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.)
A brief overview of how the course is structured.
In this brief introduction you will learn the 4 main reasons every student of music should learn to compose.
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.
In this lecture you will learn the two most important principles of writing music and why they are vital to music composition.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In this lecture you will learn the difference between a rhythmic period and a rhythmic phrase group.
In this lecture you will learn how to develop rhythmic material through the compositional technique of augmentation.
In this lecture you will learn how to develop rhythmic material through the compositional technique of diminution.
In this lecture you will learn how to develop rhythmic material through the compositional technique of truncation.
In this lecture you will learn how to develop rhythmic material through the compositional technique of expansion.
In this lecture you will learn how to develop rhythmic material through the compositional technique of displacement.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.