This is a list of great composing resources I have found, that have helped me with my composing.Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. These are all things that I have experience with that I am recommending because they are helpful, not because of the commissions that I may earn from you using these products. Please do not spend money unless you feel it’s for something you really need and will help you reach your goals.
The World of Composing
- The Composer’s Site This site lists out most of the composer competitions that are coming up. A great opportunity for anyone.
- American Composer’s Forum
- New Music Box Dedicated to new american music.
- www.leonwillett.com – This is a really good blog by a film and game composer named Leon Willett. He has some great advice and great examples.
- The Composer Next Door – Just a great place to find out about other composers.
- My Music Masterclass – This page has free master classes in composition by John Corigliano, as well as other topics.
- The Complete Guide to Film Scoring – This is a great book, that covers the entire world of film scoring in a easily digestible way.
- On The Track – This one is next on my list of film scoring books to read. It is very in depth, and has a foreward by John Williams as well as blurbs by many famous composers touting it’s benefits.
- www.filmandgamecomposers.com – This is a great site featuring many interviews with current film composers.
- The Emerging Film Composer – This is more about the people side of the business of film composing.
- Scoring Sessions – Awesome scoring sessions videos.
- Scarecrow Film Score Guides – These are in depth analysis of several very famous scores, including Batman by Danny Elfman, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly by Ennio Morricone, and The Godfather by Nino Rota.
- Composing Music for Film – Jack Smalley is a professor at the USC Film Scoring Program. The books looks really great.
- Young Composers A good place to talk about composing.
- Composers’ Forum There are a lot of awesome composers here.
Sample Libraries and Technology
- try-sound.com – You can try out different libraries online with your own music. Pretty sweet.
- Symphobia – Awesome sounding orchestral library here.
- East West/Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra – another awesome sounding orchestral library.
- V.I. Control Forum – this is the place to go to learn about using your virtual instrument libraries.
- KVR Audio – a great place to learn about what is out there technology wise.
- Gear Slutz – another great place.
- Tweakheadz – yet another great place. This one has really good tutorials.
- musescore.org – This is the best freeware notation program that I have found.
- musescore.com – You can post what you write on musescore to this website. Great tool for sharing your work.
- Understanding the Fundamentals of Music by Professor Robert Greenberg – This is a great course on basic music theory.
- Fundamentals of Musical Composition – My favorite book about composing.
- Classical Form – By William Caplin, This is my new favorite book about composing, although it is a pretty deep theory book, it has, by far, the best explanation of classical form that I have seen.
- Harmony and Voice Leading – If you are going to get one book on harmony and voice leading, this is the one. I used it in college. If you have the drive to make it through (it can be a little dry), you will learn a ton.
- Music in the Galant Style – Very interesting about the way Galant composer (ie Baroque) actually composed.
- Music Theory Online
- Ricci Adam’s musictheory.net Good overview of basic music theory.
- Teoria A very good overview of music theory.
- One Minute Music Lesson Quick theory lessons when you’re short on time.
- Bounce Metronome – An awesome visual representation of different time signatures.
- Instrument Studies for Eyes and Ears – This is a really cool website where a guy has recorded real players using different techniques on their instruments.
- Fiddlerman – Excellent resource for learning about how violins play
- Vince Corozine Music – This link was shared by another artofcomposing.com reader, Allen. Vince has put together a bunch of info on arranging and composing. Worth taking a look at. He even has a book published with Mel Bay on arranging.
- Modern Cello Techniques – a site that goes over some different aspects of more modern ways of playing the cello. Pretty cool stuff.
- Orchestration Online – Great videos by a professional orchestrator.
- DeBreved – This is a site by Tim Davies, that covers his real experiences as an orchestrator in Hollywood for many big movies.
- Midi Orchestration – This is the bible for creating realistic midi sequences on your computer.
- The Study of Orchestration – The most comprehensive orchestration manual out there.
- How to Write For Percussion – This is for the rest of us that don’t play percussion. I hear it really sucks to count 63 bars, and then play one note. Let’s give our percussion friends a little more love in out scores.
Sheet Music, Scores for Study and Free Music
- The International Music Score Library Project This is probably the best site on the web for composers, that is, after my site.
- The Juilliard Manuscript Collection This site is awesome. It has a bunch of original manuscripts from great composers. It’s like looking directly into their creative process.
- Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Some great free public domain music to be listened too.