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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Music Composition [Anglais] [Broché]

Miller Michael

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.6 étoiles sur 5  43 commentaires
140 internautes sur 141 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Perfect follow-on to Idiot's Guide to Music Theory 30 octobre 2005
Par calvinnme - Publié sur
Just like this author's previous book, "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Music Theory", information is presented in a very readable way without losing necessary details. The author presents many musical examples and each chapter has exercises with some solutions included in the back of the book. This book is designed to be read from beginning to end, and the exercises are very instructive in that by doing them you WILL learn how to compose music based on formal techniques. This book consists of 18 chapters in 5 parts, with each part showcasing a different aspect of composition. Since Amazon does not show a table of contents for this book at the time I am writing this, I shall summarize for the purpose of completeness:
Part 1 is entitled "Before You Start," and it describes different types of composition, and discusses the tools needed to start composing music.
Part 2 is entitled "Harmonic Composition," and discusses the art of composing music, chords-first. Also described is the creation of a harmonious chord progression, using both standard and extended chords, and using chord substitution to create more sophisticated compositions.
Part 3 is labeled "Melodic Composition," and introduces melody creation techniques, including scales and modes, structural tones, embellishments, rhythm, syncopation, melodic contour, flow, tension and release. Also discussed is fitting chords to a melody and reharmonizing existing chord progressions.
Part 4 is entitled "Developing the Composition," and gives instruction on transforming a composition from something basic to a substantial work. Short melodies are transformed into a full musical piece. The use of repetition, variation, and creating multiple-voice compositions is included.
The fifth and final part of this book is entitled "Advanced Techniques". The subject matter moves beyond basic composition into more advanced musical areas. Orchestration, chromaticism, atonality, contemporary composition, and ultimately songwriting are discussed.
I would therefore highly recommend that you first read the "Complete Idiot's Guide to Music Theory", and then this book for someone who wants to self-study music theory and composition. These two books are particularly valuable to someone who is familiar with the computer and would like to get into computer music but does not have a formal education in music. These two books will get you up and running to the point where you can understand what some of the computer music books written by musicians are talking about.
47 internautes sur 48 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 O.K. follow-up to Music Theory 5 mars 2006
Par Corey Woodworth - Publié sur
This is a very good book. It elaborates on the Idiot's guide to music theory specefically in the area of composition. My only gripe is that the first half is very redundant with the previous book. Many paragraphs are identical. I would have been much happier if they had been embellished, or if the two books would have been combined into one larger volume. The book does go into much more detail later on, with topics such as rhythmic patterns etc. Still the first half doesn't even feel like a review as much as it feels like Deja Vu.
57 internautes sur 61 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A good start, but lacking in places 31 janvier 2006
Par Sekais - Publié sur
On the positive side, the book is very helpful in starting composition. While at times laconic, it covers pretty much all the basic areas of composition, starting with an intro into what you can do and what you will need and going on to harmony, melody, rhythm, and even touching on atonality. It explains the key ideas behind development, the use of phrasing, and even the ranges of common instruments and notes on transposing them.

On the negative side, it often fails to explain things as well as it could. For example, while the book gives a basic explanation of atonality and minimalism, it doesn't really say much about how to really use these techniques. While development is discussed well, actually creating full-length pieces seems to have been glossed over and there is little information on how various musical forms like the sonata or concerto are actually structured (something I struggled with for a long time).

Overall, an excellent introduction, but not really a complete guide in any sense.
25 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Will Definately help you write music 28 juin 2006
Par T. Caniano - Publié sur
This is undoubtedly the best book i've ever read on music composition. Be warned though, if you do not have a background in basic music theory the concepts in the book may be a little confusing. However, if you read Miller's other book the guide to music theory first you should have no problem picking up the concepts in this book. I cant say enough good things about Miller. This book is full of so many great things and yet he writes in such a way that even someone with just a basic background in music can understand him. If you follow what he says you will definately be able to write your own compositions
19 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Well-written, focused on the conventional 2 juin 2008
Par crawler - Publié sur
This is a well-written introduction to traditional composition. The examples are plentiful and nicely illustrate the concepts being discussed and the organization of the book has been carefully thought through. I only have a few complaints/reservations about recommending the book:

First, the book is very much focused on traditional composition techniques. That's the author's intention, and that's great for most people. However, if you're looking for a book that will help you understand the structure of modern (non-pop) music, there are probably better resources. (That said, if you have *no* background in composition, I think it is wise to read this book before trying to do unconventional things... as in, understand the rules before you break them). The author has little interest in electronica and non-diatonic compositions, so if you're looking to compose NIN- or Slayer-like stuff, then you won't be using many of the tools described in this book (though you will use some of them). There *is* a chapter on non-diatonic/chromatic composition, but the author treats these techniques primarily as a means of "spicing up" a traditional composition, rather than a separate approach to composition all together.

Second, the author's examples and approach assume that the reader has/plays the piano or keys. I am a guitarist, and while I understand that illustrating harmony/melody combinations or counterpoint, etc. is most easily done with the piano (assuming a single musician), it would be nice if the examples were chosen to be a little more generalizable. I also think one would have a very difficult time trying to work the examples in this book with any instrument that cannot play chords. Again, this is reasonable given the topic, but prospective buyers/readers should understand ahead of time.

Finally, the author seems a little unsure of where to begin with music theory. On the one hand, he asserts that readers should have a basic understanding of theory (and repeatedly endorses his own book on the topic... blech). However, some of the material covered in the text seems rather basic. Perhaps the overlap between theory and composition is just too gray to make a clean division, but I found the pace of discussion on theory a little uneven.

Overall, a good book and worth the price. Just be aware of the author's intent and the scope of the book before you buy.
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