How to Write Music

Would you like to learn how to write music? 

Discover the powerful feeling of writing your own music with free, easy music composition lessons for beginners!

How to Write Music

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Writing or Composing?

If it's your own music, writing music is also composing music.

Some believe that composing music is only for professional composers, and would never attempt to write a song themselves.

What a sad limitation, that music composition is somehow only for a selected few...

Who dares to pretend to be a composer before having learned all there is about music theory, harmony, analysis, composition techniques, counterpoint, instrumentation, arranging....?

Well I dare to say that anyone with some knowledge of music can start learning how to write music on their own!

Actually, composing music does not mean that you have to know how to read or write music notation either. But it helps.

I also dare to say that music belongs to everyone. Use it. Enjoy it. Love it. Create it. And WRITE it!

Here is a helpful tool to get started (Amazon): The Everything Music Composition Book with CD: A step-by-step guide to writing music

Learning How to Write Music

For a professional, composing music is a lot like writing poetry. You have to plan and outline the structure, the meter, the rhythm, the techniques to use and the type of composition you want to do.

Learning how to write music is not so much a talent as it is an acquired and developed skill, but even as a beginner you can start composing with only a few easy techniques.


So, except for great imagination and a basic knowledge of musical notation- what do you need to start composing?

  • A notation and composition software like Musescore (Free!) makes writing music fun and looks more professional.
  • For listening to compositions with several parts, I use a digital piano in my studio where I record each part on separate tracks. This works great when there are several different parts or instruments in the composition. 
  • Some way of recording different tracks is very useful. Audacity is a software you can get for free. There is a learning curve as with all software, but it's still relatively easy to use.

But you could also go low-tech and invite friends who play or sing to test-drive your new piece!

Components of a Musical Composition

How to write music

The main components or elements of a musical composition are the:

  • Melody: A melody is how the notes or pitch moves up or down, higher or lower. A melody can move smoothly, or be jumpy, or anything in between. Some musical pieces have only a melody. (Or only rhythm, like a rap.)
  • Rhythm: Any melody would be boring if the notes were all the same length. So by making them longer or shorter we create rhythm. And by grouping note values together we make rhythmical patterns that can be repeated- which is nice!
  • Harmony: You can combine two or more melodies in different ways. This creates various forms of harmony. A melody can also be backed up by different chords.

But, since a melody is quite dependent on rhythm to be interesting, it's included so to say. So, actually only two out of the elements above are the most basic of a piece; Melody (with rhythm) and Chords.

This means that if you just compose a nice melody and find chords that fit, you can arrange your composition in any possible way!

Let's Get Started Writing Music!

The first 3 lessons below, in how to write music for beginners, will through exercises teach you: 

  • First how to write a melody.
  • Next, you will learn how to find the right chords to fit the melody.
  • Finally, you'll learn how to arrange your little tune for different instruments in a simple 4-part harmony.

Sounds good? So without further ado, let's get started! Click on any of the links to go to the lesson:

  1. How to Write a Melody
  2. Adding a Chord Sequence to A Melody
  3. How to Write Simple 4-Part Harmony

Here are more beginner music composition lessons:

And, just for fun and perhaps some inspiration:

I hope these lessons will help to get you started to write your own music!

Happy composing!

Tools for Learning How to Write Music