There are ELEVEN levels in this series, and most students should begin with the PRIMER LEVEL. If the student has completed LEVEL ONE, and has acquired the other requisite theoretical knowledge and technical skills, the student may advance directly to the LEVEL TWO book. Students with sufficient compositional skill may be placed into LEVEL TWO directly (SEE TOP PAGE FOR GUIDLINES).
[Most students will require several months of additional education in theory and their instrument technique before beginning the next level book.]
Pre-requisites: The general pre-requisites for using this book are: 1) student has written music in different keys, 2) student has written music with formal sections (AB, ABA, etc.), 3) student must have knowledge of intervals, primary chords, major & minor scales and keys; and 4) the student has complete the LEVEL ONE book of this series or demonstrated equivalent compositional ability.
Notational Skills: The following notational skills are explained carefully and developed: 1) complete review of skills taught at Level One (clefs, note heads, note stems, rests, time signatures, ledger lines, alignment, dynamic marks, sharps & flats, key signatures & accidentals, beaming eighth notes & triplets, and single eighth notes); 2) determining meter for compound meters; 3) alignment of rests & note spacing; 4) strong & weak beats; 5) syncopation; 6) articulation marks; 7)
tempo indications; 8) changing tempos; 9) repeat signs; and 10) fancy repeats.
Theoretical Skills: The following aspects of general music theory are discussed in-depth as it applies to composition: 1) Understanding Syncopation; 2) Phrase Structures; 3) Major & Minor Modes; 4) Converting Melodies to Minor; 5) Formal Sections (AB & ABA); 6) Primary Chords; 7) Harmonization; 8) Chord Tones & Passing Tones; and 9) Writing Counter Melodies.
Compositional Skills: The primary goal at this level is to teach the student how to write a simple melody, to expand it using several compositional techniques, to combine two or more melodies into a sectional piece and finally to harmonize the melodies using primary chords. The topics are sequenced as follows: 1) Sources of Inspiration; 2) Different Approaches to Notating a Melody; 3)
Question and Answer Melodies; 4) Double Questions and Answers; 5) "aab" Phrase Structures; 6) Germination; 7) Specific Techniques of Rhythmic and Pitch Variation; 8) Setting Text; 9) Writing
Programmatic Music; 10) Combining Melodies into Larger Formal Sections; 11) Harmonizing a Melody with Primary Chords; 12) Writing Counter Melodies with Passing Tones; and 13) Improvising.
Finishing Touches: In the final lessons of the book, the student is taught how to proofread & correct the draft manuscript, and how to create a clean final copy.
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