How To Compose Piano Music


How Can I Make My Own Electronic Music

Dancing Line – The Piano // Custom Arrangement (Synthesia Tutorial + MIDI + PDF)

Step 1: Ask Yourself What kind of electronic music do I want to make? Step 2: Finding the Right Equipment and Software. Step 3: Sound Design. Step 4: Music Theory. Step 5: Combining Real Instruments or Vocals. Step 6: Mixing Your Electronic Music. Conclusion: How to Make Electronic Music. Next Steps.

How To Compose Music: A Step

Learn how to compose music in this tutorial and guide for beginners.

In 1924, a friend of George Gershwin advertised that his new concerto would be like nothing anyone had ever heard and would ultimately revolutionize classical music. The problem? The concerto hadnt been written yetand Gershwin initially refused to write one. A few weeks later, New Yorkers were introduced to Rhapsody in Blue.

Gershwin is a rare example of a music composer who can pull a concerto out of thin air and blow people away with its innovation. And while you might have that potential buried deep inside of you, there are probably a few things about composing a song that you should know before you set a goal to become the next Gershwin .

In this guide, well walk you through the basics of how to compose music like Rhapsody in Blueor whatever it is that you want to compose.

How To Compose Music For Beginners

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Tom Stein is a Senior Professor at Berklee College of Music in Boston. He is a visionary musical entrepreneur, music producer, artist development consultant, arranger, bandleader and performer. Tom is the author of The Business of Music Management: How To Survive and Thrive in Todays Music Industry, and a member of the US State Department’s Fulbright Specialist Roster for global entertainment and music industry.

  • Frequently Asked Questions About Composing Music
  • Musicianship Skills for Writers
  • Inner Hearing and Ear Training
  • Harmonic Awareness and Rhythmic Grooves
  • Writing Melodies, Chord Scales
  • Musical Form and Chord Progressions
  • Traditional Methods
  • Is composing music a talent?
  • How can you learn to write the music you love, and how do you create music that others will want to hear?

    This article explores methods and techniques successful modern Composers and Songwriters use to bring music into the world. Beyond playing an instrument well, Composers need specialized techniques for writing, production, and music business so they can hear their music played and get their music out to their fans.

    Some areas we will explore:

    • Basic musicianship skills
    • Jazz and pop music styles
    • Technology tools for Writers
    • Getting your music produced

    Composing is a process it can be learned and taught, and most musicians take courses and lessons to study and prepare to write original music and compositions.

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    Composing For The Piano

    Composition and songwriting are arts, not sciences. This means that theres no one magic formula that can be put into words there are no right and wrong ways to go about it. The bottom line is to create music in a way that suits you.

    Still, its helpful to bear a few things in mind tips and tricks that can streamline the process and help you to create your piece of functioning piano music.

    Writing A Melody Over A Chord Progression

    How to Compose Music for Piano

    Most contemporary popular music is written in this way.

    1. Work out the primary chords of the key you are writing in . For example, if you are writing in C major the primary chords are C F and G. If you are writing in A minor the primary chords are A minor, D minor and E. 2. Choose a chord progression. A chord progression is simply the order in which you choose to change chords. I suggest that you start by writing a chord progression over 4 or 8 bars. Make sure you start and end on chord I. Other than that, simply try experimenting to work out which sounds best where. 3. Play your chord progression on the piano using your left hand. Once you can play the chord progression you are ready to improvise a melody over the top. 4. Improvise a melody Play the 3 notes of each chord one after another in the right hand at the same time as you are playing the chord in the left hand. In other words, if you are playing a C major broken chord you would play C E G. Try mixing up the order you play them in . Maybe play 2 of one of the notes , etc.. Also, try varying the rhythm of the notes you are playing. You will soon find that melodic ideas come and work with the chord progression you have chosen.

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    You Already Have Listening Experience And Background Knowledge

    We all come to music with a lifetime of listening experiences. I grew up playing trumpet in wind bands and jazz bands.

    Others may have had no experience playing at all.

    We also learn little tidbits about music along the way. Confusing quotes like Music is the space between the notes, which happens to be simultaneously attributed to Miles Davis, Claude Debussy, and Mozart.

    This is your background knowledge everything youve learned about music until this very moment.

    You then focus on one specific composition skill at a time. This could be something as small as writing a note correctly by hand or as big as a symphony.

    Starting with small skills makes the whole process flow better.

