What is a Composer?

The dictionary says that a composer is "a person who writes music". A composer is a person who loves sound. In fact, the composer loves sound so much that she wants to put that sound in order and make rhythm and melodies that no one else has thought of yet.


How does a composer write the music?

Sometimes composers write the music down on paper. Sometimes composers record the music on tape and CD's and don't write it down on paper. Sometimes composers make music right when they are performing so that people who are at the concert hear that piece but nobody else ever does!

Some things about me!

I started composing music when I was in 6th grade. I have always loved sound and when I was young, I just naturally liked to organize sound and make it into pieces of music. At that time, I sang in a choir and I played the piano. Now I play not only the piano and sing, but I also play the electric bass, the synthesizer and the harmonica. I also love to dance.

In college, I learned how to compose music for all the instruments of the orchestra. College also gave me the opportunity to learn how to notate music well and how to work in a recording studio. I made many good friends in college, all of whom are musicians. I compose pieces for them to perform.

My days now are spent composing music and conducting the business which goes with composing, including going to rehearsals, working with my publisher, making telephone calls, writing letters and meetings. As I write this I realize that I have been composing music for 35 years!

I feel I am a very lucky person. I love to compose music. And like my favorite composers Mozart, Beethoven, Chuck Berry, and Big MaMa Thornton, and many other composers, I chose to make composing my work. It is very hard work. I enjoy every moment of it.

How do you begin to compose music?

It's easy to begin composing music by finding some sounds that you like. They can come from anywhere! Some of those might be:

- the sound of a pop-top on an empty pop-can
- the sound of two spoons clacking together the sound of blowing on a pop bottle
- the sound of a musical instrument like a piano, guitar, flute or clarinet
- the sound of your own voice

When you find a sound you like, try to find some rhythm that you like. Now play it several ways:

-soft and lightly
-loud and hard
-very smoothly
- very jagged

Pick the way you like it best. Now play it that way and repeat it several times. This is the first part of your piece.

After you play it several times, you may want to change something about it. Go ahead and change it! Do you like it? Now play it a few times. This is the second part of your piece.

Now that you have two parts to your piece, you can do many things like:

-Go back and play the first part of your piece again. Now your piece has three sections with the first and third sections that sound the same.

-Add another section that doesn't sound like the first or the second section.

-Add another instrument, perhaps your voice. Sing anything that sounds good to you. It doesn't have to have words at all!

How do you make a melody?

Some people just try out notes until they make a melody they like. Others play games with notes to make melodies they like. Here's an easy game you can play alone or with friends to make melodies.

Sing do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do, re, mi. Now give each syllable a number starting with 1:

do = 1
re = 2
mi = 3
fa = 4
sol = 5
la = 6
ti = 7
do = 8
re = 9
mi = 0

Now make melodies by singing your phone number! Maybe 2 or 3 in a row sound good. Try it!