Are you a music lover? Do you feel confident in your ability and perception of music? Did you ever wonder How To Compose Music without attending school? Here’s the answer to your question.
Cazzette is often asked questions about music composition. The survey found that the youngest age group to inquire is very young.
Cazzette created this guide to help young writers shape their writing styles not to lose their talent. This guide can help you understand the basics of music composition before you start to create a complete work.
What is your motivation for composing?
Since I launched my first free course on youtube in 2011 about composing, I have asked many of the 25,000 who have taken it what their goals for composition are.
Continue reading if any of these describes you.
- Music should express your feelings clearly and be understood by others.
- While you want to make music for yourself, you are also interested in making music for film, television, and video games.
- Write down the music you hear in your head.
- Music theory can be confusing. You want to learn how it works.
- While your goals might be different, the final goal is the same. To express our feelings, to bring joy, and just create.
What does it take to learn composition?
Learning to compose is easiest if you can memorize small pieces of music and then practice changing and combining them in specific ways.
You can change it to make it more understandable. This is much closer to how composers were taught traditionally (composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, and Haydn), Debussy, Ravel, Debussy, Debussy, and, of course, Bach).
Art of Composing was my first project. I knew what I wanted to do, but I didn’t know-how. It wasn’t clear to me.
I began to read every music theory and composition book that I could find. It was all shared on my blog.
Are you able to comprehend the requirements of learning composition?
It will take some time to learn composition. It is possible to know a lot more than you realize, which is okay.
It all starts with your background knowledge, everything you have learned about music up to this point.
Then, you will focus on one particular composition skill at a given time. You can focus on one specific skill at a time, such as writing a note by hand or composing a symphony.
Start with small skills to make the process easier.
How To Compose Music – Step By Step
- Materials Required
- You will need something to record your thoughts, such as a cassette tape, minidisc, or internal microphone on your computer.
- You will need something to notate your composition. This could be music paper, a pencil, or notation software such as Finale or Sibelius.
- Optional: A musical instrument
Listen to some of your favorite songs and try to identify musical patterns. Do you see contrasting sections? How many? These sections are how long? Are the melodic pitches repeated? Is the melody’s rhythm consistent? What kind of mood does this song create? What is the secret to their success? Is it in a major key or minor? Are they in the same key all the time?
Keep a journal of your thoughts. You can then use these ideas later.
Let’s begin by gathering your materials.
Step 1: Style
Choose a type of music you want to create, such as folk, rock, jazz, or jazz. Consider the appropriate mood, tempo, as well as instrumentation.
Listen to some pieces from your preferred musical genre for ideas. What musical elements do the pieces contain that would make them fit in this category?
Is your favorite rock song a steady beat in 4/4 or a slow-moving melody with repeated notes? Which sections are your favorites and why?
Your initial direction for your composition. Is your piece going to have lyrics? This article will be a simple piano piece written in a classical style. It will be a mix of happy and slow tempos.
Step 2: Form
Choose a form to represent your composition. The majority of musical compositions consist of sections that are either the same as each other (repeating sections) or are different (contrasting sections).
What length will your composition be? What number of sections will your composition have? Keep in mind that each style of music has its own set of common forms. For example, a 32-measure AABA form for jazz standards or a 12-bar blues.
One of these forms may be preferred, but you can also make your own. I would recommend keeping it simple. If you divide your composition into two sections with eight measures each, then you will have enough material to create a 32-bar AABA tune. This is how I’ll use it for my composition example.
Step 3: Create Your Ideas
Record some ideas using your tape recorder/computer/minidisc. You can use your instrument to create riffs. Your voice is your instrument! Sing small melodies.
This should be done for at least 10 min. You are free to sing or play whatever music you want. It doesn’t need to be perfect. It is yours to hear. You can do it!
You can hear me in the audio clip thinking about my composition.
Step 4: Your First Musical Motif
Take a look at your recording. Is there anything you like? Do you have an idea you could turn into a classic melody? Are you ready to create your first chord progression in your rock song?
