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Topic: is there a good music composistion corespondance course

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  1. #1

    is there a good music composistion corespondance course

    I am soon going to be buying GOP and Im looking for a good coresponcance course that would help me in writing especially for strings, I have a good understanding of theory and chords and harmony, I have read about the alexander course and wonder if anyone knows anything about it, any suggestions will be greatly appreciated I cant wait to get started and I am so impressed by what MR Garritan has put together, it is great Jeff

  2. #2

    Re: is there a good music composistion corespondance course

    Check out the GPO Academy section of the forum. Poolman has generously offered this type of instruction to students who have GPO and Sibelius. I'm not sure if he has any open positions, but it's worth asking...

    Good luck,
    chris.

  3. #3

    Re: is there a good music composistion corespondance course

    Jeff:

    I purchased the Alexander "How to write for strings" (not the specific title) course and it is a good book with plenty of examples. It gives you a nice foundation for the stringed instruments and then shows you how to use them with each other.

    Maybe they have a smattering of what's in the course on line. Check out "Writing for String Instruments" on Google and see if Alexander comes up. If it does, then see if they provide a table of contents so you can see a global overview of what you will be studying.

    Jack
    Jack Cannon--Toshiba laptop, 2.8 GHz CPU, 1.5 GB RAM, GPO4-JABB3-Auth. STEINWAY-Gofriller CELLO-Stradivari VIOLIN-COMB2-WORLD, FINALE 2009/11, RME Digiface, Cardbus, V-Stack---Mac Pro 2.66 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, DP 8, MOTU Traveler, MOTU Micro Express.--MacBook Pro 2.2 Ghz CPU, 8 GB RAM.

  4. #4

    Re: is there a good music composistion corespondance course

    Have you studied any of the other Alexander stuff? I've been wondering how the quality of his stuff is. It looks to be great, but I already have lots of similar things and don't want to spend the money unless it's really better than all the rest...

  5. #5

    Re: is there a good music composistion corespondance course

    Quote Originally Posted by musical.matthew
    Have you studied any of the other Alexander stuff? I've been wondering how the quality of his stuff is. It looks to be great, but I already have lots of similar things and don't want to spend the money unless it's really better than all the rest...
    Musical.matthew:

    I bought the first BIG book that was part of the Alexander Orchestration Course. I think it came with 8 or 10 books, but I wanted to see if it was worth it. This first book was really, REALLY, thick (over 700 pages) and covered all the instruments of the orchestra and then presented some examples of what they could and couldn't do. It's a good reference. I didn't buy the rest of the course.

    I must admit that, as a student of orchestration, I have probably 8 to 10 good books on the subject.

    HOWEVER, this is not COMPOSITION--it is orchestration.

    As a pianist, when I started as a composition major in graduate school, I did little things like 2 and 3 part song forms, rondos, and then the sonata form. After that, big works were put together using all of these little forms for the different sections of the piece and it all fit together nicely. I was satisfied with what I learned.

    So, bottom line, in my opinion, is if you want to learn to compose, get a beginning book on composition. If you want to learn to orchestrate your compositions, do the same for that subject.

    Looking at scores of the masters gave me more of a composition/orchestration education than any professor or course taught by one. Start small and work up to bigger things just like practicing an instrument--practice it slowly, speed will come automatically.

    Jack
    Jack Cannon--Toshiba laptop, 2.8 GHz CPU, 1.5 GB RAM, GPO4-JABB3-Auth. STEINWAY-Gofriller CELLO-Stradivari VIOLIN-COMB2-WORLD, FINALE 2009/11, RME Digiface, Cardbus, V-Stack---Mac Pro 2.66 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, DP 8, MOTU Traveler, MOTU Micro Express.--MacBook Pro 2.2 Ghz CPU, 8 GB RAM.

  6. #6

    Re: is there a good music composistion corespondance course

    Hi Jack. Thanks for the reply. I have already done all of the above and more. My question is basically - is the Alexander stuff good enough to warrant picking it up in addition to all the books and scores I already have? Is it the best orchestration info out there or is it just another set of orchestration info along side all the rest?

  7. #7

    Re: is there a good music composistion corespondance course

    Quote Originally Posted by musical.matthew
    Hi Jack. Thanks for the reply. I have already done all of the above and more. My question is basically - is the Alexander stuff good enough to warrant picking it up in addition to all the books and scores I already have? Is it the best orchestration info out there or is it just another set of orchestration info along side all the rest?
    As I said, I didn't purchase more than the first book of Alexander's course so I can't really give it a proper rating "along with the rest."

    My favorite orchestration book is "The Technique of Orchestration" by Kent Kennan. This book is used at the University level for beginning orchestration students. It covers all symphonic instruments (used and little used) AND gives examples of what instruments are employed to create "orchestral colors," etc. It is the best book I have read on the subject so it's on my reference shelf on a daily basis. A good treatise on stringed instruments and the string section as a whole.

    If you are looking for "Movie Scoring and Big Band Techniques," I think the Henry Mancini "Sounds and Scores" book is really great. It also comes with a CD so you can hear the musical examples as you read them.

    Jack
    Jack Cannon--Toshiba laptop, 2.8 GHz CPU, 1.5 GB RAM, GPO4-JABB3-Auth. STEINWAY-Gofriller CELLO-Stradivari VIOLIN-COMB2-WORLD, FINALE 2009/11, RME Digiface, Cardbus, V-Stack---Mac Pro 2.66 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, DP 8, MOTU Traveler, MOTU Micro Express.--MacBook Pro 2.2 Ghz CPU, 8 GB RAM.

  8. #8
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    Re: is there a good music composistion corespondance course

    Alexander Publishing has a newer course that is entitled Writing for Strings/LMB Level 1. This is for writing and not orchestration.

    The book that Rhap2 was speaking about was on orchestration and is a different series.

  9. #9

    Re: is there a good music composistion corespondance course

    Quote Originally Posted by Haydn
    Alexander Publishing has a newer course that is entitled Writing for Strings/LMB Level 1. This is for writing and not orchestration.

    The book that Rhap2 was speaking about was on orchestration and is a different series.
    Yeah guys:

    Sorry for the confusion. In my first post I alluded to the "Writing for Strings" and in the second, I stated that I only bought the FIRST book of the Alexander Orchestration Course. It's still a great reference though as it has things in it that I haven't seen in other orchestration books.

    But Haydn is correct, the string writing book is a separate book.

    Jack
    Jack Cannon--Toshiba laptop, 2.8 GHz CPU, 1.5 GB RAM, GPO4-JABB3-Auth. STEINWAY-Gofriller CELLO-Stradivari VIOLIN-COMB2-WORLD, FINALE 2009/11, RME Digiface, Cardbus, V-Stack---Mac Pro 2.66 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, DP 8, MOTU Traveler, MOTU Micro Express.--MacBook Pro 2.2 Ghz CPU, 8 GB RAM.

  10. #10

    Re: is there a good music composistion corespondance course

    What do you think of the writing for strings book? I've got many orchestration books (Forsyth, Adler, Rimsky Korsakov, etc, etc) and most of the Dover scores (hundreds of them). I don't have the Kennan book so maybe I'll check that out. I'm just wondering if the Alexander stuff will fill any gaps or just be redundant with the rest of the info I've studied in the past. Have either of you tried the strings book? If so what did you think?

    Thanks,
    Matthew

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