… the simultaneous sounding of two or more pitches which change through time, is what helps to convey music’s direction and emotion. It is the bedrock of the Western Music Tradition


… the interweaving of at least two concurrent melodies according to its own rules, which are subservient to the rules of harmony. It adds coherence to a musical texture, but is a difficult technique to master


adds further light, shade and colour to the music by blending and contrasting individual instruments and groups of instruments with regard to range, timbre, dynamic and balance


Get These Basics Right First

1st Year Harmony

Deals with triads, inversions, dominant 7th, cadences, passing & auxiliary notes and modulation to related keys

2nd Year Harmony

Adds advanced modulation, diminished and augmented triads, secondary 7ths, ellipsis and chromatic harmony

3rd Year Harmony

Deals with beginnings, endings, figures while modulating, style, technique and string accompaniment

2 Part Counterpoint

Often implies rather than fully expresses the harmonic basis. What is omitted is as important as what is included

3 Part Counterpoint

Each part has equal melodic and rhythmic status. Stylistic cohesion is essential. Imitation is often necessary

4 Part Counterpoint

All parts still have equal interest and there is frequent crossing of parts to maintain linear integrity


Examples Of Orchestral Compositions On This Site


The Core Skills Necessary For Composition


picture: first MS page of Tristan And Islode


picture: start of Contrapunctus II from The Art Of Fugue


picture: first MS page of The Rite Of Spring


Peter Lynch is a musician with a background in education. He is now a composer


To encourage the study of the core techniques of composition


To create music sufficently creditable to make it worth scoring and recording


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This section is about instruments, such as flute and piano and guitar (even bass guitar), and hardware and software, so here, for now,…

Learn By Listening

To The Greatest Masters Of The Craft. This Month …
    Riemenschneider 371 Chorales
    Riemenschneider 371 Chorales


    This book provodes the basis on which serious students study the fundamentals of 4 part (SATB) harmony. It contains Bach’s 371 Chorale harmonizations and is the most important and enduring study aid on the subject ever published.

      Music Offering
      Music Offering


      The famous story, involving Frederick the Great, behind this astonishingly complex work is most entertaining. The iconic theme itself, used throughout, is a perfect balance of rising minor arpeggio and descending chromatic scale.

        Brandenburg Concerto No 6
        Brandenburg Concerto No 6


        This vivacious work, composed for the antecedents of the string orchestra, is highly unusual in that there are no violins. Nonetheless, the unique, darker sounds and textures demonstrate what is possible with with limited resources.

          Chaconne In D Minor
          Chaconne In D Minor


          A set of 64 variations on a 4 bar theme, this final movement of the Solo Partita in D Minor has achieved mythologocal status. It is perhaps the greatest solo violin piece of all time, both in its technical demands and expressive imagination.