Music Composition 1

Learn how to compose well-written rhythms and melodies
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  • Lectures 119
  • Contents Video: 2 hours
    Other: 1 hour
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 1/2014 English

Course Description

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 will be 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 tests 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) and also learn how to use music notation software. 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.

The length of time needed to complete the course depends on how much time is spent each day/week on the material. To complete all the assignments in each section, a suggested pace might be 1-2 weeks per section. (There are 21 sections.)

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!

(Note: If you would like each and every composition assignment looked over by your instructor and to receive comments and suggestion on them please contact Mr. Peters about receiving this service at an additional cost.)

What are the requirements?

  • A computer with internet connection, screen to watch video, and speakers to hear audio samples.
  • 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.)
  • Some type of music notation software. The notation software demonstrated in this course is the Finale NotePad software. NotePad is a very basic music notation program and has all the necessary functions for a beginning composition student. An important part of music composition is getting your music to paper, and so this course will also develop the students’ ability to properly notate their music. This software not only prints professional looking sheet music, it also allows the student to hear their compositions as they are writing them. You can read more about NotePad and download it for FREE at: www.finalemusic.com/NotePad
  • Although not a necessity, it is very beneficial that the student have some ability to play the piano (or other instrument)

What am I going to get from this course?

  • 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
  • 21 Quizzes
  • By the end of the course you will be able to compose your own RHYTHMS. This includes rhythmic motifs, phrases, periods and phrase groups.
  • You will also learn how to develop your RHYTHMIC material through a wide variety of compositional techniques.
  • By the end of the course you will be able to compose your own MELODIES. This includes melodic motifs, phrases, periods and phrase groups.
  • You will also learn how to develop your 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 basic music notation software.

What is the target audience?

  • 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)

What you get with this course?

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Curriculum

Section 1: RHYTHMIC TRANSCRIPTION
2 pages

A brief overview of how the course is structured.

Article

In this brief introduction you will learn the 4 main reasons every student of music should learn to compose.

04:15

In this lecture you will learn the basics of the NotePad music notation software in order for you to complete your transcription and composition assignments for this course.

Memory Questions (s.1)
1 page
Section 1 Quiz
15 questions
Listening Assignments (s.1)
1 page
Transcription Assignments (s.1)
2 pages
Section 2: THE RHYTHMIC MOTIF
01:43

In this lecture you will learn the two most important principles of writing music and why they are vital to music composition.

03:42

In this lecture you will begin to study the connection between language and music. You will also learn the definition of a rhythmic motif and its connection to the principle of uniformity. Some techniques will be given for coming up with your own rhythmic motifs.

04:31

In this lecture you will learn 5 helpful tips on coming up with your own musical ideas. You will also learn 4 reasons for notating (writing down) all of your ideas.

Memory Questions (s.2)
1 page
Section 2 Quiz
23 questions
Listening Assignments (s.2)
1 page
Composition Assignments (s.2)
1 page
Section 3: THE RHYTHMIC PHRASE
04:03

In this lecture you will learn the definition and characteristics of a phrase. You will learn how rhythmic motifs are combined to create rhythmic phrases. The tool of repetition will be introduced along with some do's and dont's.

Memory Questions (s.3)
1 page
Section 3 Quiz
21 questions
Listening Assignments (s.3)
1 page
Composition Assignments (s.3)
1 page
Section 4: TYPES OF RHYTHMIC PHRASES
03:50

In this lecture you will learn that there are only three types of phrases. You will also learn helpful techniques to create each of the three types of phrases on your own.

Memory Questions (s.4)
1 page
Section 4 Quiz
13 questions
Listening Assignments (s.4)
1 page
Composition Assignments (s.4)
1 page
Section 5: RHYTHMIC PERIODS & PHRASE GROUPS
01:59

In this lecture you will learn how rhythmic phrases are combined to create rhythmic periods. You will be introduced to the antecedent and consequent phrases and learn helpful techniques to create your own antecedent and consequent rhythmic phrases.

01:32

In this lecture you will learn the difference between a rhythmic period and a rhythmic phrase group.

Memory Questions (s.5)
1 page
Section 5 Quiz
14 questions
Listening Assignments (s.5)
1 page
Composition Assignments (s.5)
1 page
Section 6: RHYTHMIC DEVELOPMENT – PART 1
01:39

In this lecture you will learn how to develop rhythmic material through the compositional technique of augmentation.

01:22

In this lecture you will learn how to develop rhythmic material through the compositional technique of diminution.

Memory Questions (s.6)
1 page
Section 6 Quiz
11 questions
Listening Assignments (s.6)
1 page
Composition Assignments (s.6)
1 page
Section 7: RHYTHMIC DEVELOPMENT – PART 2
01:11

In this lecture you will learn how to develop rhythmic material through the compositional technique of truncation.

