What Are The Dates Of The Classical Era In Music How to Compose Classical Music

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How to Compose Classical Music

There is a centuries-old method of teaching young musicians how to compose classical music. In fact, many great composers used the exact same exercises and compositional procedures that are taught today. In universities and colleges, these principals have eroded somewhat, but many music schools and conservatories still maintain the old tradition.

To begin with, the student needs to understand how music is notated, which is usually something that was learned long ago as a child, so it usually doesn’t cause problems. The first challenge students face will be a counterpoint consisting of 5 sections, each of which increases in complexity.

The value of learning counterpoint cannot be overstated because the basic principles of composing music are inherent in the form. At the most basic level, you have a simple melody line and a bass line, but that quickly expands to include more voices. Counterpoint is governed by strict rules that must be followed at all times, within which the composer must produce pleasing music.

Almost all the great composers practiced hundreds or even thousands of counter-exercises, and physical records of their exercise books survive to this day.

After a year of counterpoint studies, it is normal to move to harmony. Bach’s chorales are often used as a reference point, as they are the perfect study for anyone wanting to learn classical harmony. By the end of this second year, the student will have a solid understanding of how music works structurally and mechanically.

It is only the third year that he is entering the composition. Here, many examples are studied and analyzed, and the student is expected to understand things himself. You see, it’s true that true composition cannot be taught. At best, a professor can show students what other people have done and hope that it ignites the creativity that’s already there.

Fourth year is the most difficult year as it is dedicated to orchestra. A composer must be able to mentally listen to all the instruments and judge the different scales, timbres and tones, so there is a lot of trial and error before getting it right. It’s a long road and it’s really impossible to achieve without natural talent.

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