Modern Music Composition Essay, Research Paper
Modern Music Composition
Composition has been an ever-changing entity in our society. Music
composition is also a very alternating subject of study. You have to keep up to
date when you wish to compose a piece of music. This is strictly due to the
progression of music in this day in age. If you fail to study, the music you
are writing may, very well, upset the music community with old or potentially
outdated material. The only way to stay up to date with composition is to
listen to a lot of classical music, which seems to be, without a doubt, the best
music to listen to. If you have not done your research on such music, you may
find yourself running out of ideas for further compositions. Music composition
is the subject of this essay.
Music, through the years, has changed in many ways. The musical “attitude” is
determined through the overall feelings of the composer at the time, at which he
or she wrote it. The “attitude” sets the overall feeling of the piece of music.
If you fail to pass the feelings that you felt while you wrote the piece of
music, you fail in the overall goal of the piece of music. Music composition is
a very modern thing these days. It has grown because of the advanced
availability of better technology. Technology, which is changing every day, has
opened up new and more innovative doors. Included with the advanced
technology that has brought music to life, there has also been a steady increase
of musicians. This is in direct proportion with the growing number of music
Music, by means of instruments, has been played for thousands of years. Music
composition involves three major key-points. These key-points are direction,
general-knowledge, and general-insight. Through the course of this essay, you
will learn what each of these three points is and the prevalent pre-requisitions
required of persons to have these three abilities.
Direction, being the first of the three points, gives you the sense of the
music. Without direction, you would not have the urge to write the piece of
music. Direction is what composers use to give the general emotion that is
supposed to be perceived by the ending audience. The direction requires only
one thing. That is emotion. Emotion is what a piece of music is made for.
Without emotion, the piece would probably be so uninteresting that the audience
would not want to listen to it. The emotion is very hard to pass on to the
audience, strictly because it is what you feel. Just as it is hard to make
someone feel a certain feeling, it is as equally hard to make them feel a
certain emotion. The direction, as you can see, is a very important part to
composing a piece of music.
General-knowledge, being the second of the three key-points, involves just
that, knowledge. You must have at least a broad knowledge of music before you
can even begin to think about understanding a piece of music. This knowledge
could come from a number of things including singing in the chorus, playing in
the band, or just fiddling around at the piano. This is probably the area where
composers have the most control. The composer makes the decision to learn or
practice the music to the level at which he/she would like to appreciate it.
Humans, most of the time, do not have complete control over their emotions, nor
do they have complete control over their wisdom, but you have, almost, complete
control over the level at which you would like to learn music. Understanding
music, therefore, does indeed require a general-knowledge in the field of music.
Composing music, however, requires just a little more knowledge than that would
be required of a person who, for example, would like to learn how to play a
musical instrument. Composing requires the knowledge of many musical terms and
notations. These terms include: dynamics, harmonics, note-values and rendition.
This means, for example, if you would like to write even a small piece of music,
you would almost certainly have to include all the notation and terms you would
for a much larger composition. Music composition can be compared to a pyramid.
If you do not have the building-block support on the bottom of the pyramid, the
pyramid will collapse. The same applies for music. If you do not have the
basics on the bottom, you will not be able to move onto the next level without
the whole thing collapsing. So, you can see that the basics are what make the
whole thing work.
The third key-point is general-insight. The general-insight is the intuition
that is put into a piece of music. The general-insight can be defined as the
wisdom that you put into the making of piece of music. Just as you cannot throw
together a three-course meal, you cannot just throw together a composition. The
time you put into a piece of music must be productive and well thought through.
The difference between a well-thought piece and one that has not been thought
through is the difference between living rich and living poor, respectively.
A perfect combination of all the proceeding fundamentals will give you a
perfect piece of music. The degree at which you actually make the music is
completely up to you. After coming up with the idea of the music and after you
have learned all the required information there are a couple more things you may
have to be concerned about. You have to, for one, select the level, or degree
at which you will compose the music. There are several different degrees at
which you can make the music. You can make it very easy so that anyone could
play or you could make it very complex so that only a select few would be able
to comprehend it. It is very important to compose at the level at which you
want the player(s) to perform at. If you misjudge the ability level of a
certain group you could have just composed a piece of music that will probably
not be played as often as it would be if that particular group had a composition
of its own caliber. So, as you can see, it is also very important to take into
consideration the ability, or level at which the group you are composing.
Through the years, many composes have accomplished all of the proceeding
abilities. These composers, for the most part, did not learn music so quickly.
It takes time, just as everything else does. In the end, they, for the most
part, became very famous. Even the most basic composition, if produced
correctly, can bring great satisfaction. Not to mention, it can bring great
wealth. If a composer chooses the wrong level at which he or she would like to
compose the piece of music, he or she could be making a total-career choice.
For, whenever he or she makes a piece music, they are deciding to let the world
see his or her composing stature. So, as you can see, it is very important to
compose on the level at which you would like the piece to be performed.
In conclusion, composing music is not for everyone but is not restricted to an
elite few. It is solely up to a person at which level he or she would like to
perform and get the necessary information required for composition. The
technique is not of the essence. It is the want that matters. It is not the
need that matters as much. You must have the potential to continue to your goal.
If you do not have the drive to complete the piece of music, it is better that
you don’t even begin writing a piece of music. Anybody can compose a piece of
music, but only the most strong-willed can complete a full musical composition.
Swope, Carole M. Activities in Musical Composition. Portland : J. Weston Walch,
Schoenberg, Arnold and Gerald Strange. Fundamentals of Musical Composition. New
York : St. Martin’s Press, 1967.
Bernstein, Martin. An Introduction to Music. Prentice Hall, 1951.
Beginning Music I Reading and Playing Melody. Morristown : Silver Burdett, 1985
Hunter, Tammy. Personal Interview. 07 February, 1997.