00:46

In this lecture you will learn how to develop rhythmic material through the compositional technique of expansion.

01:31

In this lecture you will learn how to develop rhythmic material through the compositional technique of displacement.

Memory Questions (s.7)
1 page
Section 7 Quiz
12 questions
Listening Assignments (s.7)
1 page
Composition Assignments (s.7)
1 page
Section 8: CONVEYING MOOD THROUGH RHYTHM
04:42

In this lecture you will study "rhythmic" mood and look at examples of how different types of rhythmic material can contribute to creating the mood of the piece.

Memory Questions (s.8)
1 page
Section 8 Quiz
6 questions
Listening Assignments (s.8)
1 page
Composition Assignments (s.8)
1 page
Section 9: MELODIC TRANSCRIPTION
02:17

In this lecture you will learn the definition of melody. You will learn how rhythm and melody are connected and how they affect one another.

05:47

In this lecture you will learn the 4 ways in which melody can move. You will study examples of each type and learn how a balance of the 4 types of movement make the most interesting and memorable melodies.

Article

A brief discussion of melody's connection to speech, how different types of melodies are suggested by different instruments, and where all these techniques and rules for writing music come from.

02:24

In this lecture you will learn how to set up a document in NotePad for notating melodies and how to enter pitches on to the staff.

Memory Questions (s.9)
1 page
Section 9 Quiz
20 questions
Listening Assignments (s.9)
1 page
Transcription Assignments (s.9)
2 pages
Section 10: THE MELODIC MOTIF
05:05

In this lecture you will learn about the melodic motif and compare it to the rhythmic motif. You will also cover some useful rules and techniques for coming up with your own melodic motifs.

Memory Questions (s.10)
1 page
Section 10 Quiz
13 questions
Listening Assignments (s.10)
1 page
Composition Assignments (s.10)
1 page
Section 11: MELODIC DEVELOPMENT – PART 1
00:58

In this lecture you will learn to add and develop melodic material through the compositional technique of repetition.

01:42

In this lecture you will learn to develop melodic material through the compositional technique of transposition. You will also be introduced to diatonic and chromatic transposition.

04:59

In this lecture you will learn to develop melodic material through the compositional technique of sequence. You will learn the definition of a sequence, how sequences are formed, and also the four different types of sequences.

Memory Questions (s.11)
1 page
Section 11 Quiz
18 questions
Listening Assignments (s.11)
1 page
Composition Assignments (s.11)
1 page
Section 12: MELODIC DEVELOPMENT – PART 2
03:30

In this lecture you will learn to develop melodic material through the compositional techniques of intervallic expansion and compression. You will also learn the three option for each of these techniques.

02:21

In this lecture you will learn to develop melodic material through the compositional technique of octave transfer. You will study the difference between octave transfer and transposition also learn the three different options for using octave transfer.

00:55

In this lecture you will learn to develop melodic material through the compositional technique of change of tonality.

Memory Questions (s.12)
1 page
Section 12 Quiz
17 questions
Listening Assignments (s.12)
1 page
Composition Assignments (s.12)
1 page
Section 13: THE MELODIC PHRASE
00:58

In this lecture you will briefly cover what a melodic phrase is and some of its characteristics.

02:38

In this lecture you will learn how melodic motifs can be combined to create a melodic phrase. You will also learn some do's and dont's when writing your own melodic phrases.

02:30

In this lecture you will learn how transposition can be used in combination with multiple motifs to create even more interesting phrases.

Memory Questions (s.13)
1 page
Section 13 Quiz
15 questions
Listening Assignments (s.13)
1 page
Composition Assignments (s.13)
1 page
Section 14: THE MELODIC PERIOD
04:19

In this lecture you will learn that there are only three types of melodic phrases and study the characteristics of each. You will also learn about stable and unstable tones, how to distinguish them, their characteristics and how they are used in the formation of each melodic phrase type.

02:25

In this lecture you will learn the difference between a melodic period and a melodic phrase group. You will also learn about question and answer phrases and how they are formed.

Memory Questions (s.14)
2 pages
Section 14 Quiz
26 questions

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Instructor Biography

Jonathan Peters, Award-winning Composer

Jonathan Peters is an award-winning composer currently residing in the beautiful state of Colorado. Since 1990 he has worked as composer, director, arranger, recording artist, educator and author. Mr. Peters holds a B.A. in liberal arts from Thomas Aquinas College and continued his graduate work at California State University Northridge where he studied advanced composition, theory, orchestration, and film scoring.

Mr. Peters’ music has been performed both internationally and by orchestras across the U.S., having won many awards and recognitions including 1st place in the 1996 Composers Today Contest. He has completed nearly 50 works including 2 full length operas, a symphony, orchestral works, chamber music, choral pieces, and works for solo piano. Mr. Peters’ music 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. The series has received starred reviews fromSchool Library Journal and is carried in libraries throughout the country.

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