Learning to Compose Music By Composing a Symphony
The symphony gives you all of the tools that you will need in order to learn how to compose music. It requires a knowledge of form, harmony, melody, rhythm, variation, theme, orchestration and instrumentation.
A Framework For Learning How to Compose Music
The easiest way to learn something new is to have a framework in which to put it. Music is no different, and the Symphony gives us this framework. All of the greats composed Symphonies, and used it as a tool to better their own composing.
Is a Symphony Too Advanced For Me?
The answer to this question may be yes and no at the same time. It all depends on how you approach it. If you approach it methodically step by step you will be fine, and you can learn a great deal as you go along. Sometimes it is better to bite off more than you can chew, as it makes you grow as a person.
The first step in writing a symphony is to get the overall idea of how you want to write it. What is your motivation? Where is the Symphony coming from inside you.
You want to understand the overall structure of the Symphony and its movements. For instance, the first movement is usually in the Sonata-Allegro form. This requires you to understand that form, and the way it develops harmonically. But even further down the line, you have to understand how to make a musical sentence, phrase and motive. Structure and form are where the Symphony is truly made and becomes logical and coherent. You must never allow your experimentation to make the music illogical.
In order to write a symphony you have to study what makes a melody good, and in turn write a melody with many variations. You have to coordinate this with the harmony so that it sounds coherent, and understand how the melody fits in with the whole. A beautiful melody will take your symphony from mediocre to sublime.
Harmony and Rhythm
Learning to write a symphony will teach you the goal of form is to give you a vehicle for harmonic and rhythmic development. You don’t just figure out the harmony of a theme or musical sentence, but how will that harmony develop, veer off, and return to home. Rhythm is truly the heartbeat of humanity and will drive your symphony along, don’t neglect it.
Finally, learning to write a symphony will teach you about how the orchestra and different instruments come together to make certain effects and moods. It will teach you their limits as instruments and the players who use them. Learning orchestration in itself is a lifelong journey.
Step By Step Learning
The process of learning how to compose music can be fun and interesting if you take it step by step. The Symphony offers us this ability.