"Music for Everyone, All Ages "
1515 WARREN STREET, (NORTHSHORE) PITTSBURGH, PA 15212-3332
(412) 322-0520                                             info@KikuchiMusic.com
                                                                     Founder: Lee W. Kikuchi

CURRENT STUDENTS
PUBLICATIONS
CREATING MUSIC (COMPOSITION)
Author: Lee W. Kikuchi

LEVEL FOUR
LEVEL FIVE
LEVEL SIX
LEVEL SEVEN
LEVEL EIGHT
LEVEL NINE
LEVEL TEN

This is an exciting, new and systematic approach to teaching composition with substantial emphasis on issues of notation and formal structures. Each workbook includes thorough review of theoretical and notational skills the student may or may not have acquired through regular music lessons, thus giving the student the necessary tools to compose music.

Piano Not Required: This new series specifically teaches students how to compose music, regardless of the student’s theoretical background or study of the piano. Music study on some instrument is required, and the student can begin this series at any point of his/her music education. The staves provided for most exercises do not have clefs specified to allow for students to write in whatever clef they choose (since different instruments use different clefs). Most examples are in Treble clef by default, but as the student advances through the books, the use of Bass clef, C-clefs and multiple staff systems will increase to develop proficiency at reading in all clefs and eventually full score.

Systematic Levels: With each level, the student is presented new and different ways to approach the craft of composition including ways to find creative ideas as well as developing an idea through the composition process. Most students should begin with the primer level book, but more advanced and older students can begin with a higher level book if the teacher determines it is more appropriate. Although there are several composition method systems out today, most focus on the craft from a piano approach and use a series of exercises related to setting melodies to words, or improvising at the piano. This new system gives any music student the ability to write music, without assuming the student plays piano and with a solid theoretical approach so that the student is far more independent in the composition craft.

Theory Review: With each level, some important theoretical skills are also addressed and developed, specifically: harmony, voice leading and formal structure. They are presented in a way that is most useful to composers, and which is not found in traditional theory books. However, this book is not a theory book by itself, and it is expected that the music student is also studying a course in theory as part of regular private music study. The author highly recommends the Snell/Ashley Theory system published by Kjos for ALL students as the most comprehensive and thorough theory system currently available. A very brief review of theory at the beginning of each book allows the teacher to assess the student’s theoretical knowledge, and therefore assign the necessary theory materials to commence with composition.

Written Exercises: The theory exercises included herein will ensure that students have solid grounding in harmony, voice leading and formal structures. All such exercises are explained carefully, supplemented with numerous meaningful examples from the standard literature, and reinforced with constructive written exercises. For instruction purposes, students are asked to compose small musical examples to demonstrate their mastery of the skills taught. However, students are strongly encouraged to pick and choose from this toolbox of musical skills according to their own preference when they write their own pieces – to maximize creativity and help develop the composer’s individual "voice". Every effort is made to present the full breadth of musical style, without advocating any one specifically so that the student may be empowered with the skills to write in whatever style she/he chooses.

Three Compositional Areas: The Creating Music system addresses three areas of composition skill: 1) creativity, 2) musical notation and 3) development. Since the biggest stumbling block to any budding composer is being able to write the music down, significant emphasis in placed on notational skill. In addition, all lessons regarding creativity (making up music) also include helpful techniques for facilitating its notation (what notes, what rhythm, etc.). With each level, the student is presented new and different ways to approach the craft of composition including ways to find creative ideas as well as developing a very small idea into something much bigger and much better through the composition process.

Placement: Most students should begin with the primer level book, but more advanced and older students can begin with a higher level book if the teacher determines it is more appropriate. The descriptions below are a guideline for placement at a level beyond primer when considering the student’s established musical abilities. Keep in mind these guidelines are solely for placement of students who have already demonstrated compositional ability but have not studied in these workbooks. These guidelines have no bearing on students already studying in this system. Any student completing a given level should be able to proceed to the next level accordingly, providing the requisite theoretical knowledge and technical skill have also been mastered.

Primer Level: 1) student has never written any music or has not written a melody more than 8 measures long, 2) student has studied music for at least 1 year, 3) student is able to read music on the staff with ledger lines, 4) student is reading books at a 2nd grade level or better, and 5) student is at least age 5.

Level One: 1) student has written a melody more than 8 measures long with accompaniment (harmony), 2) student has studied music for at least 3 years, and 3) student is at least age 7.

Level Two: 1) student has written music in different keys, 2) student has written music with formal sections (AB, ABA, etc.), 3) student has studied music for at least 4 years, and 4) student is at least age 9.

Level Three: 1) student has written music that modulates keys, 2) student has written music with formal sections (AB, ABA, etc.), 3) student has written music demonstrating harmonies beyond the primary chords, 4) student has studied music for at least 5 years, and 5) student is at least age 11.

Level Four: 1) student has written music that modulates keys or with strong understanding of different tonalities; 2) student has written music in multiple movements or in a complex form such as sonata or rondo; 3) student has written music for different instruments; 4) student has written music demonstrating harmonies beyond the primary chords; 5) student understands principles of four-part voice leading and harmonization; 6) student has studied music for at least 6 years; and 7) student is at least age 13.

Level Five: 1) student has written music with strong understanding of different tonalities and/or atonality; 2) student has written music in multiple movements or in a complex form such as sonata, rondo or fugue; 3) student has written music for multiple instruments; 4) student has written music using 7th chord harmonies; 5) student understands principles of four-part voice leading and harmonization; 6) student has studied music for at least 7 years; and 7) student is at least age 15.

It is recommended that no student begin beyond Level Five, even though this series progresses to Level Ten. Even with advanced compositional ability, a student will benefit by beginning with Level Five of this series.

You may click on the menu above to browse specifics regarding each book or you may download/order directly from the menu below:

LEVEL FREE SAMPLE COPY PRICE ORDER
PRIMER LEVEL
DOWNLOAD [346KB]

US$5.00

LEVEL ONE
DOWNLOAD [588KB]

US$6.00

LEVEL TWO
DOWNLOAD [625KB]

US$7.50

LEVEL THREE DOWNLOAD [1038KB] US$10.00
LEVEL FOUR PUBL: 2009 TBD  
LEVEL FIVE PUBL: 2009 TBD  


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Last Modified: 07/30/2008