1st Edition

The Craft of Contemporary Commercial Music

By Greg McCandless, Daniel McIntyre Copyright 2018
    492 Pages
    by Routledge

    492 Pages
    by Routledge

    In the contemporary world, the role of the commercial composer has grown to include a wide range of new responsibilities. Modern composers not only write music, but also often need to perform, record, and market their own works. The Craft of Contemporary Commercial Music prepares today’s music students for their careers by teaching them to compose their own music, produce it professionally, and sell it successfully.

    The textbook integrates three areas of concentration—music theory and composition, audio engineering, and music business—allowing students to understand and practice how to successfully navigate each stage of a score’s life cycle from concept to contract. Students will learn how to:

    • Translate musical ideas into scores utilizing music theory and composition techniques
    • Transform scores into professional audio through the production stages of tracking, sequencing, editing, mixing, mastering, and bouncing
    • Market works to prospective clients

    The textbook assumes no prior knowledge of music theory or audio topics, and its modular organization allows instructors to use the book flexibly. Exercises at the end of each chapter provide practice with key skills, and a companion website supports the book with video walkthroughs, streaming audio, a glossary, and printable exercise pages.

    Combining a grounding in music notation and theory concepts with a foundation in essential technologies, The Craft of Contemporary Commercial Music offers an innovative approach that addresses the needs of students preparing for music careers.


    Introduction: The Contemporary Commercial Composer and the Digital Audio Workstation

    I. Fundamentals of Music and Audio

    Ia: Fundamentals of Music

    Chapter 1: Introduction to Pitch

    Chapter 2: Introduction to Rhythm

    Chapter 3: Introduction to Harmony

    Chapter 4: Melody and Counterpoint

    Ib: Fundamentals of Audio Engineering and Sequencing

    Chapter 5: Introduction to Audio and MIDI

    Chapter 6: Manipulating Rhythm in the DAW Environment

    Chapter 7: Introduction to Acoustics

    Chapter 8: Melodic Sequencing

    II. Music Production Essentials

    IIa. Composition Essentials

    Chapter 9: Functional Diatonic Harmony

    Chapter 10: Expanding Your Harmonic Vocabulary

    Chapter 11: Form and Development

    Chapter 12: Basic Orchestration

    IIb. Audio Engineering Essentials

    Chapter 13: Introduction to Mixing

    Chapter 14: Recording and Editing Live Instruments

    Chapter 15: Mixing and Processing

    Chapter 16: Final Mix Considerations

    III. Producing Music for Media

    Chapter 17: The Client/Composer Relationship

    Chapter 18: Scoring for Short-Form Media

    Chapter 19: Scoring for Longer-Form Media

    IV. The Business of Music Composition

    Chapter 20: The Business of Music Composition

    Appendix A: List of CC Messages and Their Associated Functions

    Appendix B: Glossary

    Permission Acknowledgments



    Greg McCandless is Assistant Professor of Music Theory at Appalachian State University.

    Daniel McIntyre is Department Chair of Music Composition at Full Sail University.