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1-12 Build your own music: composition

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Journal 1 (grand staff required, time signature not required) Be creative while practicing basic notation symbols. Create a “noteworthy” work of art by arranging the notes and symbols covered in chapter 1 in artistic ways on two sets of staff lines (what you need for a grand staff).

If you're not feeling particularly creative, using two staff lines (what you need for a grand staff) divide them into three or four equal measures going all the way across the page. Draw a box around each measure that extends beyond the staff lines and use the boxes you have made to create a set of “post-it notes” instead.

At this point, you can begin putting elements into your own music journal construction project. Ideally, you will keep adding things and working in your journal throughout the book. Think of it as your own personal workspace, a place where you can experiment with all the various items and concepts that we discuss. For your first composition assignment, practice writing all the symbols we covered in this chapter on the staff.

  1. Create a grand staff with a treble and bass clef.
  2. Don’t worry about rhythm for now, or trying to put notes into specific measures. We’ll cover that topic in Chapter 2. For now, practice writing all the different notes. Practice writing notes with beams and flags. Also practice writing rests. Write notes with the stems pointing both up and down, on both the treble and bass clef. Also try some notes on ledger lines.
  3. After you have placed a large number of notes on the staff, begin to add some of the other symbols used to modify or further describe those notes. These items could include sharps, flats, or naturals; ties, slurs or accents; staccato, or dynamics.