I am in week three of my Masters’ of Fine Arts degree in composition with the University of Birmingham’s distance learning program. I just finished my third Skype lesson with composer Dr. Michael Zev Gordon.
In the course of the past 2.5 weeks, I have studied half a dozen or more works by Chopin, Mahler, Debussy, Stravinsky, and Berio – a somewhat varied collection of composers that only promises to grow more eclectic and modern as we move through the program. I also have written three short pieces totaling somewhere between 7 and 8 minutes in length. Even though these works will be revised, and they each are for solo instruments, the productivity is very good when I consider that I am working in new territory, and I usually write at most 30 minutes of music in a year.
So, I was surprised when, in the middle of last week, I experienced some quiet echoes of the self-doubt that had paralyzed me as a composer more than 15 years ago.
This is a continuation of my series of notes from when my students and I took the online Write Like Mozart class last year.
Between the 3rd and 4th week of the course, I had an epiphany on the merits of what Professor Edwards calls Texture Reduction and the application of patterns. Here I speak of how Professor Edwards’ approach to teaching music theory as a generative process differs from what I experienced in school and the wonders of applying patterns to textural reductions. A few quick hints are offered at the end of the post.
This is the fourth post in this series.
Below are the Write Like Mozart Week 3 Notes that I sent my students last year when we took the Write Like Mozart class together. In this installment, I offer a reference sheet for non-chord tones, thoughts on working with sequential progressions, and a number of hints in completing the assignments and applying what you’ve learned.
This is the third post in this series.
Below are the Write Like Mozart Week 2 Notes that I sent my students last year when we took the Write Like Mozart class together. I include a summary of figured bass notation, a summary of part writing rules, and some information on how to check your part writing electronically. This is the second post in this series.
In my last post, I introduced the online Write Like Mozart class offered by Coursera. I promised to post some of my notes I sent my high school students from when we collectively took the class last year.
I have logged into the January 2015 offering of the course, and it appears that the videos have not changed since I took the class. The supplemental notes I offer below for Write Like Mozart Class Week 1 are largely unedited from what I sent to my students last year.