Create a one-minute solo composition for your instrument.
Challenge yourself to write a highly well-crafted miniature work, which means that you’ll want to revise and hone your musical ideas thoughtfully.
What are some musical parameters to consider when creating a new piece of music?
- Form or shape
- Register or range
- Rhythmic Variety
- Dynamic Variety
- Articulations and Expression markings
- Timbre (Tone color)
How do I begin?
- Visualize and graph the form of the piece; for example, consider an arch shape, a short theme with variations, etc.
- Improvise on your instrument and record yourself, then listen and find a musical idea you like to expand upon.
- Imagine a mood or scene or character.
- Find a poem or piece of visual art that inspires you, create a musical idea to reflect the feeling the poem or art piece invokes.
What is a musical idea?
A musical idea can be anything from:
- a group of pitches
- a rhythmic pattern
- a particular timbre
Main question: is this idea distinctive and memorable? Does it have some kind of unique identity? (For example, a major scale on all quarter notes isn’t particularly memorable, but with a unique rhythmic pattern, even a major scale might become a worthwhile musical idea.)
What should my score look like?
- Neat and legible (no collisions, straight lines)
- Simple spelling of accidentals
- Courtesy accidentals
- Tempo markings
- Clear instructions for special techniques, if necessary