative license in the application of concepts.

      Unit 13: Introduction to Notation and Score Elements

      The composer is now expected to go through the composition and add performance indicators, score elements, and begin preparing the score for publication. This exercise allows composers to learn about standard notation procedures, and to begin thinking about how the performer will interpret the composition. Composers must tread the line between adding too much information, and not adding enough so that the performer will have a good chance of effectively performing the composition.

      Unit 14: Editing the Music Composition

      At this point, the composer has a completed musical work. However, it's not yet ready for publication. Composers must go through the process of editing and manipulate the work before completing the composition. Some students find that it's helpful to take a break from this composition. The instructor will give the student the chance to push through and edit the composition, or take a break and work on the next composition for future lessons.

      Unit 15: Rewriting the Music Composition

      This is quite possibly the most difficult part of the entire process. The composer is now asked to rewrite the entire composition, using the existing composition as a guide. This fulfills two goals:

      • Rewriting the composition ensures that the composer is aware of every note placed in the composition.
      • Rewriting allows a composer to take a fresh look at the composition, fix any problem sections, and ensure that the work has a logical flow.


      Most composers find this aspect of the course to be the most time-consuming and intensive aspect of the course. However, by completing the rewrite, composers are left with a fully-polished and effective musical composition.

      Unit 16: Completing the Final Edits on the Composition

      Now it's time to review the composition one more time, and fix any remaining issues. The composer is expected to fine-tune the composition and make the final changes using the tips from the course.

