What do composers use to write music? Do composers compose at the piano? Do composers compose on the guitar? Do composers compose using other musical instruments? What software do composers usually use? Are there any common methods or techniques in writing a music composition? Here are just some of the frequently asked questions on how to become a composer, and if you are one of the hopefuls, maybe you can join us as we are going to discuss some of the basic methods in music composition and what are the important tools that can significantly help you in composing one.
Do Composers Compose At The Piano?
Although there are many musical instruments today that you can choose to help you in making a composition, archetypal composers usually sit on their pianos as they try out different harmonies for their compositions.
So, why do composers compose at the piano? As you know, there are lots of musical instruments that you can choose from; however, the piano can offer something that most musical instruments can’t. The piano has an eight-octave range that others do not have. It can give you more harmonic options than almost all instruments out in the market, so it is the most logical option to use when you can only use one musical instrument when making a music composition.
Here are some of the famous composers of all time who compose with a piano:
Johann Sebastian Bach
When it comes to music composition and playing the piano, the name Johann Sebastian Bach always comes to most minds. Bach is a German musician and composer during the late Baroque period, and since the 19th century, more and more are considering him to be the greatest composer of Western music and of all time.
Although Bach can play many musical instruments, he is widely known for his compositions using the piano. If you have not heard some of his works, such as the Minuet In G Major, Toccata And Fugue In D Minor, The Italiano Concert in F, Air On The G String, Concert No. 1 in D Minor, Concerto No. 7 in G Minor, and many more, then you should listen to it if you are serious in becoming a music composer.
Learning Bach’s works, and on how he made his composition, especially with piano, can significantly help you in your skills to become a great composer in the future.
Ludwig van Beethoven
Another iconic and legendary composer on our list who has always been an influential figure for many musicians and students, especially those who love the classical genre, Ludwig van Beethoven is one of the most beloved composers in the Western music history and of all time.
Ludwig van Beethoven is a German music composer and pianist. His works are considered to be one of the most performed music starting from the Classical period to the Romantic era. Even though he started to get increasingly deaf as he got older, many are still amazed by his works, as he had some innovations, especially with his musical form and expressions.
If you are unfamiliar with his works, then maybe you have heard some of his bests, such as Eroica Symphony, Choral Symphony, Emperor Concerto, Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Piano Sonata No. 23, Piano Sonata No. 30, Piano Concerto No.5, Moonlight, and many more. If you have not still heard any of his works mentioned, then maybe you should start listening to them if you are serious about becoming a music composer.
Do Composers Compose On The Guitar And Other Musical Instruments?
Aside from the piano, most composers also use the guitar as their primary instrument in helping them compose music. You can also use other musical instruments if you prefer; however, in these modern times, most composers usually use the piano and the guitar in their works. Still, it does not mean that you can’t use other instruments to help you in your work.
Softwares Used For Music Composition
Nowadays, technology has been a huge help for composers to make things easier for their job to get done. These are some of the software that you can try out if you want to practice and improve your composing skills in these modern days:
If you are looking for software that can significantly help you in composing music, Sibelius should get maybe the top on your list to try out first. With a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate with lots of membership options to choose from, the Sibelius would be a great partner for composing great music that could help you become a better composer in the near future.
The Sibelius First offers you a way to compose music for free, while the Sibelius Ultimate, which is the most expensive and premium option, gives you lots of features that professional composers usually employ in making their compositions. Whether you pay a monthly, annual, or lifetime subscription, Sibelius would be an excellent help for you to enhance your composition skills in the new age.
With Sibelius, it can support lots of input devices, such as a virtual guitar fretboard, virtual piano, MIDI keyboard, and more. You can also choose up to 40 premade templates to help your imagination. It is also very easy to enter notes and share compositions.
Another software that is usually used by novice and professional composers, the Finale PrintMusic, is a cheap option that you can use to make music compositions and help you make things faster than ever before. Thanks to its user-friendly interface, it is such a huge help, as you won’t have any problems adjusting to the software, even if you are still a beginner in using it.
You can enter the notes using either a MIDI keyboard, a mouse, or even a computer keyboard; unfortunately, it does not have a virtual piano in it. Still, with lots of built-in instruments to choose from, such as strings, horns, percussions, and more, you can still surely make your composition great, even with such limitations.
When it comes to composition techniques, the Counterpoint is one of the oldest and still widely loved by composers from the Western music scene. With a counterpoint, there are two or more melodic lines that complement one another but still act independently from each other. Composers usually use this technique to create polyphonic music.
Some of the great examples where the counterpoint technique is used are The Well-Clavered Clavier, composed by Johann Sebastian Bach, Jupiter Symphony No. 41, composed by Mozart, and the Star Wars main theme, which was done by John Williams. There are still more works that the said technique has been used by famous composers that you should also check out.
So, what do composers use to write music? Do composers compose at the piano? Most composers, even from the old days, still use a piano or keyboard in writing music compositions because of the features that many musical instruments cannot offer. Nowadays, modern composers also use software such as Sibelius, Finale PrintMusic, and more to make music compositions much faster, and with the help of digital audio workstations, you can produce a piece of music that you can be proud of.