Complete Idiot's Guide to Music Composition

ISBN-10: 1592574033
ISBN-13: 9781592574032
Edition: 2005
Authors: Michael Miller
List price: $19.95 Buy it from $3.00
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Description: Write the songs that make the whole world sing. A step-by-step guide to writing music, this book shows musicians how to compose simple chord progressions and melodies, and leads them through more advanced compositional techniques and musical forms.  More...

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Book details

List price: $19.95
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/4/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 8.50" wide x 10.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.902
Language: English

Write the songs that make the whole world sing. A step-by-step guide to writing music, this book shows musicians how to compose simple chord progressions and melodies, and leads them through more advanced compositional techniques and musical forms. Designed for composers of all types of music, it includes instruction on composing stand-alone melodies, using different scales and modes, themes and variations, orchestration, and composing for film, theater, and videogames. -Perfect complement to The Complete Idiots Guide to Music Theoryand The Complete Idiots Guide to Songwriting -Includes a comprehensive glossary of musical terms, as well as an appendix of various computer-based composition tools -Easy-to-use oversize trim

Before You Start
So You Want to Write Your Own Music...
What Is Composition?
Different Approaches to Composition
Harmonic Composition
Melodic Composition
Holistic Composition
Learning How to Write Your Own Music
Imitation Is More Than Flattery-It's a Learning Tool!
Learning in the Real World
Further Reading
Careers in Music Composition
The Composer's Toolkit
Essential Music Theory
A Trained Ear
Performance Skills
Conducting Skills
Blank Staff Paper
Transposition Skills
Orchestration Skills
Computers and Other Hardware
Music-Notation Software
Other Music Software
Harmonic Composition
Composing with Chords
Which Chords Can You Work With?
Using Chord Leading to Create Chord Progressions
Which Chords Lead to Which
Creating Chord Progressions with Chord Leading
Working Backward from the Final Chord
Common Chord Progressions
Ending a Phrase
Perfect Cadence
Plagal Cadence
Imperfect Cadence
Interrupted Cadence
The Key Matters
Chord Progressions in a Minor Key
Establishing a Harmonic Rhythm
Applying Chord Progressions to Musical Structure
Putting Melody to Your Chords
Creating More Sophisticated Chord Progressions
Breaking the Rules
Extending the Chords
Inverting the Chords
Using Altered Bass Chords
Using Compound Chords
Working with a Pedal Point
Employing Chord Substitutions
Diatonic Substitutions
Major Chord Substitutions
Minor Chord Substitutions
Dominant Seventh Substitutions
Functional Substitutions
Using Nonscale Chords
Using Chords as Tonal Centers
Trust Your Ears!
Melodic Composition
Understanding Melody
Melody-The Most Important Part of a Composition
Defining Melody
What Makes a Melody Melodic?
A Good Melody Has Movement
A Good Melody Is Familiar-Yet Unexpected
A Good Melody Sets Up-and Resolves-Tension
A Good Melody Has a Center
A Good Melody Repeats Itself
A Good Melody Has Form
A Good Melody Stays in Range
A Good Melody Is Unique
The Building Blocks of Melodic Form
The Motif
The Short Melodic Phrase
The Long Melodic Phrase
Longer Forms
Creating a Shape
Using Scales and Modes
Basing a Melody on the Notes of the Scale
Major Scale
Minor Scales
Pentatonic Scale
Whole Tone Scale
Diminished Scale
Blues Scale
Bebop Scale
Choosing the Right Scale or Mode
Picking the Right Notes to Use
Stable and Unstable Tones
Emphasizing Key Scale Tones
Implying Harmonies
Using Step-Wise and Sip-Wise Motion
Remember the Structure
Working With a Melodic Outline
Deconstructing a Melody
Composing a Melody-Structural Tones First
Chord Tones
Key Scale Tones
Stable and Unstable Scale Tones
Working Toward-and Connecting-the Structural Tones
Approach Notes
Passing Tones
Non-Neighboring Connecting Notes
