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Composing Digital Music For Dummies

ISBN: 978-1-118-06835-9
384 pages
May 2011
Composing Digital Music For Dummies (1118068351) cover image


Yes, you can turn those great melodies and smokin’ grooves in your head into stunning digital music! And you don’t have to be a musical genius or a computer geek to do it! Composing Digital Music For Dummies shows you everything you need to know to compose great tunes using the hottest digital tools.

This friendly, plain-English guide explains all of the digital music basics, including how to work with the latest hardware and software, use templates from the companion CD-ROM to make a quick start, build your first tune, and save it in different formats. You’ll also find out how to add instruments to your score, set tempos and keys, create chord symbols and show fretboards, add lyrics to your tune, and much more. Discover how to:

  • Write and arrange digital music
  • Determine what — if any — equipment you need
  • Create your own ringtones and mp3s
  • Compose with a MIDI controller, or a mouse
  • Work with notation software
  • Use keyboard shortcuts
  • Publish your creations on the Internet
  • Build your own tune from scratch
  • Extract parts from your score for each instrument

The companion CD-Rom also includes a demo of Sebelius 5, the most popular music notation software, as well as audio files for all music examples in the book. With this step-by-step guide and your computer, you’ll have everything you need to start writing, arranging, and publishing your own digital music — immediately!

Note: CD-ROM/DVD and other supplementary materials are not included as part of eBook file.

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Table of Contents


Part l: So You Want to Compose Digital Music.

Chapter 1: Introducing Digital Music.

Chapter 2: The Digital Music Revolution.

Chapter 3: Music Notation Basics.

Part II: Gearing Up.

Chapter 4: Digital Composing Hardware.

Chapter 5: Getting Cool Gear.

Chapter 6: The World of Music Software.

Part III: The Basics: Building Your First Tune.

Chapter 7: Instant Music: Using the Templates.

Chapter 8: To Live and Burn in L.A.: Output 101.

Chapter 9: Sharing the Love: Internet Publishing.

Part IV: Getting Fancy: Building Your Tune from Scratch.

Chapter 10: What’s the Score? Creating Your Score Paper.

Chapter 11: No-Frills Notes: Basic Note Entry.

Chapter 12: Composing with Your Instrument.

Chapter 13: Keep the Beat: Adding the Drum Part.

Part V: Beyond the Basics: Advanced Composing Tips and Tricks.

Chapter 14: Spice Is Nice: Marking Up Your Score.

Chapter 15: You’re a Real Composer Now.

Chapter 16: Fine-Tuning the Mix: Playback Options.

Part VI: The Part of Tens.

Chapter 17: Ten Digital Music Terms You Should Know.

Chapter 18: Ten (Or So) Composers You Should Know.

Chapter 19: Ten (Or So) Sibelius Tips and Tricks.

Part VII: Appendixes.

Appendix A: Common Instrument Ranges.

Appendix B: About the CD.


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Author Information

Russell Dean Vines has over 30 years of professional music experience. Hehas composed and arranged hundreds of jazz and contemporary music pieces heard on TV, radio, and the stage.
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