Music Composition 1
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Music Composition 1

Learn how to compose well-written rhythms and melodies
Bestselling
4.5 (239 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
2,557 students enrolled
Created by Jonathan Peters
Last updated 9/2015
English
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Current price: $10 Original price: $100 Discount: 90% off
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Includes:
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 3 Articles
  • 65 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • 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.
View Curriculum
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)
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.)

Who 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)
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Curriculum For This Course
119 Lectures
03:21:57
+
RHYTHMIC TRANSCRIPTION
6 Lectures 06:08

A brief overview of how the course is structured.

Introduction
2 pages

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

Why Compose?
01:53

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.

Preview 04:15

Memory Questions (s.1)
1 page

Section 1 Quiz
15 questions

Listening Assignments (s.1)
1 page

Transcription Assignments (s.1)
2 pages
+
THE RHYTHMIC MOTIF
6 Lectures 09:56

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

Preview 01:43

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.

Preview 03:42

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.

Coming Up With Ideas
04:31

Memory Questions (s.2)
1 page

Section 2 Quiz
23 questions

Listening Assignments (s.2)
1 page

Composition Assignments (s.2)
1 page
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THE RHYTHMIC PHRASE
4 Lectures 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.

The Musical Sentence
04:03

Memory Questions (s.3)
1 page

Section 3 Quiz
21 questions

Listening Assignments (s.3)
1 page

Composition Assignments (s.3)
1 page
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TYPES OF RHYTHMIC PHRASES
4 Lectures 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.

Categorizing Phrases
03:50

Memory Questions (s.4)
1 page

Section 4 Quiz
13 questions

Listening Assignments (s.4)
1 page

Composition Assignments (s.4)
1 page
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RHYTHMIC PERIODS & PHRASE GROUPS
5 Lectures 03:31

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.

The Period
01:59

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

The Phrase Group
01:32

Memory Questions (s.5)
1 page

Section 5 Quiz
14 questions

Listening Assignments (s.5)
1 page

Composition Assignments (s.5)
1 page
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RHYTHMIC DEVELOPMENT – PART 1
5 Lectures 03:01

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

Augmentation
01:39

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

Diminution
01:22

Memory Questions (s.6)
1 page

Section 6 Quiz
11 questions

Listening Assignments (s.6)
1 page

Composition Assignments (s.6)
1 page
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RHYTHMIC DEVELOPMENT – PART 2
6 Lectures 03:28

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

Truncation
01:11

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

Expansion
00:46

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

Displacement
01:31

Memory Questions (s.7)
1 page

Section 7 Quiz
12 questions

Listening Assignments (s.7)
1 page

Composition Assignments (s.7)
1 page
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CONVEYING MOOD THROUGH RHYTHM
4 Lectures 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.

Rhythmic Mood
04:42

Memory Questions (s.8)
1 page

Section 8 Quiz
6 questions

Listening Assignments (s.8)
1 page

Composition Assignments (s.8)
1 page
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MELODIC TRANSCRIPTION
7 Lectures 12:11

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.

Definition of Melody
02:17

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.

Preview 05:47

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.

Where do Melodies Come From?
01:43

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.

Notating Melody
02:24

Memory Questions (s.9)
1 page

Section 9 Quiz
20 questions

Listening Assignments (s.9)
1 page

Transcription Assignments (s.9)
2 pages
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THE MELODIC MOTIF
4 Lectures 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.

Another Form of Motif
05:05

Memory Questions (s.10)
1 page

Section 10 Quiz
13 questions

Listening Assignments (s.10)
1 page

Composition Assignments (s.10)
1 page
11 More Sections
About the Instructor
Jonathan Peters
4.5 Average rating
365 Reviews
2,843 Students
4 Courses
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 from School Library Journal and is carried in libraries throughout the country.