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Composition Tips with Wynn-Anne Rossi

By Wynn-Anne Rossi | January 5, 2018

Composition Tips with Wynn-Anne Rossi

Are you curious about making up your own music?

The world is full of all kinds of music. In the form of birds singing, whales wailing, of the ocean waves. But, there’s something special about human music—it’s interesting, it’s complex. And, it’s very much like you are—you have a lot to say through your own music. In this video series, I’m going to help you unlock the mysteries of creativity through music composition.

This is for all ages, all levels, all instruments.

I’ll begin with sparks of inspiration, and move on to sharing practical tips that I’ve picked up along the way of being a professional composer. And finally—and most importantly—I’ll offer you creative exercises to build your creative muscles. These muscles can lead you to masterpieces, although masterpieces are not actually the goal! The goal is the process. The process of creativity, not the product. The process of creativity can affect all areas of your life—it can make you a more creative thinker, perhaps a deeper feeler.

Check out SmartMusic's music notation tool, Compose >>

Now, it’s time to explore your instrument! Each episode below introduces a simple, practical concept, as well as a creative exercise to apply in your practice routine.

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  • Utilize Musical Limitations: Turn limitations—such as the range of your instrument—into a creative advantage! This exercise will help you utilize the full range of your instrument when composing music. 
  • Creating Creature Sounds: What does a slithering snake sound like on your instrument, or a lion's roar? Practice this fun exercise to translate animal habits into sounds on your instrument. 
  • Non-Traditional Music Notation: Learn how to quickly and effectively notate musical ideas while remaining in a creative, non-technical headspace.
  • Portraying Emotion through Music: Explore ways in which you can portray emotion through the specific notes you choose when composing music.
  • Daily Creative Exercises: Consistency is key! Learn how to keep your creative wheels turning on a regular basis by making time to be creative every day. 
  • Rhythmic Signatures: Learn how to identify and create your own rhythmic signatures within compositions.
  • Dissonance: Add some "grit" to your music using dissonant intervals and harmonies in your compositions! 
  • Making Melodies from Scales: Bring your imagination to life with melodies and note patterns from scales.
  • Music and Color: What does the color blue sound like? Learn how you can add some color to your original compositions.
  • Harmony: Learn which notes and intervals to combine to create the perfect harmonies for your music.
  • Repeats & Patterns: Help your compositions become more memorable by using repetitive melodies, sequences, and patterns!
  • Borrowing Brilliance: Find out how to create your own compositions based on ideas from composers you admire!
  • Wow Your Audience: Make your compositions “flashy” by utilizing these specific, playable tricks on your instrument.

Wynn-Anne Rossi

Wynn-Anne Rossi is a nationally acclaimed composer and dynamic educator. She has over 100 piano publications and has lectured internationally. She specializes in composition residencies, and her passion for promoting creativity in young musicians is reflected in her “Creative Composition Toolbox” and the “Wednesdays with Wynn-Anne” video series.

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