Is it possible to choose the opening line for your pop or jazz song? You can always find new rhythms and notes if you don’t like what you’ve found so far.
Your melody or chord progression should not be too long or complicated at this stage. Your first musical motif will be the melodic idea you choose.
This is a two- or three-note idea that will form the basis of your piece. This is a simple melody that you can write down. You can clap the rhythm, sing the tune or play the motif with your instrument.
Step 5: Alter Your Motif
What are you going to do with your opening theme? There are many options: you can either extend, reduce, or play it backward. You can also repeat the motif or make something completely new. This creates a musical phrase, which is a complete idea or thought.
Here’s my example. You can see how I started my theme, played the pitches with the same rhythm, then completed my phrase with another idea.
Because I am writing two sections of eight measures, I will expand my four initial measures into an eight-measure phrase. I will repeat my idea in another key and end with a slight change to the rhythm.
Step 6: A Contrasting Section
Nearly all music styles have a contrasting section. This adds interest and new material to the piece. This is the ‘bridge’ function in pop and rock songs, the B section jazz tunes, or the Development section classical sonatas. You can create a contrast section by repeating steps 4 and 5, but don’t use your original motif.
Is there a rhythm you can think of? Is your melody moving in steps or skips? Are you using repeated pitches? Is this section in a different mood?
Step 7: Bringing It All Together
You have now created two contrasting sections. Now how do you arrange them in your piece?
Consider your original form. Is what you have written in line with your original concept? You are free to make any changes. Is your piece complete, or do you need to add another section? What is the end of your piece?
What would you add to your piece to make it more accessible for you to perform? Is it necessary to add a left-hand piano or bassline? Are you required to compose a harmony section for another instrument or singer?
To start writing chords for your music, you don’t have to be an expert in music theory. You can try out different ideas until you find the right one. Even if you don’t have any pieces to play, you might be able to get ideas for harmonies.
To make my melody more conclusive, I will change the last line. To give the piece harmony, I will then add a left-hand part.
17 Tips on Composing Music
1. Movement. Walking is a great way to get ideas. This is an old trick. Beethoven used to walk every morning before he would sit down to write.
2. Basslines. Sometimes, tunes begin with a melodic line.
3. Minimal melodies. I often get the ball rolling with a melodic motif or a combination of 2 chords.
4. Balance. Balance is a big part of my compositions. I try to balance the pop-friendly chord progressions with the complex “jazz” harmonic textures I love.
It’s not often that I pick difficult or out-of-place chords. I rather find new ways to combine and arrange common chord types.
5. Be like Wayne. Wayne Shorter’s melodic approach is great for writing. It’s not uncommon to find a melody that sings with complex harmonic movement. However, there is also the ability to change something while keeping it the same. (Static melody note hangs above two diatonically unrelated chords.
6. Pay attention to what you love. It never fails. It’s a matter of choosing music that moves me (genre unspecified), and then the ideas just start to flow.
7. You can groove, beat, and even your pocket. I love grooves.
8. Rich harmonic movement. Cool chord progressions are what I love (although that is subjective to individual taste). But think Pat Metheny. I like chords that move tertiary (in 3rds vs. traditional fourth cycle movement).
Move constant-structure chords (Berklee-speak: a chord that stays the same no matter how it is moved). Ex. Ex.
9. Relationships. Two chords are often the basis of a tune. When played back and forth, they reveal a melody, mood, or both. If I get goosebumps, I know I’m onto something.
10. Steal. (See #6) Put the music that moves your body into a pot, and mix it with other things. Wow, that was helpful! You can build from there.
Do you want to hear something new? Listen to “Common Ground”, my first song.
Listen to “Ghetto heaven” by Common and D’Angelo, taken from Common’s album Like Water for Chocolate. D’Angelo’s version will be harder to find — it is not the Macy Gray version.
Listen to “Common Ground” once more. Are there any commonalities?
11. Melody is the best. This is my personal preference, but I prefer melody over complexity. Nearly every song of mine can easily be sung. The exceptions, such as the bridge to “Nine Lives”, can’t be sung. I don’t think anyone wants to hear a lot of pyrotechnics mixed into a melody. I don’t.
