1st Edition

Insights into Music Composition

By Gregory Young, Steve Roens Copyright 2022
    128 Pages 42 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    128 Pages 42 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Insights into Music Composition is a guide and source of inspiration for beginning students of music composition. Drawing on perspectives from a range of experienced composers, the book introduces readers to the compositional process, emphasizing how to think about creating a piece of music from beginning to end by providing not only a survey of methods but also an understanding of the overarching context for composition. The authors present student composers with the tools to develop their own voice, covering topics such as:

    • methods for harnessing inspiration and creativity
    • how to give shape, context, and meaning to a piece of music and create moments that audiences will remember
    • the value in exploring the music of other cultures and music’s interdisciplinarity
    • atonal and 12-tone techniques and the roles of form and style
    • the benefits and pitfalls of student-teacher relationships and the importance of building relationships with performers

    Combining content from class scenarios with discussion questions, practical exercises, an annotated guide of online resources, and a glossary of terms, the text’s flexible structure allows chapters to be read through in order or drawn on by topic. Clear and accessible, Insights into Music Composition is an ideal resource for all students and instructors of music composition.

    1. Inspiration and Creativity / 2. Universal Principles / 3. Compositional Process: Getting Started / 4. Development of Musical Ideas / 5. Building Upon Prior Music: Plagiarism, Quotes, Techniques / 6. Technique, Notation / 7. Lyrics, Prosody, Singers (Elizabeth Croy and Cheryl Hart) / 8. Form, Texture, Style, and Harmonic Language / 9. Writing Atonal and 12-Tone Music / 10. Global Perspective: Cultural Influences / 11. Interdisciplinarity / 12. Listening Critically / 13. Diverse Perspectives on Composition / 14. Subjectivity, Sensitivity, and Professor-Student Mentorship / 15. Getting Successful Performances / 16. Online Resources


    Gregory Young is Professor of Music at Montana State University, where he was also Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Founding Director of the Undergraduate Scholars Program.

    Steve Roens is Professor Emeritus in Composition at the University of Utah, where he has also served as Associate Dean of the College of Fine Arts, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, and Director of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.