Musical Composition: Craft and Art

Musical Composition: Craft and Art

by Alan Belkin

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An invaluable introduction to the art and craft of musical composition from a distinguished teacher and composer

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300218992
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 06/19/2018
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 506,598
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Alan Belkin taught musical composition at the University of Montreal for more than three decades. Thousands of students from around the world have used his free online music textbooks at His music has been performed in Canada, the United States, Japan, and Europe.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction x

1 Motive 1

2 Phrase 16

3 Singing 25

4 Playing 34

5 Punctuating 45

6 Presenting 59

7 One-Part Forms 70

8 Ternary Form 77

9 Binary Form 84

10 Variation Form 91

11 Contrasting 105

12 Connecting 115

13 Progressing 131

14 Rondo Form 141

15 Beginning 151

16 Exploring 161

17 Returning 173

18 Ending 178

19 Sonata Form 186

20 Refinements 198

Conclusion: From the Craft to the Art of Composition 210

Appendix A Sketching 215

Appendix B Presenting Your Piece to the World 220

Notes 229

Credits 241

Index 243

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