As beautiful as it is, music is simply a language. And like every language, whether that be a real human language or computer programming, music can also be learned and has various degrees of proficiency. Music like a language also has structures, grammars, and patterns that constitute the more sophisticated and eloquent sounds that capture our imagination (much like the French or Italian tongue does!).
To compose your own music, there are 3 parts that you must understand. Music consists of:
1. Rhythm. Spoken words have a natural rhythm and cadence to them, and I believe it’s music that imitates this organic movement and not vice versa. Rhythm is the part of music that is determined by the tempo and makes up the groove of the song. The rhythm gives music the beat of the song. Examples of rhythm patterns are the back beat drum pattern (often used in rock music, where the snare hits on the 2 and 4 downbeat of every bar) and the four on the floor pattern (often used in jazz, blues, and dance music where the kick drum hits on every downbeat). Rhythm guitars are called so because they usually play along to the rhythm of the drum, strengthening the beat of the song using strummed chord patterns.
2. Harmony. Speaking of chord patterns, the next part of music is harmony – or more commonly called the chord progression. The chord progression determines the mood and atmosphere of the song: major chord progressions tend to give strong and happy emotions, while minor chord progressions are often melancholic and sad. A good song combines these two major and minor chord progressions and contrasts them to give life to the rhythm and lyrics. Example of a chord progression during a chorus could be: F C G Am (played in the key of C).
3. Melody. To compose music, you either start with the harmony first or you could make a melody before it. A melody is best described as: the part of the song that you whistle to after you hear it! That’s the melody – the part that people should remember after they’ve heard the song. To create a catchy melody is a rigorous study on it’s own, but suffice to say that catchy melodies win hearts big time! The melody is the way the lyrics are sung, or the lead instrument in a concerto piece.
These are the 3 major steps in composing music. Hopefully this article helps you to understand the musical language better.
To your musical proficiency, ImixFM