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#2001655 - 12/19/12 12:05 PM learning composition  
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 11
eboats Offline
Junior Member
eboats  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 11
seattle, wa
hello, i have a background in classical and jazz piano, as well as composing music in more of a pop/rock vein. i'd like to learn more about classical composition, especially 20th century/contemporary classical theory and composition. any idea what books would be good to start with or whether it'd be beneficial to find a composition teacher? thanks.

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#2001740 - 12/19/12 03:23 PM Re: learning composition [Re: eboats]  
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Nikolas Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Nikolas  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,491
UK
There is one book I can recommend as far as composition is concerned. This one: http://www.amazon.com/Twentieth-Cen...sr=8-1&keywords=20th+century+harmony

And there's also this: http://www.amazon.com/Materials-Tec...sr=8-3&keywords=20th+century+harmony which I haven't read, but appears to also be very good (and will order it once I finish this post from the US... It'll take a while to get here, but what the heck... It's Christmas, I deserve a present).

In my teachings as a composer I use the first book, extensively. Its break down of various subjects in harmony, cover a lot of ground!

I would think that getting a teacher would be the best approach, though. Composition is a very open subject and one can get lost without some guidance (without this meaning that the student should follow aesthetically his/her teacher).

Best of luck!

#2001751 - 12/19/12 03:40 PM Re: learning composition [Re: eboats]  
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Sean Montgomery Offline
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Sean Montgomery  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 7
Monmouthshire, UK
Hi there - I can also recommend this one:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Musical-Composition-Reginald-Smith-Brindle/dp/0193171074

Not too heavy - looks at the core stuff including the importance of melody and how to construct it - lots of musical examples given. I agree - a teacher is a good idea - you could consider doing this by mail / email? Various 20th Century composers have written about their own styles - a really good one is Messiaen's book on his own style - difficult to track down and expensive when you do but a fascinating insight into his style. Hindemith also wrote a more general book on composition but is written with his neo-classical style in mind.

Sean

#2001762 - 12/19/12 03:58 PM Re: learning composition [Re: eboats]  
Joined: Nov 2007
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Nikolas Offline
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Nikolas  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,491
UK
If you want more info about lessons via the internet, I've done the email thing and it doesn't fully work... (the lack of schedule is too much for most students). skype lessons, on the other hand, work just fine! wink

#2002745 - 12/21/12 04:52 PM Re: learning composition [Re: Nikolas]  
Joined: Dec 2012
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eboats Offline
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eboats  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 11
seattle, wa
Thanks for the info guys! I'll check out those books you recommended. I'll think about the Skype lessons. I'm in the Seattle, WA area - any idea how to go about finding a composition teacher here (live in-person)? As I said I'd like to eventually focus on contemporary classical composition but understand I'd probably need to start with more traditional composition theory.

I'm a little puzzled by where to start with contemporary classical, lots if "isms" and alternatives/extensions to basic tonality that I'm interested in but would like to explore it in a structured way if that makes sense.

#2002831 - 12/21/12 08:37 PM Re: learning composition [Re: eboats]  
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Nikolas Offline
6000 Post Club Member
Nikolas  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,491
UK
eboats: You could search your local universities, colleges and conservatories. Seattle is huge, so there's bound to be some place...

#2005852 - 12/29/12 02:36 AM Re: learning composition [Re: eboats]  
Joined: Dec 2010
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LoPresti Offline
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LoPresti  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,304
New York
Originally Posted by eboats
I'm a little puzzled by where to start with contemporary classical, lots if "isms" and alternatives/extensions to basic tonality that I'm interested in but would like to explore it in a structured way if that makes sense.

What composers' scores are you currently studying? (Hint!)

Ed


In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.
#2006641 - 12/30/12 05:56 PM learning composition [Re: eboats]  
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LoPresti Offline
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LoPresti  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2010
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New York
To what works, by recognized composers, are you currently listening? (Hint #2!)


In music, everything one does correctly helps everything else.

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