There’s so much information, I don’t know where to start?
Learning to compose is a dream for many people. But I often find that many of the people that contact me about learning, don’t know where to start.
This may be you.
This doesn’t mean you don’t have a history of learning theory, or composing yourself. Maybe you can compose simple pop songs. Maybe you’ve tried to tackle one of the many dense books on harmony, but felt it was over your head.
Maybe you’ve even had some composition lessons, but were left feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of techniques that you have to master.
Ultimately, you are looking for clear direction. A place to start… and a place to end up, with clear milestones.
Over the next few weeks, we are going to cover much of what you need to know to get a solid foundation in your composing. Think of this as a foundational course.
I believe that every composer should have some compositional milestones along their journey to mastery, and so, we are going to look at these milestones, and what you need to know to compose them. Each milestone has certain skills that are necessary to reach it. Think of each milestone as a different peak within a mountain range. If you want to climb mount everest, you don’t start with Mount Everest. You start with the hill outside your house. If you can do that, then you keep working. The problem is, most people start with Mount Everest, and then get stuck at basecamp.
- The Bagatelles – Compose several short pieces in small ternary form. This is your Opus No. 1.
- The Sonatina – Compose a single movement work in Sonata Form.
- The Preludes, Inventions, and Fugues – The Compose a series of pieces in all keys, major and minor, with modulations, chromatic harmony, and modal borrowing.
- The Piano Sonata – Compose a complete piano sonata, with 3 or 4 movements.
- The Quartets and Quintets – Compose a string quartet, a wind quintet, and a brass quintet.
- The Tone Poem – Compose a single movement work for orchestra, such as a tone poem.
- The Symphony – Compose a symphony, or multi-movement orchestral suite.
We’ll be diving into what this path means, and what you should be learning along the path.
Just as apprentices in the middle ages would have to create a series of works, under the tutelage of a master, until they are ready to create a masterwork, you too must create a series of works, design to stress your skills, expand your creative palette, and ultimately guide you towards your ability to master composition.
The Path Begins
The path begins with the free beginning composer’s course. Maybe you’ve been through it in the past, or maybe you’re attempting to go through it right now. Regardless, over the next few days, I am going to walk you through the course, keeping you on the Path.
The important thing is to keep making forward progress, and hit the milestones. Your knowledge and technical abilities will improve day by day.
Be sure to add me to your contacts. That way, you don’t miss any emails.
You can add firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, I recommend listening to the first two episodes of my podcast. They cover the concepts of the language and process of composing, and I think you’ll find them eye opening.