Composing with Fredrik Holm

The Joy of Composing

Cumbria Music Hub has worked with Fredrik Holm – Musical Director for the Westmorland Youth Orchestra, composer and musician – to create this online Composing Course for schools in Cumbria.

There are 10 Tasks to complete, with videos from Fredrik for inspiration.

Recommended: keyboard skills of minimum grade 1 equivalent.

  • Introduction
  • Task 1
What the course is about and what it takes to be a composer:

 

Introduction

Introduction

What the course is about and what it takes to be a composer:

 

Introduction

Task 1 – Writing Melodies

 

Learn the basics of how to write a good melody.

 

Writing Melodies

Task 2 – Composing with Scales

Learn to write music by first making up your own scale.

 

Composing with Scales

Task 3 – Making Film Music

Find out the secrets of how to create good film music. We will also make a sound track for an existing film.

Begin by watching this YouTube film that shows how powerful film music can be:

 

Making Film Music

Watch “The Box”: the film that needs a sound track

Task 4 – Learning from the masters Part 1 – Amelie

First we will learn to play a beautiful piece of music from the film Amelie. We will then analyse the composition and write something based on the same ideas. The sheet music can be found here.

 

Learning from the masters: Amelie

 

Task 5 – Learning from the masters Part 2 – Handel

In this task, we will learn to play a “Passacaglia” written by G.F. Handel and, just like in the previous task, we will write our own piece inspired by the principles that Handel used. The sheet music can be found here.

Learning from the masters: Handel

 

Task 6 – Rhythms

In this task, we will compose by first making up a rhythm.

 

Learning from the masters: Handel

 

Task 7 – Composing with Riffs

Here we will use, tweak and combine a series or really famous riffs.


Download the file shown in the video for Sibelius or the xml file which works for most other programs.

Task 8 – Arranging

In this task, we will learn how to turn a simple melody and some chords into an impressive arrangement for keyboard.

 

Learning from the masters: Handel

 

Task 9 – Instrumentation


Part 1:

In the first part, we will learn more about how to use various instruments in a composition. You will be asked to use a music-notating software to create good orchestration of a Coldplay song.
Download Sibelius file
Download xml file

Part 2:
This longer video that walks you through the most common orchestral instruments and what we need to think about when writing for them:

Task 10 – Putting it all together

In this task, we will put everything together and produce a great final composition.

 

Putting it all together

 

The music at the beginning and the end of the videos is called Awakening. It was written by Fredrik and performed by the Haga Duo from Sweden. The photo is taken by Olle Holm.