Here in Australia, creative music-making is becoming an increasingly important part of music study for students. This of course is to be applauded, since without somebody to write the music, who can play it? The standard of student composers has risen immensely in the secondary school sector as a result, as well as interest in contemporary art music in general.
One problem that has arisen is that many music teachers do not feel that they have sufficient knowledge or expertise in composition to be able to teach compositional technique to their students.
As a result, Damian Barbeler, Diana Blom and I have been writing a composition textbook for senior secondary and early tertiary music students for a number of years now. Music Composition Toolbox is based around a number of modules that explain and explore a particular compositional technique. There are 20 modules in this book, including topic such as modes, limited pitch sets, generating pitch material from a chord, motivic development, additive rhythm, generating music from numbers, indeterminacy, borrowing musical material, cycles of pitch and rhythm, graphic improvising… and so on.
These modules have been tested on our secondary and tertiary students and have been pleased with the results that our students have managed to attain.
We have just signed a contract with Science Press to publish this book. If all goes well it should be released in February 2006.
If you’re interested in knowing when this book is released, just let me know.