Top Ted Talks about Music -

I’ve probably watched hundreds of TED talks over the years but as a composer and a music teacher, a great talk about music can really make my day (if not my week!). I love sharing inspirational stuff with my students so here some of the best TED talks about music. In no particular order, here are my 10 favorite TED talks about music.

What are the Technical Names in Music?

The ‘technical names’ in music are a set of 7 terms that give a label to every note of the scale. Every note is assigned a different technical name that reflects its position in the scale.

What's wrong with parallel fifths?

What is wrong is that the notes of a perfect fifth blend so well together that they almost sound like one note rather than two. This makes parallel fifths out of style IF that style demands independence of voices.

What's the difference between 3/4 and 6/8 time?

The difference between 3/4 and 6/8 is in the number of beats per bar and in their accents (the strong beats). In 3/4, we get three quarter note beats (out of which the first one is the strongest). In 6/8, we get two dotted quarter note beats (out of which the first one is the strongest).

September Music Composition Challenge - School of Composition

– This month’s musical composition challenge is based on the Tone Painting lesson I published some days ago. Your task is simply to choose a short poem from the ones I selected below and put it to music. For guidelines and details please read ahead.  By the way, make sure to read or watch the …

September Composition Challenge: ‘Music for Words’ Read More »

60+ best music theory and composition youtube channel

Here’s a list of 60+ of the best music theory and composition YouTube channels with enough material for a lifetime of learning.

Musical musings #3 - Is my music any good

A student recently asked me whether his music is really beautiful and I had to think long and hard about what to say. If you’ve ever had doubts about your own music or you want some ideas for how to judge your own work fairly, these thoughts are for you too. First off, let me …

“Is my music any good?” Read More »

Tone painting is the technique of shaping vocal music according to the meaning of the words. For example, we’d write a melody that goes up on words such as ‘rising’, ‘uphill’ and ‘climbing’ or have the music go really quiet on words such as ‘soft’, ‘peaceful’ and ‘calm’.

Beethoven 6th Symphony Musical Analysis

Welcome to the first of the School of Composition’s Analysis series. Today we’re looking at the incredible motivic development of Beethoven’s 1st movement of the 6th Symphony. In the video below I show you how Beethoven uses his beautiful theme to build the whole of this first movement: I have color-coded the music so as …

Beethoven’s 6th Symphony – Musical Analysis #1 Read More »

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