Embellishing Structural Tones
Repeated Notes
Neighboring Tones
Changing Tones
Working Outside the Major Scale
Chromatic Neighbors
Neighbors from Different Scales
Using Rhythm and Syncopation
Changing the Rhythmic Pace
Smooth or Choppy?
Embellishing the Rhythm
Adding Repeated Notes
Adding Embellishing Notes
Employing Syncopation
Moving the Melody Forward and Backward in Time
Back Phrasing
Front Phrasing
Developing Rhythmic Themes and Variations
Shaping a Melody
Examining Melodic Shape
Choosing a Melodic Contour
Inverted Arch
Combining Contours to Shape a Longer Melody
Building Toward a Climax
Establishing Melodic Movement
Smooth Movement
Disjunct Movement
Mixed Movement
Building Tension and Release
Why Tension Is Important
Introducing Tension via Unstable Tones
Introducing Tension in a Chord Progression
Introducing Tension via Dominant Seventh and Diminished Chords
Introducing Tension via Suspended Notes and Chords
Other Ways to Introduce Tension into a Melody
Larger Intervals
Higher Pitches
Faster Rhythms
Increased Syncopation
Increased Volume
Reduced Repetition
Harmonizing (and Reharmonizing) a Melody
Fitting Chords to a Melody
Try the Obvious
Use the Melodic Outline
Look for Chord Tones in the Melody
Work Backward
Start Simple
Determine the Harmonic Rhythm
Don't Assume the Obvious
Reharmonizing a Melodic Line
Make Different Choices
Use Chord Substitutions
Add Extensions
Beyond Harmonization
Developing the Composition
Creating Longer Compositions
The Importance of Structure in Composition
Working With Motifs and Themes
Building Melodies with Motifs
Establishing a Musical Theme
Writing in Phrases
Symmetry and Asymmetry
Matched and Unmatched Phrases
Creating Multiple-Section Compositions
The Introduction
The Main Sections
The Interlude
The Final Section
The Coda
The Importance of Contrast
Don't Forget the Climax
Creating Even Longer Compositions
Employing Repetition and Variation
Creating Longer Compositions with Theme and Variation
Repeating the Theme
Varying the Theme
Side Slip
Rhythmic Displacement
Retrograde Inversion
Same Rhythm, Different Pitches
Same Pitches, Different Rhythm
Modal Mixture
Varying the Variations
Using Repetition and Variation in Your Compositions
Creating Multiple-Voice Compositions
Accompanying a Solo Line
Creating a Lead Sheet
Composing an Accompaniment
Employing Two-Part Counterpoint
Types of Contrapuntal Movement
General Rules for Good Counterpoint
Writing for Two Voices-Without Counterpoint
Call and Response
Contrasting Lines
Parallel Lines (Melodic Coupling)
Similar Lines
Contrary Lines
Oblique Lines
Writing Multiple-Part Harmony
Choosing the Notes
Varying the Voicings
Creating Melodic Harmony with Strong Voice Leading
Adding Even More Parts
Advanced Techniques
Orchestration and Arranging
Transposing from Concert Key
Learning Ranges and Tonal Characteristics
Strings (Bowed)
Strings (Nonbowed)
Choosing Instruments for a Composition
Common Ensembles
Symphonic Orchestra
Chamber Orchestra
String Orchestra
String Quartet
Concert Band
Jazz Band (Big Band)
Guidelines for Music Scoring
Learning More About Orchestration
Working Outside the Basic Key
Changing Keys
Modulating Up a Half-Step
Modulating Up a Whole Step
Modulating Down a Fifth (Up a Fourth)
Modulating via Shared Chords
Modulating Abruptly
Creating Melodies from Outside the Scale
Chromatic Notes as Neighboring Tones
Chromatic Substitution Tones
Chromatic Motifs and Variations
Melodies Based on Nontraditional Scales
Creating Nondiatonic Harmony
Nondiatonic Chord Substitutions
Nondiatonic Chord Leading (Circle of Fifths)
Chords Based on Nontraditional Scales
Fitting Melodies to Nondiatonic Chords
Chord-Tone Melodies
Scale-Based Melodies
Moving Toward Atonalism
Beyond Traditional Composition
Twelve-Tone and Serial Music
Musique Concrete and Electronic Music
Other Experimental Forms
Putting Words to Music-or Vice Versa
Words and Music-Equally Important
Make the Rhythm Fit the Words
Edit Accordingly
Create a Sympathetic Contour
Match the Feel
Writing in the Proper Song Form
Keep It Simple
A Final Word
Answers to Exercises

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