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Ch 12: Composing, Arranging & Improvising Music

About This Chapter

This self-paced online chapter enables you to study for a test that covers the basics of composing, arranging and improvising music. Review entertaining lessons and take multiple-choice quizzes to quickly boost your knowledge of this subject while making studying fun and simple.

Composing, Arranging & Improvising Music - Chapter Summary

Top instructors have developed engaging lessons you can access anytime to improve your understanding of composing, arranging and improvising music. Explore these lessons to gain greater insight into topics that include transposition in music theory, thematic transformation and phrase in music. Upon completion of this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Describe the rules for writing four-part music
  • List music composition textures and techniques
  • Discuss technology as it is used in musical compositions
  • Define a leitmotif and provide examples
  • Detail methods of motivic transformation
  • Explain how to improvise harmonically as well as melodically and rhythmically
  • Understand how to compose and arrange simple vocal and instrumental music

To get started with this chapter, choose your first lesson and explore its contents. Feel free to take its accompanying multiple-choice quiz to assess your comprehension of the concepts it covers. When ready, scroll along the right-hand sidebar to select other lessons in any order and take their quizzes. Before the day of your exam, be sure to find out how much you understand about composing, arranging and improvising music by taking the comprehensive chapter exam.

7 Lessons in Chapter 12: Composing, Arranging & Improvising Music
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Rules for Writing Four-Part Music

1. The Rules for Writing Four-Part Music

Four-part writing can be difficult, but you don't have to reinvent the wheel. In this lesson, we'll look over some common rules to make four-part writing a little easier.

Technology Used in Musical Compositions

2. Technology Used in Musical Compositions

In this lesson, you'll learn about how technology has changed the way composers make music. You'll encounter electronic instruments, audio editing tools, and electroacoustic music, and then take a quiz to test your knowledge.

Leitmotif: Definition & Examples

3. Leitmotif: Definition & Examples

In this lesson, you'll learn about the musical technique known as leitmotif. You'll learn how composers use musical fragments to represent ideas and tell stories, and you'll learn some famous examples of leitmotif from operas, symphonic music and film scores.

Transposition in Music: Definition & Music Theory

4. Transposition in Music: Definition & Music Theory

In this lesson, you will learn what transposition is and how to recognize it in a musical context. The lesson will also explain how the method of transposing works within the framework of music theory and how one might use it in creative applications.

Motivic Transformation: Definition, Methods & Examples

5. Motivic Transformation: Definition, Methods & Examples

How can you keep a musical theme integrally tied to a composition without making it boring or redundant? Let's take a look at motivic transformations and see how they can be used to do just this.

Thematic Transformation: Definition & Methods

6. Thematic Transformation: Definition & Methods

As a composer, themes can be a big part of your music. In this lesson, we'll see how subtly changing those themes can change the impact of your composition.

Phrase in Music: Definition & Structure

7. Phrase in Music: Definition & Structure

Could you read a book that had no punctuation? Could you play music that had no phrases? Learn all about phrases and why they're important, including the meaning of key terms such as cadence, period, antecedent, consequent, and phrase mark.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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