12. Think about shapes. What is the arc of this song’s lyrics? What are your origins, and where do you want them to go?
13. Start with the end in your mind. How does this song affect your mood? How does the end of the song feel? Start working backward.
14. Mix and borrow. You may have a few ideas but not enough to create a song. What happens when you combine two seemingly unrelated ideas? You can do anything. (The Summer Light technique was the total result.
15. Place the end at your beginning.
16. Place the beginning at the ending.
17. Sing. If you can’t sing it, should you be writing it?
How to Learn Composition
Realizing that you are only beginning to learn to compose is the first step. Don’t place too much pressure on yourself.
Composers are not expected to create masterpieces. Instead, they must piece together masterworks.
The Grammar of Music
We will start by learning the basics of music, also known as grammar. It is essential to master the language if you are serious about learning composition.
It is necessary to be able to read musical notation.
You can find many resources to learn how to read music online. A quick Google search will help you get started. It’s not difficult to learn how to read music. Fluency is more important than being familiar.
Music theory is also an important part of the foundations. These include scales, triads, and seventh chords. These are your building blocks. These are your words if music notation is the alphabet. These “words” are likely to be familiar to you as a child.
You are familiar with the sounds of major and minor chords. As a composer, you need to know more than the superficial and aural levels. It is important to know exactly what they are.
You should be able to read and sign up for my beginner’s course in composing. It will explain the basics of music theory in the quickest way possible and how to apply them to composition. Each day you will receive an email with instructions, worksheets, and a video.
The Logic of Music
Once you can read and write music notation and have a basic understanding of theory such as scales and triads, you can then learn how to combine these to create simple, small-scale music. This is exactly what my course offers. Vocabulary for Composition teaches this.
Music’s apparent logic is because almost all the music we hear follows the same rules. These guidelines are ingrained in our ears, and we expect to hear them. These expectations are built into the music.
Understanding how to manage these expectations is the key to understanding the logic.
Start Composing Now by Following My Journey
This article series was created for beginners in music composition. How do you start learning music composition? What kind of equipment do you need? Are you looking for a computer, a keyboard, or sheet music?
- The Composing Mindset – The Composing Mentality. Music composition begins in mind. Clearing your mind and accepting who you are are key factors to creativity.
- How to Set Up a Basic Composing Area – The Home Composing Studios Setup. After you have the right mindset, it’s important to set up space where you can write. This article may be of interest to you as well.
- Do You Start with the Melody First or Harmony First – Melody First or Harmony First? We’re going to rehash the age-old question, “Is it the chicken or the eggs?” It may not be as simple as you think.
- Get started now! You’ve now read everything you need to know about music composition. It’s time for you to get started. You can’t talk about theory and the fundamentals, but it is important to create music.
- Simple musical form for composition – Do you need some guidance in creating your compositions? Musical form is the best place to begin. Definition: Music Form is a recurring feature that occurs when the elements melody, harmony rhythm, rhythm, pace, texture, and tempo are combined.
- Simple Functional Harmony – Are you tired of the C, F, or G chords? So am I. Find out how to harness harmony.
- Diatonic Harmony: The Secret Key
Is composing music easy?
It can be overwhelming to learn how to compose. There is so much you need to know to get things working together. To harmonize a melody, you must first understand harmony.
What is a good way to start a song?
Five Ways to Begin a Song You can write down 30 to 40 different phrases or words. Begin with a melody. Try to focus on the chorus of your song and create a memorable melody. Begin with a drum beat. Begin with a chord progression. Begin with a groove.
What is written music called?
In printed or manuscript form, score, or notation, of a musical piece, most likely so named from the vertical scoring lines connecting successively related staves. Scores can contain a single part or all of the parts that make up an ensemble or orchestral composition.
Search for: https://www.britannica.com/art/score-music
How difficult is it to be a composer?
Composing well requires dedication, hard work, and time. It’s easy to fall prey to common myths early in your composing process, especially when you face major roadblocks and obstacles. Many people give up on their dreams of becoming a composer before they even begin.
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