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Author Topic: Learning Composition from books  (Read 1524 times)
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« on: July 06, 2016, 03:49:33 PM »

I've managed to get digital copies of a huge number of books on music and composition, The list is quite extensive and I don't at all expect people to tell me everything about each one but I would appreciate any information on what books are most helpful with regards to learning composition especially for someone who's more or less a beginner. At any rate, please feel free to browse the list and make whatever comments you like about whatever books you're familiar with. Are they boring? Interesting? Esoteric? Practical? Etc.

Thanks, here's the list:

Aldwell, Schachter_Harmony and Voice Leading 3rd Edtion.pdf

Berlioz_A treatise upon modern instrumentation (1858).pdf

Cope David_Techniques of the Contemporary Composer.pdf

Hindemith Paul_Elementary Training for Musicians.pdf

Hindemith Paul_The Craft of Musical Composition.pdf

Horwood Frederick_Elementary Counterpoint.pdf

Kennan Kent_Counterpoint, 4th ed.pdf

Kitson C H_Counterpoint for Beginners.pdf

Kwon Songtaik_Mahler and Bach - Counterpoint and Polarities in Form.pdf

Messiaen Olivier_Technique of my Musical Language_Examples.pdf

Messiaen Olivier_Technique of my Musical Language_Text.pdf

Norden Hugo_Foundation studies in Fugue.pdf

Norden Hugo_Fundamental Counterpoint.pdf

Piston Walter_Counterpoint (1970).pdf

Piston Walter_Harmony (1959).pdf

Piston Walter_Orchestration (1969).pdf

Riemann Hugo_Harmony Simplified.pdf

Salzer Felix_Structural Hearing 1.pdf

Salzer Felix_Structural Hearing 2.pdf

Schenker Heinrich_Harmony.pdf

Schoenberg Arnold_Fundamentals of Musical Composition.pdf

Schoenberg Arnold_Preliminary Exersises in Counterpoint.pdf

Schoenberg Arnold_Structural Functions of Harmony.pdf

Schoenberg Arnold_Theory of Harmony.pdf

Smith-Brindle Reginald_Serial Composition.pdf

_unknown_Two-voice counterpoint.pdf

Davis Richard_Complete Guide To Film Scoring (1999).pdf

Digital Recording, Mixing And Mastering Volume 1.pdf

Dobbins Bill_A Creative Approach To Jazz Piano Harmony.pdf

Dobbins Bill_Jazz Arranging And Composing.pdf

Feldstein Sandy_Practical Theory Complete; A Self-Instruction Music Theory Course (1982).pdf

Gerou Tom, Lusk Linda_Essential Dictionary of Music Notation.pdf

Jamey Aebershold_How To Play Jazz and Improvise.pdf

Jerry Bergonzi - Vol 4 - Melodic Rhythms.pdf

Liebman Dave_Chromatic Approach to Jazz Harmony and Melody.pdf

Microphone Techniques for Music Sound Reinforcement.pdf

Miller Ron_Modal Jazz, Composition and Harmony.pdf

Music Theory in Concept and Practice.chm

Russo William_Composing for the jazz orchestra.pdf

Walden David E_How to Listen to Modern Music Without Earplugs.chm

_elementary_Zeitlin P, Goldberger D - Understanding Music Theory (1981).pdf
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2016, 05:22:22 PM »

It's not on the list, but Westergaard's Introduction to Tonality is one of the best books that can be used to learn how to breakdown existing compositions in terms of how a listener could perceive the music at all structural levels.  It more formalizes how you think about music, and can be used to understand any following text afterwards.  It's out of print, but a digital copy can be found out there. 
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2016, 12:01:36 AM »

I've always liked the Aldwell & Schachter Harmony book.  I have found the organization and presentation of material very easy to relate to.  It is also well set up to use as a reference book.   

The Messiaen Technique of my Musical Language is the composer explaining his own composition techniques and processes.  There is a lot of Messiaen specific terminology utilized.  It is useful if you are interested in Messiaen's music, or borrowing elements from his style.  However, probably not the best intro to composition books. 

One that is not on your list is the Goetschius Counterpoint Applied.  I have enjoyed the chapter on fugues in this one.  It is public domain and can be found here

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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2016, 07:08:28 PM »

Those books I assume are too academic. In my own personal experience Composition methods found in books are nothing but cookie cutter methods that will only make you a half-baked composer. I believe composition is not taught in music schools, if they do, they're usually crappy.
What I am doing right now when it comes to composing is to hear music in my head. That's what I am up to right now.
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