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Beginner's Guide to Music Composition

Updated: Apr 7, 2022


Beginner's Guide to Music Composition

Even for a seasoned musician, the prospect of creating your own music may seem like a silly idea at this point. True, musical creation takes a distinct set of abilities than playing an instrument, and when you begin to learn music, it may be beneficial to focus on mastering the fundamentals of composition first. Composers are often well-versed in one or more instruments, yet others depend on immutable musical principles and ideas in order to produce music for other artists, such as orchestras.



Getting to Know the Music Theory


Musical notation is a written language in the same way that any other written language is. You must be able to read and write the sounds you want the musician to perform to effectively communicate your intentions to them. That is why learning how to sight-read music and comprehending the meaning of all the numerous symbols is the first step toward becoming a composer. As you learn about different types and genres of music, you will be able to distinguish the distinctions in the notation of the music as you go along. If you want to be a composer, you should pay close attention to music theory while you learn music and learn to play an instrument.


Making yourself familiar with the rules of music as you learn to play it


There are a set of rules that must be followed in order to produce generally appealing sounds in the realm of musical composition. This covers particular chord progressions, mathematical correlations between notes, time, melody, and other aspects of music composition. Music Theory is the study of these laws, which is often classified as such. Do practise what you have learnt in music class using sheet music as you study music so that you have a good foundation in musical theory. This will ensure that you get the hang of it. Inquire with your music instructor about how what you are learning in class may be applied to music theory as you learn to play music.


Making Use of the Appropriate Tools


Once you've become acquainted with the fundamental elements of a great composition, it's time to go out and experiment on your own terms. In order to produce their compositions, composers have had to depend on simple paper and pencils for many years, and they have had to rely on their understanding of musical principles alone. Afterwards, they would have to listen to their score over and over again to see whether the pieces were still in sync before making any adjustments to it.


With the advancement of technology, this procedure has been made simpler. Quaver Music, for example, offers a free composing tool that is oriented for younger students and teachers. This programme is already familiar with the most frequent laws of music theory, and it may assist students in the process of picking acceptable chords and components.


In addition to these easy composition training programmes, there has been a massive boom of composition applications aimed to assist artists in working on their compositions while on the move and allowing them to share their work with other brilliant composers all over the globe. Noteflight is one such programme that can be used on any smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer for free, and it allows you to generate performance-ready ratings with a single click of a button on your smartphone, tablet, or computer.


GarageBand is a free piece of software that is accessible for Mac computers and has quickly established itself as a standard in the music business. Read our guide, which will teach you how to get started composing with this programme. When you're ready, have a look at our intermediate recommendations.


Lastly, Ensemble Composer is a useful Android software for beginning composers that enables you to create with up to 15 different instruments at the same time. With the intuitive interface, you can swiftly create and modify your music in minutes, even if you have no prior experience. Although there is a Pro version available, the free version is more than sufficient to get you started.


In order to make an informed decision while picking fantastic composition tools, you should take the time to examine your selections side by side. Some systems are quite restrictive, simply allowing you to utilise a basic staff for composition, while others are more flexible. Other features include the option to produce individual printouts for each instrument, as well as the ability to transform your music into guitar tabs, among many more. As you learn music, you may also utilise these apps to enhance your learning by applying them to well-known works. It will help you have a better grasp of how music and applications function.



Practice, Practice, Practice is the keys to success


To properly enhance your musical composition abilities, you must practise creating a range of diverse musical compositions while learning music. In time, as you develop your own distinct musical voice and get more acquainted with the tools at hand, your sense of creation will become more intuitive, and you will be able to take constructive criticism from other composers. This diversity should be your approach as you continue to music learning online.



How to Get Started with Music Composition


Before diving into this step-by-step approach, it's critical to brush up on your current music theory knowledge—or, if you're beginning from scratch, to spend a few months getting to know the ins and outs of the subject matter, as you continue to learn music.


Step 1: Try it


The general opinion among music composers was that the first phases of music creation are characterised by improvisational elements. They all said that their favourite works came up as a result of unstructured sessions at the piano, during which they merely played about for a few minutes each.


It's possible that you'll be able to sit down at the piano and just begin playing. In some cases, you'll even walk away with a theme or melody that you know will serve as the foundation for your next piece of original music creation. However, when it comes to writing an essay, improvising on the piano may be as frustrating as gazing at a blank page. With no plan in mind, you may spend hours staring blankly at the ivory keys, certain that you'll never come up with anything worthwhile to say.


When you're experiencing severe writer's block, here are a few things you may do to help yourself.


• Put on some of your favourite music and attempt to follow along with it. See if you can figure out what the song's melody is and how to play it. Once you've done that, you may give the pieces your own personal touch.


• Participate in ensembles with other musicians. This series of jam sessions is certain to re-ignite your creative muscles in new and exciting ways, whether you're attempting to learn how to create classical music or just want to have fun.


• Put in some practise time with your scales that you used as your started to learn music. Scales in the major and minor keys are easy to learn, but how often do you get to play major pentatonic scales? Alternatively, how about hemitonic pentatonic 3 scales? When you're looking for inspiration, take some time to practise on your piano by playing through some of the more uncommon scales.


Step 2. Identify Your Theme or Motive


Anyone who has ever desired to learn how to write piano music will almost always begin by studying themes and musical forms. As soon as you've had some time to improvise and experiment with various ideas, you should concentrate your efforts on your chosen theme. What kind of tune do you want to serve as the foundation for the whole piece? It will take some time to figure out what theme to use (and probably some more improvisation). However, after you've mastered it, you'll have a great deal of fun arranging other parts and orchestrations around that theme.


Step 3: Put Your Piece Together


Speaking about structuring distinct parts and orchestrations around your melody, the next step is to actually do it.


Putting together a classical piece of music is a whole other beast to deal with. Traditional music composers are tasked with composing a composition that will be performed by hundreds of musicians in certain situations, while most songs contain few musical sections.


Experts in the field of music composition spend years deliberating about these issues. It's possible for you to do so as well. However, keep in mind that perfection is the enemy of good when you're just starting started. Consider establishing a time limit for yourself, and after you reach that limit, go to the next stage in the process.


Step 4: Make a note of it


Make a list of your themes and arrangements on a piece of paper.


This is where your understanding of music theory will be put to the test the most. As a musician, not only should you be able to read music but you should also be able to write down musical notation.


Step 5: Disseminate It to a Wide Audience


Even if you believe that your music isn't quite ready for public consumption, I have some good and bad news for you: Composers never believe that their work is quite ready for public consumption.


Step 6: Re-evaluate and re-create


Taking the comments, you've gotten from your peers and putting them into action is something we strongly suggest. The process of composing a piece of music is a continuous one. While many composers finally declare a music "complete," many others continue to work on it for years before calling it "finished." Undeniably, even if a piece of music wins innumerable plaudits from industry professionals, it is difficult for an artist to just walk away and go on to another project.


The majority of the processes we've covered in this will very certainly be repeated hundreds of times on a single piece of music. That's perfectly OK! Enjoy the process as you continue to learn music.


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