††††††††††††††††††††††††† Composing (Writing Original Music) for 21st Century and Beyond††††††† © 2003 Ryo Kawasaki


†††††††††††††††† Table of Contents: [Press "Home" to return to this index]

†† Preface

A) Seed or basic ideas

††††††† A-1) Natural ideas

††††††† A-2) Improvisation

B) Theoretical and Intellectual Composing

††††††††††††††† C) Types

D) Learning and imitating

E) How to get started

F) Methods to use

††† F1) Starting from Chord or Chord progression

†††††††† ††F1-1) Diatonic Scale

†††††††††† F1-2) Vamps

†††††††††† F1-3) Starting the song or vamp other chords than C from C diatonic chords

††† F2) Composition Using Minor Scale, Minor Key and Minor chord as Tonic (tonal center)

†††† F3) Modulation and advanced usage of Major chords using key shift and pedal tones

†††† F4) Usage of Dominant 7 chords

†††† F5) Usage of Diminish Chords

†††† F6) Usage of suspended chords

†††† F7) Blues Chord and utilizing them for compositions

†††† F8) Usage of perfect fourth cycle

††† F9) Modal approach

†††† F10) Using Bass note or Bass pattern as a starting point

†††† F11) Using different Bass note other than root of the chord

††† F12) Using advanced harmonies for Jazz, Brazilian and semi-classical compositions

†††††††† ††F12-A) About Altered Scale and Dominant 7 alt Chord

†††† F13) Using Melody or Motif as a starting point

G) How to write melodies over given progression or vamp?

H) Sections and Structure

I)Letís write a song! (Actual practice)

J) Arrangement with Intro, Ending and instrumentation

K) How to incorporate improvisation into the song

L) Rehearsing the song for live performance or Recording session

M) Producing the song into the recorded format

N) Composing using computer as a tool

O) Copyright, Publishing and intellectual property

P) Different ways to get paid for your composition

†††††††††††††† Q) Glossary for general musical terminology





††††††††††††††† Art work by ©2003 Carlos Devizia




There are many methods to write original music. A simple song could be written in a matter of minutes or it might take weeks/months to develop and complete one piece of music that is satisfactory to the composer's ears. It is then ready to be published and heard or played by others.

Here are some methods I have been using to write my songs with a hope that they may somehow help you when you get stuck. A song is somehow like daily life itself:

      • Start (Birth or Home)
      • Development (growth, excitement or trip)
      • Back Home (Completion, Peace)

It can also end up somewhere else other than where you started, as long as thereís some kind of resolution to the end of the piece. It can also be represented like a road map: How to get to the destination from the starting point. One way or another, it is some kind of time travel experience to complete your mission once you get started. The mission is to make it an interesting trip, so that people want to listen to it again and again.

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