5 Best Books on Music Composition

You have a deep affection for music and want to become a music composer. That’s why you’re seeking one of the best books on music composition that can make the biggest impact on you. From all the viewpoints, it’s a good decision so far. You will have all the essential rules, guides, and strategies on music composition through useful books on music composition.

Best Books on Music Composition

Book Name & Author Image Rating Price
Musical Composition: Craft and Art by Alan Belkin 9.4 View on Amazon
Behind Bars: The Definitive Guide to Music Notation (Faber Edition) by Elaine Gould 9.4 View on Amazon
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Music Composition by Michael Miller 9.2 View on Amazon
Fundamentals of Musical Composition by Arnold Schoenberg 9.4 View on Amazon
Music Composition For Dummies by Scott Jarrett & Holly Day 9.5 View on Amazon

1. Musical Composition: Craft and Art

It’s an amazing book on music composition. The aim of this book is to introduce the principles and techniques of music to young musicians. Alan Belkin, the honorable composer of this book moved in a strategic approach to stimulus beginners to master music. He dug into the useful suggestions on varieties of musical styles. By reading this book, you could absorb the art of structuring music. The book will make you competent for finding your own voice rather than emulating other composers.

This essential introduction to the art and craft of musical composition is designed to familiarize beginning composers with principles and techniques applicable to a broad range of musical styles, from concert pieces to film scores and video game music. The first of its kind to utilize a style-neutral approach, in addition to presenting the commonly known classical forms, this book offers invaluable general guidance on developing and connecting musical ideas, building to a climax, and other fundamental formal principles. It is designed for both classroom use and independent study.

Inside the Book

  • The book will present you with the most applicable techniques and principles of musical composition.
  • It will allow you to write your own music and find your own creative voice within a short time.
  • This book will guide you on the right path to develop and connect your musical ideas.
  • You could build a stunning climax and find excellent rhythms in music by following this superb book.
  • It will familiarize you with a broad range of musical genres and make you capable to utilize a style-neutral approach.
  • The book will improve your musical sense by presenting the ideas of playing, punctuating, one-part forms, ternary forms, and so on.
  • You will have the concepts of exploring, progressing, returning, ending, refinements, and so on through this great book.

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2. Behind Bars: The Definitive Guide to Music Notation

Behind Bars is a first-rate musical composition book. It covers the process of building a strong musical foundation deeply. You could compose dignified and magnificent music without imitating other composers by dint of this great book. The book explains the methods of musical empowerment from the basics. It breaks down the complex principles in an easy-to-comprehend manner to encourage you. You will get an inclusive grounding in music notation principles through this fabulous book.

Behind Bars is the indispensable reference book for composers, arrangers, teachers, students of composition, editors, and music processors. In the most thorough and painstakingly researched book to be published since the 1980s, specialist music editor Elaine Gould provides a comprehensive grounding in notational principles.

Behind Bars covers everything from basic rules, conventions, and themes to complex instrumental techniques, empowering the reader to prepare music with total clarity and precision. With the advent of computer technology, it has never been more important for musicians to have ready access to principles of best practice in this dynamic field, and this book will support the endeavors of software users and devotees of hand-copying alike.

Inside the Book

  • The book breaks down all the essential rules and tactics for composing music and mastering musical skills.
  • It covers the complex ideas of music composition in an easy-to-follow manner to empower your understanding.
  • You could learn the process of writing music and finding exact melodies through this great book.
  • It provides a comprehensive guideline on a myriad of musical genres and playing several musical instruments.
  • It includes a broad range of musical exercises to reinforce your musical foundation to a great extent.
  • You will find the ideas of chords, scales, notes, trills, dynamics and articulation, percussion, keyboard, harp, and so on.
  • This book explains the method of idiomatic notation, layout and presentation, strings, vocal music, and so on with much clarity.

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3. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Music Composition

The songwriting process can seem intimidating at first, but Idiot’s Guides: Music Composition teaches musicians of all skill levels, step by step, how to write music and compose simple chord progressions and melodies. It also leads them through more advanced compositional techniques and musical forms. Designed for composers of all types of music, it includes instruction on composing stand-alone melodies, using different scales and modes, themes and variations, orchestration, and composing for film, theater, and videogames.

