Sometime Lovers: My Baby’s Gone
Theory & Composition Lessons: Scale Theory
The foundation for music theory and composition is the scale, and the cement, stone and water for the scale is rote memory. The rote memory (absolute or holographic memory) resides in the right side of the brain. Starting with the chromatic scale as the basic ‘alphabet’ of the memory, the student then learns to generate all major, minor, penta/hexa/hepta tonic scales and modes, and memorize each of these compositional building blocks. The placement of all of these building blocks for composition in the creative side of the brain enables the student to organize and create a composition with flow, power and grace, and to maximize the efficiency of the process.
Theory & Composition Lessons: Chord Theory
The framework for music theory and composition is chord theory, and the ‘blueprint’ for that framework is the chord progression. Chord theory again enlivens the process of rote memory begun in scale theory and expresses those building blocks as intervals (dyads), triads, and chords in the standard formats of major, minor, diminished and augmented. The study of chord progression theory establishes the compositional matrix in which melody and form join together in composition.
Theory & Composition Lessons: Instrumentation
Instrumentation is the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the compositional matrix. It answers several questions, such as: What is the range of the instrument for which I am composing? How do I represent each instrument? How do the instruments interact? Linking the knowledge of scale theory, chord theory, and instrumentation opens the opportunity for expression of the compositional matrix.
Theory & Composition Lessons: Form Theory
Form theory is the ‘matrix’ of composition. Form theory projects the finished whole available for the composition. Form theory chooses the blueprint basis for the composition. Infused with the brick and mortar of scale theory and overlaying the ‘blueprint and framework’ of chord theory through instrumentation, form theory creates the opportunity for compositional integrity.