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Book Recommendations? #2756514
08/07/18 01:12 PM
08/07/18 01:12 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 5,652
Reseda, California
J
JohnSprung Offline OP
Unobtanium Subscriber
JohnSprung  Offline OP
Unobtanium Subscriber
J

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 5,652
Reseda, California

Does anyone have any composition books they recommend? Is there anything specific beyond generic music theory? Anything genre specific?


-- J.S.

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690
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Re: Book Recommendations? [Re: JohnSprung] #2757399
08/10/18 12:53 PM
08/10/18 12:53 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,375
Urbandale, Iowa
S
Steve Chandler Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Steve Chandler  Offline
3000 Post Club Member
S

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,375
Urbandale, Iowa
John,

What do you want to do with composing, write piano music? In what style? Or do you want to learning the basics of stringing notes together?

It seems the assumption made is that composition as taught is about learning 20th century techniques. So I have the Persichetti 20th Century Harmony book as well as Materials and Techniques of Twentieth Century Music by Stefan Kostka. Traditional tonal composition methods are assumed to have been picked up while learning music theory. However as usual Google can be your friend, here's something I found that may be helpful.
https://www.artofcomposing.com/how-to-compose-music-101
The fact is there are many online courses for learning composition, that's just the first of many listed.

What they may not cover is what goes into notation, orchestration, recording and mixing. In addition each area of composition has its own peculiarities. For example, in choral music dynamics go above the staff.

Re: Book Recommendations? [Re: JohnSprung] #2757411
08/10/18 01:24 PM
08/10/18 01:24 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 227
USA
A
Andamento Offline
Full Member
Andamento  Offline
Full Member
A

Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 227
USA
John, here are a couple texts I recommend:

Composing Music, by William Russo

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Music Composition, by Michael Miller

(Sorry about the title of that second book--I mean no offense suggesting that to you. It's simply a book I enjoyed and find useful.) smile

BTW, the Russo is a worktext, with blank staves included for each exercise. The Miller book also has exercises, but you provide your own manuscript paper on which to do them.

Best wishes to you!

Re: Book Recommendations? [Re: Steve Chandler] #2757533
08/10/18 07:58 PM
08/10/18 07:58 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 5,652
Reseda, California
J
JohnSprung Offline OP
Unobtanium Subscriber
JohnSprung  Offline OP
Unobtanium Subscriber
J

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 5,652
Reseda, California
Originally Posted by Steve Chandler
What do you want to do with composing, write piano music? In what style?


The style/genre I've tried to write in is what was popular in the 1920's - 40's, Great American Songbook stuff. I'd love to be able to write catchy tunes like Cole Porter did, of course that may be a bridge too far.... I have one finished song (maybe not so good, maybe not really original) and a couple bits and pieces so far.

Thanks for the recommendations, I've ordered the Russo and Miller books.


-- J.S.


-- J.S.

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690
Re: Book Recommendations? [Re: JohnSprung] #2759850
08/20/18 09:39 AM
08/20/18 09:39 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,375
Urbandale, Iowa
S
Steve Chandler Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Steve Chandler  Offline
3000 Post Club Member
S

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,375
Urbandale, Iowa
Hi John,

Thanks for your response. If you want to write songs then my question would be with a text or without words? Having composed some choral music I know that text is a vital consideration. The great American Songbook stuff all had words to it. A text gives you a starting point, the words will have an inherent rhythm and you can compose a melody that highlights important aspects of the text. Obviously melody is most important so to get started start writing down melodies that come into your head. Don't worry about originality, just start dictating melodies from your mind. They will have an implied harmony, you can play around with that and once you have melody and harmony you can concentrate on the accompaniment and then structure. The simplest structure has on an alternation between the verse and chorus and perhaps a middle (sometimes called a bridge or breakdown) section for variation. If you remember the old Beatles song Try to See it My Way the bridge is the "Life is very short..." section.

Good luck.

Re: Book Recommendations? [Re: JohnSprung] #2761816
08/29/18 07:16 PM
08/29/18 07:16 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 5,652
Reseda, California
J
JohnSprung Offline OP
Unobtanium Subscriber
JohnSprung  Offline OP
Unobtanium Subscriber
J

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 5,652
Reseda, California

Hi, Steve --

Sorry for being so late to reply, I had lumbar spine surgery on the 20th, and recovery is slower than I expected. My answer would be probably mostly with lyrics, maybe some without. I've been jotting down melody fragments for a while, and just since I got out of the hospital, I've come up with a fairly large fragment, I think it'll be eight bars when I get it written out in MuseScore. I've already thought up some lyrics for it, but it arrived melody first. I'm not exactly sure it's a tango, but that's my theory until I can show it to someone who knows. Anyhow, the words came very easily for me, so here they are:

Evil Little Tango, Lyrics:


It's just an evil little tango

that gets entangled in your brain.

I wouldn't stress too much about it

It's over rated being sane.




Now I'll get back to notating the melody....



Thanks --



-- J.S.


-- J.S.

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690

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