The easy-to-understand, concise, and step-by-step discussion of each topic will expand your musical dominance dramatically. You could easily absorb the music composition skills with the help of an abundance collection of exercises. It will allow you to create a longer composition and employ repetition. Besides, you will come across the ideas of polytonality, atonality, indeterminacy, minimalism, and other experimental musical forms. It will help you to choose the right instrument for the specific music.

Inside the Book

  • The book will provide you with step-by-step guidelines on how to write music and find the melody
  • It will instruct you on the process of using different scales, modes, and chords in your music.
  • This book will show you some sophisticated compositional techniques and types of music.
  • You will have a clear understanding of orchestration, variations, themes, keys, and many more prime concepts.
  • This book will present you with the methods of using rhythm and syncopation, building tension and release, and shaping a melody.
  • It will inspire you to compose music at ease by following the included comprehensive glossary of musical terms.
  • The book provides a broad range of exercises, additional expert tips, and updated visual content to aid you.

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4. Fundamentals of Musical Composition

Fundamentals of Musical Composition represents the culmination of more than forty years in Schoenberg’s life devoted to the teaching of musical principles to students and composers in Europe and America. For his classes, he developed a manner of presentation in which ‘every technical matter is discussed in a very fundamental way so that at the same time it is both simple and thorough.

This book can be used for analysis as well as for composition. On the one hand, it has the practical objective of introducing students to the process of composing in a systematic way, from the smallest to the largest forms; on the other hand, the author analyses in thorough detail and with numerous illustrations those particular sections in the works of the masters which relate to the compositional problem under discussion.

The simple, concise, and engaging writing manner put it highly favorable among music enthusiasts. One of the unique features of this book is the elaborate discussion of some updated topics. Most notably, it will enable you to create a multiple-voice composition. Besides, you could work outside the basic keys and compose with chords by dint of this extraordinary book. From all points of view, it seems highly adorable for beginners to build a musical foundation from the scratch.

Inside the Book

  • The book represents the most effective techniques and rules for composing glorious music.
  • It breaks down the methods of understanding melody and working with a melodic outline.
  • This book explains the tactics of using scales and notes, rhythms and syncopation, and orchestration and arranging.
  • It gives some sophisticated music composition ideas beyond traditional composition to aid you.
  • You could learn the mystery of composing music in a systemic approach with numerous illustrations.
  • The book will show you the potential compositional problems and the exact solutions.
  • It’s written in a simple, descriptive, and compelling approach to become highly suitable for beginners.

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5. Music Composition For Dummies

When most people think of a composer, they picture a bewigged genius like Mozart or Beethoven frenetically directing mighty orchestras in the ornate palaces of Vienna. While that may have been the case once upon a time, modern composers make themselves heard far beyond the classical conservatoire and concert hall. These days, soundtracks are in high demand in industries such as TV, film, advertising, and even gaming to help create immersive and exciting experiences. Whatever your musical ambitions composing a dark requiem in a beautiful Viennese apartment or producing the next great Star Wars-like movie theme in LA the fully updated Music Composition For Dummies hits all the right notes to help you become confident in the theory and practice of composition.

To help you translate your musical ideas from fleeting tunes in your head to playable bars and notation on paper, professional composer and instructor Scott Jarrett and music journalist Holly Day take you on a friendly step-by-step journey through the process of musical creation, including choosing the right rhythms and tempos, creating melodies and chord progressions, and working with instruments and voices. You’ll learn how to match keys and chords to mood, use the form to enhance your creativity, and write in different styles from pop to classical and you’ll even learn how to keep hammering away when inspiration eludes you.

Inside the Book

  • The book comes with extensive theories and practice sessions for music enthusiasts.
  • It covers the concepts of composing music from basic to advance levels to fill your musical ambition.
  • It will help you to choose the right rhythms and tempo to create immersive music.
  • This book will let you create impressive melodies and chord progressions to unleash your creativity.
  • You could write music in different styles from pop to classical through this comprehensive guidebook.
  • The book will develop your musical understanding and contribute a lot to building your solid musical profession.
  • The easy-to-follow, concise, and step-by-step writing manner will aid you a lot to digest everything at ease.

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Best Music Theory Textbooks

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