    Gabriel Lander Dance Of Dark Queen

    Gabriels description: I couldnt come up with anything for a while, so I started tp mess around and improvise . I liked the taste of this bit and decided to make it whole but again no time for that. Season is here so it stays with errors for now. Also finished ds3 with platinum trophy so I am making videos of my characters that led me to the finest achievement after 2 years of gameplay.

    This is named dance of the death queen so I have tried to make video out of lethal spins and weapon strikes. I will make different music for all my characters as they are all different built and use that on my portfolio, and hey I am not really good with piano pieces, but I believe it fits the topic.

    Additionally, when I started this piece I had a ship in mind that floats on waves getting hammered and sinks in the end where crew drowns and finds peace. That was the original picture anyway.

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    How Do You Write Your Own Piano Music

    Writing Piano Music: Step by Step Guide Choose a melody and harmony. Choose a key and a tempo. Learn the I-IV-V-vi chords, if you havent yet. Play the chords in different orders. Write down your progression and keep playing. Jot down everything. Think of your songs lyrics as a box within a box, within a box.

    Bring Your Piece Together

    Friends Intro Theme [Piano Tutorial] (Synthesia) // Fontenele NXT

    It wont do you any good to kick back simply because youve written a functioning chord scheme or a memorable tune. Composing a piece of music is just that its about the work as a whole and not its constituent parts.

    So youll need to find ways to join your ideas together and work them into a larger structure that has a sense of musical purpose. Each section, each passage has to seem like it justifies the direction it takes and the material it comprises.

    Again, theres no science to this – composing isnt a box-ticking exercise. But there are some things that you can try deliberately.

    Contrast can help to develop your work. Try following a loud and busy section with a more laid-back one. Utilising dynamics can really bring a piece to life even digital playback will pay attention to this.

    Repetition or the recurrence of material can also instil a sense of structure, or perhaps your piece will be marked by a gradual thickening of texture or intensity. A composition can assume all kinds of attributes, and can even begin to almost compose itself as some kind of characteristic naturally emerges.

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    Choose A Key And A Tempo

    Each key and each tempo can affect listeners differently and are essential elements in what kind of atmosphere or mood that your song possesses.

    Before you start playing around with keys and tempos, take the time to warm up. Here are some simple exercises you can do:

    Play scales and chords in the keys that youre comfortable with, then choose a key that feels like it fits the theme of what youre conveying. Pick a tempo that matches your general song idea. Does what youre saying call for high-energy, high-tempo music in the key of E , or does it call for a serene, slow ballad sound in the calm key of C?

    Once I Have Written It Down Should I Play My Piece For Others


    NS: Its always a good idea to play it to someone else, or better still, ask a pianist friend to play it to you without having heard you play it first. That can be really revealing as you may find that their interpretation is quite different from what you expected! Its quite likely that you will want to adjust certain elements to ensure that your musical intentions are as clear as possible.

    PW: Playing your finished work to an audience will depend on how confident you are feeling about it. Try making your own recording of it and then decide if this is a good idea. Once you have completed it, try and feel pleased with yourself that you have managed to put this work together. Its an amazing achievement for anyone.

    ©Kawai Enter our 2023 Pianist Composing Competition here

    JK: Edit and improve but know when to stop. Another piece of advice is to consider the form first: If a piece has form, in whatever style, but particularly with contemporary, with a clear form it will work . In short, think about the style first. Rhythmic or melodic, contemporary or traditional? The more modern it is, the more vital that the rhythms are correct .

    PW: The most important bit of advice is to keep your piece as simple as possible. Good luck with your writing, and most of all, enjoy the experience and feel proud of your work.

    Header image courtesy of Marc Longwood.

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    Get Inspired By The Left

    First play Heart and Souls alternative chord progression:


    • Heart and Soul is in C Major
    • the left hand plays single notes
    • the right hand plays broken chords with a swing
    • one hand plays at a time, back and forth

    You can use this texture or pattern to make up your own piece.

    With the simple idea that I wanted to imitate Heart and Souls texture, I came up with this:

    Notice that its just like Heart and Soul because:

    • its in C Major
    • the left hand plays single notes
    • the right hand plays chords in closed position
    • the hands play back and forth, left then right
    • it uses the Heart and Soul chord progression

    Notice how the piece is different:

    • The chords are solid and broken
    • Though I use I / vi / ii / V its jazzed up with seven chords
    • I created an ABA form, with a different middle section

    Welcome to the wonderful world of composition! This post focuses on the inspiration and creation of ideas. You have the power to take what you know about playing the piano and turn it into your own original music!

    Do you like this post and want more? In the side menu click follow to get notification of my posts each week in your inbox.