      Table of Contents

      Unit 1: The Challenge of Composing 10

      When Progress Isn’t Fast Enough 12

      What This Course Is Not Designed to Accomplish 13

      What This Course Will Help You Accomplish 14

      Creating a Composition Routine 14

      Famous Composers and Their Schedules 14

      Why You Need a Schedule 15

      Determining the Amount of Time You Need 15

      Approaching the Composition Exercises 16

      Compose A Fugue for Breakfast 16

      The Workbook and Ear Training Text 16

      The Workbook 17

      Ear Training Exercises 17

      Unit 1: Workbook 18

      Assignment 1: Preparation and Getting Started 18

      Task 1: Creating a Composing Shack 18

      Task 2: Starting Your Routine 19

      Assignment Duration: 8 Days/30 Minutes Daily 19

      Days 1 - 4 19

      Days 5 - 8 19

      Assignment Tips 20

      Unit 2: Rhythmic Elements 21

      The Relevance of Rhythm in Music 21

      Restriction, Creativity, and Writer’s Block 22

      The Elements of Rhythm 23

      Pulse 23

      Tempo 23

      Tempo Marking List 25

      Meter, It’s About Time 26

      Choosing the Right Time Signature 27

      Guidelines for Selecting the Right Time Signature 31

      Unit 2: Workbook 32

      Assignment 2: Creating Your Rhythms 32

      The Four Stage Process 32

      Rules for Notating Your Rhythm 33

      Day 1 33

      Day 2 33

      Stage 1: Improvisation 33

      Stage 2: Memorization 34

      Stage 3: Performance 35

      Stage 4: Notation 35

      Unit 3: Pitch Elements 37

      Unit 3: Workbook 39

      Assignment 3: Selecting the Pitches 39

      The Four Stage Process 39

      Stage 1: Improvise (Time: 2 days minimum) 39

      Stage 2: Memorizing (Time: 2 days minimum) 40

      Stage 3: Performance (Time: 2 days minimum) 40

      Step 4: Notate (Time: 2 days minimum) 41

      Unit 4: Voice Leading 42

      Official Voice Leading Rules 43

      Commonsense Voice Leading Rules 44

      Unit 4: Workbook 45

      Assignment 4: Moving the Right Way 45

      Melody Editing Process 45

      Chord Editing Process 46

      Unit 5: Melody - Combining Pitch and Rhythm 47

      Unit 5: Workbook 48

      Assignment 5: Creating the Initial Melodies 48

      The Four Stage Process 48

      Stage 1: Improvising (Time: 1 day minimum) 48

      Stage 2: Memorizing (Time: 1 day minimum) 48

      Stage 3: Performance (Time: 1 day minimum) 48

      Stage 4: Notate (Time: 1 day minimum) 49

      Unit 6: Motivic Elements 51

      Unit 6: Workbook 54

      Assignment 6: Creating Usable Motives 54

      Stage 1: Extract Your Motives 54

      Stage 2: Edit Your Motives 54

      Unit 7: Reconstructing the Melody 55

      Antecedent Phrase 55

      Consequent Phrase 55

      Period 55

      Connecting Periods 57

      Unit 7: Workbook 59

      Assignment 7: Using Motives to Build Your Melody 59

      Unit 8: The Exposition - Building the Form 60

      The Exposition 60

      Creating Three Out of Two 62

      Using Motives to Link Melodies 63

      Unit 8: Workbook 65

      Assignment 8: Creating the Exposition 65

      Unit 9: The Development - A Time for Change 66

      Unit 9: The Development 66

      Working Through the Development 67

      Step 1: First Section 67

      Step 2: Choose a Second Melody 67

      Step 3: Second Section 68

      Step 4: Third Section 68

      Step 5: Fourth Section 68

      Step 6: Transitions 68

      Unit 9: Workbook 70

      Assignment 9: Creating the Development 70

      Final Form For Development 70

      Section 1 - Choose 1 Melody From Your Set 70

      Section 2 - Combine Two Melodies 70

      Section 3 - Choose 1 Melody From Your Set 70

      Section 4 - Combine Two Melodies 70

      Unit 10: The Recapitulation - Coming Home 71

      The Recapitulation 71

      Unit 10: Workbook 73

      Assignment 10: Creating the Recapitulation 73

      First Section 73

      Second Section 73

      Final Form For Recapitulation 74

      Section 1 74

      Section 2 74

      Unit 11: Transitions - The Glue of Form 75

      Types of Transitions 75

      Sequences 75

      Chord Progressions and Sequences 76

      Unit 11: Workbook 78

      Assignment 11: Creating Transitions Between Major Sections 78

      Final Form For Composition 78

      Unit 12: Counterpoint - Adding the Bass 79

      The Bass Line 79

      Steps to Creating the Bass Line 80

      Unit 12: Counterpoint - Adding a Bassline 84

      Assignment 12: Creating a Bassline 84

      Unit 13: Harmony - Creating Chords From the Bass 85

      The Types of Triads 85

      Major Triads 85

      Minor Triads 85

      Diminished Triads 85

      Augmented Triads 86

      Triad Inversions 86

      Determining Inversion Symbols 86

      Using Numerical Symbols to Create Harmony 87

      Tips for Creating Chords 89

      Progression, Succession, and Static Movement 90

      The Progression 90

      The Succession 90

      Static Movement 90

      Unit 13: Workbook 91

      Assignment 13: Creating the Chord Progression 91

      Unit 14: Orchestration - Coloring the Music 92

      Orchestration 92

      Unit 14: Workbook 94

      Assignment 14: Orchestrate the Music 94

      Unit 15: Score Elements 95

      Score Elements 95

      Dynamics 95

      Articulations 96

      Unit 15: Workbook 98

      Assignment 15: Including Score Elements 98

      Unit 16: Rewrite - The Three-Stage Rewrite 99

      Final Thoughts 100

      Unit 16: Workbook 101

      Assignment 16: Rewriting the Composition 101

      The Three-Stage Process 101

      Stage 1 - The Listening Stage 101

      Stage 2 - Rewrite 101

      Stage 3 - Final Edits 101

      Ear Training Exercise 1: Pitch 104

      Ear Training Exercise 2: Melody 105

      Ear Training Exercise 3: Intervals 106

      Ear Training Exercise 4: Chords 107

      Ear Training Exercise 5: Harmony I 108

      Ear Training Exercise 6: Harmony II 109

      Ear Training Exercise 7: Harmony III 110

      Ear Training Index 111

      Recommended Resources for Composers 112

      Music Notation 112

      Music Counterpoint 112

      Composition and Theory 112


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      • Size 1.44 MB
      • Length 119 pages

      Purchasing UreMusic Education: The Craft of Music Composition - Level 1 (DRM Free) ...

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