Music Composition 1
What you'll learn
- By the end of the course you will be able to compose your own rhythms and melodies. This includes motifs, phrases, periods and phrase groups.
- You will also learn how to develop your rhythmic and melodic material through a wide variety of compositional techniques.
- You will get practice transcribing music (hearing rhythms and melodies and then writing them down in notation form).
- You will get practice notating music using music notation software.
- You will be prepared to study harmony and form in Music Composition 2
- A basic knowledge of music theory: students who take this course should be able to read notes in treble clef and bass clef, have a basic knowledge of note durations, meter, key, scales, flats, sharps, intervals, chords, and chord inversions. If you do not already have a rudimentary understanding of music theory it is recommend that you take a music theory course before enrolling in this course. (See “Music Theory” by the author of this course.)
- Musescore (free music notation software)
- Although not a necessity, it is very beneficial that the student have some ability to play the piano (or other instrument)
Music Composition 1 is the first course in a series of two courses that teaches how music is put together and how to write your own music. The course is divided into two parts. Part one covers the study of rhythmic composition. Part two covers the study of melodic composition. (Harmony and form are studied in Music Composition 2)
Course lectures consist mainly of video but also include some text. Each section of the course covers a particular concept (or related concepts). Concepts and compositional techniques are demonstrated throughout the course with real musical examples (pictures and audio samples).
Besides lectures, each section of the course also contains memory questions, section quiz, listening assignments, and transcription/composition assignments. Memory questions serve to summarize and reinforce key concepts learned, while the quizzes test the students’ knowledge and understanding of the material from each section. Students who take this course will get practice transcribing music (hearing a rhythm or a melody and writing it down). In the composition assignments students will get real life practice using the information and techniques learned in each section to write their own rhythms and melodies.
Who should take this course? Every student of music should know how to compose! It is a sad but true fact that most modern music teachers and music courses do not include music composition as part of the students’ musical education. In the past it was typical for students of music to be able to compose music. The “complete” musician can play an instrument, has knowledge of music theory AND can also compose! If you want to deepen your understanding of music, learn to write it!
190 Diagrams and Audio Samples (to illustrate concepts taught)
125 Memory Questions (to reinforce concepts taught)
90 Transcription and Composition Assignments (to practice the concepts taught)
76 Listening Assignments
Who this course is for:
- Every student of music!
- Beginning Composers/Songwriters
- Composers/Songwriters with previous knowledge or experience who want to brush up and hone their skills (and maybe learn some new techniques!)
- Anyone who has always wanted to learn how to write music!
- Although this course uses many examples from classical music, most of the information and compositional techniques learned in this course can be used by musicians of any genre (including rock, pop, and jazz)
Jonathan Peters is an award-winning composer currently residing in the beautiful state of Colorado. Since 1990 he has worked as a composer, conductor, arranger, recording artist, educator and author. Mr. Peters holds a B.A. in liberal arts from Thomas Aquinas College and continued his graduate work for a M.M. in music composition at California State University Northridge, which included areas of study in advanced composition, theory, orchestration, and film scoring.
Mr. Peters’ music has been performed both internationally and by orchestras across the United States. He has won multiple awards and recognitions, such as 1st place in the 1996 Composers Today Contest. His nearly 50 works include 2 full length operas, a symphony, orchestral works, chamber music, choral pieces, and works for solo piano.
Recordings by Mr. Peters can be heard on the radio, and his many albums sell in stores world-wide. He is also the author of the Scholastic Music Series, a collection of educational CDs that use music as a tool to teach various academic subjects. His CD, The Constellations - A Guide to the Orchestra, received the highest starred review from School Library Journal and is carried in libraries throughout the country.
Mr. Peters is the author of five academic books on music and three children’s books. Besides teaching piano privately he also gives on-line instruction in music theory, music composition, four-part writing, and orchestration. His on-line courses have been taken by thousands of students from over a hundred countries.