How to Write Music

Would you like to learn how to write music?

Discover the powerful feeling of writing your own music with free music composition lessons for beginners.

Writing or Composing?

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

How to write 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!

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

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

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.


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

If you have a notation and composition software you could use that to also be able to listen to what you write. I can recommend MagicScore Maestro (Amazon).

Otherwise printable staff paper, a sharp pencil and an eraser also works fine.

For listening to compositions, I have a digital piano in my studio where we record each part on separate tracks. This works great when there are many different parts or instruments in the composition.

Some way of recording different tracks is very useful. But otherwise you could 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.

Since a melody is quite dependent on rhythm to be interesting, actually only two out of the above are the most basic elements of a piece; Melody (with rhythm) and Chords.

So, if you just have a nice melody and chords that fit, you can arrange your composition in any possible way!

Let's Start Writing Music!

The following lessons in how to write music, will through exercises  guide you first how to write a melody.

Next, you will learn how to find the right chords to fit the melody.

Finally, to arrange your piece for different instruments in a simple 4-part harmony.

So without further ado, let's get started!


Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Get a Free E-book!

Subscribe to our eZine "The Piano Player", and get updates with tips and tools for beginner piano players. You'll get a free e-book with piano playing tips too!

Piano Quotes

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~Mark Twain

Have a favorite quote that inspire your piano playing? Please share it here!