Musical composition

From Academic Kids

Musical composition has three meanings in music:

  • an original piece of music
  • the musical structure of a musical piece
  • the process of creating a new piece of music

A musical composition

A piece of music exists in the form of a written composition in musical notation or as a single acoustic event (a live performance or recorded track). If composed before performance, music can be performed by memory, through written musical notation, or through a combination of both. Compositions are comprised of musical elements, elements which vary widely from person to person and culture to culture. Improvisation is the act of composing during performance, of assembling elements "spontaneously."

Composing music

People who practice composition are called composers. Useful skills in composition include writing musical notation, instrumentation, and handling musical ensembles (orchestration). The definition of composition has broadened to include extended techniques such as improvisation, musical montage, preparing instruments, using non-traditional objects or methods of sound production, and making music from silence, as John Cage famously did.

Compositional techniques are the methods used to create music. In discussing the structure or organization of a musical work, the "composition" of that work is generally called its musical form. These techniques draw a parallel to art's formal elements. Sometimes, the entire form of a piece is through-composed, meaning that it is entirely notated beforehand. Some pieces are composed around a set scale, where the compositional technique might be considered the usage of a particular scale. Others are composed during performance (see improvisation); techniques are used, however, in this case also.

Important in tonal musical composition is the scale for the notes used, including the mode and tonic note. When playing or reading classical notated music, only the key signature (set of notes in scale) matters. In music using twelve tone techniques, the tone row is even more comprehensive a factor than a scale. Similarly, music of the Middle East employs rigid scale within often improvisational contexts, as does Hindustani music of India, gamelans of Java and Bali, and much music in Africa.

See also

External links

fr:Composition musicale hr:Kompozicija ja:作曲 nl:Compositie (muziek) pl:Kompozycja (muzyka)


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