    I appreciate shares, comments and likes. Happy teaching!

    Dont Bother With Judgment

    How to write a piano melody

    Do not overthink it when learning how to compose piano music. Do not waste any time judging what you compose. Do not worry if you do not know how to read piano sheet music very well. If you approach your first compositions like doodles on the margins on a piece of notebook paper or a scribble on the back of a napkin, you will be on the right track.

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    Endless Possibilities Make Starting Easy And Finishing Hard

    Endless possibilities make expressing your emotions in an original way challenging. Combine this with a small dose of perfectionism, and youre stuck worrying about following rules, never finishing pieces.

    There are so many great composers creating unique and interesting things. This in itself can be overwhelming.

    This amount of freedom also makes it difficult to judge your own work and progress.

    Once again, there are specific ways to address this so that you finish pieces. Namely very specific restrictions or boundaries that you choose not to cross. More on these later.

    A Composition Skill Should Be A Repeatable Process

    Harmony, melody, form these are not skills. They are categories.

    A composition skill should be repeatable, and have a clear goal.

    So here is a goal for you. Compose a one note piece of music, right now.

    Lets accomplish this very basic composition skill together, and through this, I think I can show you how youll approach learning composition in general.

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    Why Do You Want To Compose Music

    This may seem like a funny place to start when thinking about how to compose music isnt this question a bit vague? Surely it would be better to dive straight into some composition techniques so we can get started right away. Do I really need to know why I am composing music?

    Well, youre right in that you dont need to know why you are composing, but it does help if you have some idea of the answers to the following questions:

      What inspires you to want to compose? Do you love performing or are you happy for others to perform your compositions? Do you want to record your compositions or are you content simply writing music irrespective of whether anyone will ever hear it? Where do you want to go with your composing? Is this a hobby or a career ambition?

    Your answers to the above questions will help give some direction to your compositional journey. For example, if you find the idea of writing music for moving images really inspiring then you may want to consider focusing your attention on how to compose music for TV/film clips or adverts to develop this skill. Alternatively, if you love performing you may want to start composing music for your instrument which you could perform at local events and venues. Maybe you love music technology and want to record your work or maybe you just want to write whatever comes into your head?

    Songs Have Melodies And Harmony

    Animal Crossing: New Horizons Medley [Piano Tutorial] (Synthesia) // Aqare

    A Melody is easy to understand. It’s what you hum to yourself usually with one of your favorite songs on the radio. It’s the moving line and if there is a singer, you’ll hear the lyrics most often, in the Melody line. Melodies are always read from left to right just like reading a book. Melodies can go from note to note, or they can skip notes.

    Harmonies are the rest of the music that you hear supporting the Melody line. Harmonies are made up of more than one note always. It can be 2 notes even, and still be considered harmony. Harmonies are read up and down not from the left to the right as in Melody. Harmonies are indicated by Chords and a series of chords together is called a Chord Progression.

    In order to know what notes to put into a piece, we need to know what Key it is going to be in. Let’s look at what the Key Signature is and what information it gives you.

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    Get Inspired By Broken Chords

    First, play the chord progression of Heart and Souls lower duet part:


    • Heart and Soul is in C Major
    • the left hand plays single notes
    • the right hand plays broken chords
    • one hand plays at a time, back and forth

    You can use this texture or pattern to make up your own piece.

    With the simple instructions, Play around with Heart and Souls patterns on the piano and see if you can come up with your own music, Bella, 11 , came up with this:

    Notice that A Spring Day is just like Heart and Soul because:

    • the left hand begins by playing single notes
    • the right hand plays broken chords

    Notice how A Spring Day is different:

    • Bellas piece is in F Major
    • Bellas chord progression goes in the opposite direction
    • Bellas hands play together and shes created a new rhythm
    • Bellas tune uses non-chord tones

    Whats the difference between improvising and composing? You seem to play around on the piano for both. This is true! But with improvising, you usually play it once without ever playing it the exact same way again. With composing, you try to settle on one way to play it and write it down, too!

    How To Write Your Own Music: A Beginners Guide To Piano Composition

    After hearing a new piece of music, listeners often ask, Howd you come up with that?

    However, this question often implies, Why did you write that?

    The why is not answered easily. Creativity comes from a mysterious place. Neuroscientists have shown that creative thinkers tend to be right-brained processors of information. However, the impetus to compose includes a myriad of both internal and external factors, and often, these factors are elusive and hard to define. Playwright Arthur Miller mused, The very impulse to write springs from an inner chaos crying for order for meaning. This may be true for composers and songwriters too.

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