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Composition Lessons


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I am starting lessons with Patrick C here on the Education Forums. Before we start on the composition lessons, I want to understand his background as a teacher; thus, Patrick could you please answer the following questions to your best of experience and knowledge:

  1. What musical instruments have you playing; how long have you playing them.
  2. What is education or training in music; what is your strengths and weakness
  3. How long have you been composing as a composer?
  4. Your style as a composer; what are taste and preferences as a composer?
  5. and other important information that may help as a teacher.

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  1. I have played Guitar for 7 years, Piano(basic) and Drum Set for about 5 years, Saxophone for 4 years, and now Trumpet is my main instrument for 2 years. I have played other assorted instruments a little.
  2. I have 7 years of guitar lessons, 5 years of band, no formal theory, 3 years of personal internet theory. Strengths would be voicing and chords and harmonies I guess. Weaknesses would be ranges, keeping an idea flowing, and building upon a melody.
  3. I have been arranging and composing for 3-4 years.
  4. I like driving parts and thick harmonies. Some composers I really enjoy works from are Steve Bryant, John Mackey, Gustav Mahler, Samuel Hazo, Hans Zimmer. I also enjoy the musicalities that Deadmau5 and Daft Punk incorperate into their on respective generes.
  5. I am using Finale PrintMusic 2011. I have done 1 major arrangement of John Mackey's Aurora Awakes and I did 1 arrangement of Danny Boy for a Pit Orchestra performace for our school's drama department.

Thanks for taking me on as a student.

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Thank you for answering those simple, but yet basic questions. They provide me a framework, per say, of what the student's background is. And from you answers I can create the following goals:

  1. A progressive instructions on creating and devolving themes
  2. with integrating of theoretical harmonics
  3. Composition in a variety of different forms
  4. and while maintaining proper counterpoint methods.

A note about Homework: Home work will be assigned at the end of every lesson. I expect that is to be completed on time unless you contact me for more. You can turn it early. :)

Check this over and we will go from here.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

But what is form? An excellent question to always ask oneself when one approachs the topic of composition, and beging to study it. For it has several meaning when one looks at the term "form". Here in music form can be perspsribed to either small componments of musical thoughts, such as the motive through the period, or the larger constructions, such as binary form or ternary or rounded binary form. But here we mean a spefic size of unity that is composed. It is even more emphasized in this sense when the term sonata form is used.

In an atheastic sense, from relates to music by give it a sense of ogranization, making it a living specifmen(per say). Without this, music would be just a ramble of sounds that are randomly played. Who wants to hear that? Hence there has to be two imperative concepts that are linked to music: logic and coherence. Futhermore, there also has to be a balance between varatiey and repetion. (i know you probably already know some of this, but it is good to review what you might know already). And since art is not easy and has a starting place, what a better starting place then the building blocks: the phrase, the motive and the setence. Along with what i already have promised: harmony is important, thus that will be interveawed into these lessons.

There is no homework. This was to introduce to composition! Next lesson: On the phrase....

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