Music Composition for Beginners


Introduction

Traditionally, music has been composed by musicians that have spent their entire lives devoted to the study of music. Due to the recent advancement of computers, however, the world of music composition is rapidly changing. In the past, composers had to spend tedious hours writing down the instrumentation of a piece of music, hire musicians to test their pieces, and if there were problems, re-write all the scores and hire musicians once again to test the song. Now that computers have entered the scene, however, a composer can write the music on the computer, listen to the music on the computer, and never have to spend a great deal of money on hiring musicians just to hear their music.

Software designers, realizing the capabilities of computers, have designed software and systems that are specifically used in the composition of music. These software packages for music composition are not only being used in the professional field of music, but are beginning to become more popular for private, and educational use. For more information about how computers are used in the classroom, see Music Composition and Your Computer

If you do not have a great deal of knowledge about how music is composed, the internet can be a valuable resource. There are several helpful locations that can tutor a first time composer through software packages. An example of one such tutorial is offered in the on-line magazine, STFORMAT, in a column called Mix it Up. This article deals with how a MIDI system can be set up on your ST system. It shows you how to record music, how to input drum patterns and other sounds, and it even offers some free samples of some pre-recorded music to get the beginner on the right track.

The World Wide Web offers free samples of music composed by professionals and amateurs, so that the home user may buy the music samples and use them at home. One site where you can listen to music and download patterns for free is Midi Hits Catalogue has samples of music of everything from popular music like Bob Dylan, The Beachboys, and INXS, to wedding music, Latin Standards, and classical music. Many beginner composers use these samples to practice mixing the sounds. The home composer needs to know only a very little about music composition to compose music on their home computers due to the information on the internet. For many, the hardest part about music composition is determining what sounds the composers likes best, and how to get them.

It is through computers that music composition can be done by many more people. Computer magazines such as STFORMAT includes a regular column that gives hints and tips on how to use you computer software effectively to write music. An example in STFORMAT goes through a step by step tutorial of how to compose music on the Sequencer One system that has been included with the magazine. For information about this issue and back issues, see STFORMAT Issue 33, April 1992, or connect to Future Music for information about on-line magazines and back issues of on-line magazines.

Conclusion The computer has facilitated the composition of music, making it more efficient and less expensive. The composer, via the internet, has better access to information about composing good quality music. There are many students and home composers using such sources as the internet and computer magazines to produce good music. The new music-composing technology is one that encourages people that previously had an interest in composing music, but not the capabilities. As with many other aspects of our development as a society, computers often make seemingly impossible challenges possible.

What Does MIDI Do?

  • MIDI Instruments and Accessories for Sale
  • Midi Hits (tm) Composition Modelling
  • Composition and New Media Program

    Sources


    x Music Title Page x Humanities Computing Center x Faculty of Humanities
    Page created byL. Hamilton