The Joy of Composing
Cumbria Music Hub has worked with Fredrik Holm – Musical Director for the Westmorland Youth Orchestra, composer and musician – to create this online Composing Course for schools in Cumbria.
There are 10 Tasks to complete, with videos from Fredrik for inspiration.
Recommended: keyboard skills of minimum grade 1 equivalent.
- Task 1
- Task 2
- Task 3
- Task 4
- Task 5
- Task 6
- Task 7
- Task 8
- Task 9
- Task 10
Learn the basics of how to write a good melody.
Composing with Scales
Learn to write music by first making up your own scale.
Making Film Music
Find out the secrets of how to create good film music. We will also make a sound track for an existing film.
Begin by watching this YouTube film that shows how powerful film music can be:
Learning from the masters Part 1 – Amelie
First we will learn to play a beautiful piece of music from the film Amelie. We will then analyse the composition and write something based on the same ideas.
Learning from the masters Part 2 – Handel
In this task, we will learn to play a “Passacaglia” written by G.F. Handel and, just like in the previous task, we will write our own piece inspired by the principles that Handel used. The sheet music can be found here.
In this task, we will compose by first making up a rhythm.
Composing with Riffs
Here we will use, tweak and combine a series or really famous riffs.
In this task, we will learn how to turn a simple melody and some chords into an impressive arrangement for keyboard.
In the first part, we will learn more about how to use various instruments in a composition. You will be asked to use a music-notating software to create good orchestration of a Coldplay song.
Download Sibelius file
Download xml file
This longer video that walks you through the most common orchestral instruments and what we need to think about when writing for them:
Task 10 – Putting it all together
In this task, we will put everything together and produce a great final composition.
The music at the beginning and the end of the videos is called Awakening. It was written by Fredrik and performed by the Haga Duo from Sweden. The photo is taken by Olle Holm.