Make March Music Composition month!!!
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February 28, 2013 at 9:25 pm #21338
My name is J.Peter Hansen and I am honored to be the Music Composition mentor for the month of March!
Let’s kick it off by planting the seed of thought that music composition can be included in all music classroom environments.
You will have more success if you get your students actively involved in not only the composing process,but also in the performance/recording of the new piece. It is essential to have an instant method of ‘hearing’ back the composition. Even I-phone apps work great (Multi-track, etc.) for this job.
Can we throw around some simple ways to get groups of students involved in the composition process?
I think it’s good for the composer to teach because you always have new students and you have to begin at the beginning and make things clear.
John CoriglianoMarch 6, 2013 at 8:54 pm #21527
“I pay no attention whatever to anybody’s praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings.” – Wolfgang Amadeus MozartMarch 7, 2013 at 8:53 pm #21684
Attention all you composers!!! Today is Johann Sebastien Bach’s birthday!!!
Use examples of his music to teach composition today!!!
How about the old Toccata and Fugue in Dm for a few ideas?
There’s nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
— Johann Sebastian BachMarch 8, 2013 at 9:59 pm #21722
“I may not be a first-rate composer, but I am a first-class second-rate composer.”
– Richard Strauss quoteMarch 9, 2013 at 11:46 am #21725
Thoughts on Bach’s direction in HARMONY when composing:
For Bach, melody, harmony, and counterpoint were so intricately intertwined that it is difficult to tell where one leaves off and the other begins (if there is any doubt, though, the harmony is explicitly spelled out in the continuo part, which forms the harmonic foundation for most of his works). For the early contrapuntalists such as Palestrina, harmony was simply a by-product of counterpoint. Early German composers such as Schutz clearly did not consider harmonic progression to be a factor in their compositions, except at the beginning and end of phrases. Fux, who laid the foundation for eighteenth-century counterpoint and whose teachings Bach studied, was of the same mind. For Bach, however, harmony was an important consideration in its own right. While he did not always strictly follow a “flow chart” of harmonic progression, he had a gift for creating a stream of chords that led pleasingly from one to another, with tension being created and released progressively until the inevitable goal is reached. In compositions that employed a basso ostinato or repeating theme, such as the Crucifixus from the B minor Mass and the Passacaglia in C minor, he seemed to take delight in experimenting with all the harmonic possibilities a single melody could offer. This is especially evident in the famous “Passion” chorale used prominently in the St. Matthew Passion. The nature of this chorale melody is such that it can be set either in a major or minor key (more accurately, a major key or Phrygian mode). The range of harmonizations Bach was able to create from this single melody is truly astounding, especially when one goes beyond the St. Matthew Passion and looks at its treatment in the Christmas Oratorio.March 9, 2013 at 3:18 pm #21727
Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend.
— Ludwig van Beethoven, quoted by Bettina von Arnin, letter to Goethe, 1810March 10, 2013 at 12:08 pm #21729
Thanks for the great composition quotes. Here is one of my favorites, from Stefan Wolpe:
“A main concern of mine is the direction and focalisation of shapes in ways where I can (if I can) combine enormously bound and pushed forces of definite focal directions within a scheme of thoughts of multifocal-shooting-in-multiple-opposite directions (like order of stars, or the stream of motion in which fishes swim and act). This work deals as a whole with the phenomena (and intriguing intricacies) of simultaneous modes of action, structures and organisms.”
As in the case of author Joseph Conrad, sometimes speaking English as a second (or third) language can add to one’s eloquence.March 10, 2013 at 7:06 pm #21730
“Stravinsky said that composition is selective improvisation, meaning that the same kernel of an idea that you have up on the stand as a jazz musician is the same one you write down as a composer.”March 10, 2013 at 8:01 pm #21731
Dr.D: that clears it up… i will head North in my writing…March 11, 2013 at 9:45 pm #21743
I like to use the audience as my color palette, my instrument.
– Bobby McFerrinMarch 13, 2013 at 8:48 pm #21798
“A composer is a guy who goes around forcing his will on unsuspecting air molecules, often with the assistance of unsuspecting musicians”
– Frank ZappaMarch 16, 2013 at 11:03 am #21837
“The twelve notes in each octave and the varieties of rhythm offer me opportunities that all of human genius will never exhaust.” Igor StravinskyMarch 22, 2013 at 10:07 pm #22250
I always tell my serious comp students that they should write with the three P’s : Pencil, Piano, and Paper. Writing on the computer is fun, but it ends up becoming a crutch. It is too easy to copy/paste when you can’t come up with ideas than to actually have to sit there and write it all out from scratch.March 23, 2013 at 11:44 am #22253
Include Music Composition in every phase of Public School music education – even performing groups. There are many ways to accomplish ‘Group Compositions’ – and then have the luxury of having the ensemble right there ready to perform it!
Compose now before they CUT YOUR MUSIC PROGRAM out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!March 25, 2013 at 4:38 pm #22269
How about composing THEME songs/jingles for school clubs and activities, sports games etc.?
The THEME songs can be used during the morning / afternoon announcements, or at the events themselves…
Compose the theme during ANY type of music class!
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