There are ELEVEN levels in this series, and most students should begin with the PRIMER LEVEL. If the student has completed LEVEL TWO, and has acquired the other requisite theoretical knowledge and technical skills, the student may advance directly to the LEVEL THREE book. Students with sufficient compositional skill may be placed into LEVEL THREE 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 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 and 5) student has completed Creating Music LEVEL TWO.
Notational Skills: The following notational skills are explained carefully and developed: 1) complete review of skills taught at Level Two (treble & bass clefs, note heads, note stems, rests, time signatures, ledger lines, alignment, dynamic marks, tempo indications, changing tempos, sharps & flats, key signatures & accidentals, beaming eighth notes & triplets, single eighth notes, repeat signs, fancy repeats, articulation marks, compound meters, and syncopation); 2) introduction of C-clefs; 3) markings crescendos & diminimuendos; and 4) fermatas.
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) Style gallant; 4) Major & Minor Modes; 5) Converting Melodies to Minor; 6) Formal Sections (AB, ABA, rounded binary & rondo); 7) Chords of the major scale; 8) Chords of the minor scale; 9) dominant 7th chords; 10) Harmonization; 11) Chord Tones & Passing Tones; 12) Writing Counter Melodies; 13) Introduction to Four-Part Harmony; and 14) Different Chord Basses: waltz, broken, boogie & Alberti.
Compositional Skills: The primary goal at this level is to teach the student how to combine two or more melodies into a sectional piece, using techniques of variation and modulation, and then finally to harmonize the piece using different chord basses or four-part harmony. The topics are sequenced as follows: 1) Sources of Inspiration; 2) Phrase structures; 3) Specific Techniques of Rhythmic and Pitch Variation; 4) Germination; 5) Style Gallant; 6) Setting Text; 7) Scanning poetic meter; 8) Writing
Programmatic Music; 9) Combining Melodies into Larger Formal Sections; 10) Harmonizing a Melody with Primary & Secondary Chords; 11) Using different styles of bass; 12) Writing Counter Melodies with Passing Tones; 13) Writing for a solo instrument; and 14) Four-Part Harmony.
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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