Writing Music Like Mozart


[Classmates, if you want to hear my final project and see the submitted score, please scroll down to the bottom of this article.]

For the past six weeks I have been taking a Coursera class called, “Writing Music Like Mozart”. I’ll not bore non-music theorists with the details of what was covered, but I do want to address certain people in this world.

I don’t much care for wishers. I wish I had gone to college. I wish I had taken piano lessons. Etc. Don’t be a wisher. Be a doer.

Piano lessons? I don’t charge for Skype-based lessons. There’s free private lessons right here.

If you are willing to forgo the sheepskin or certificate, college and classes on a wide variety of subjects are free to those with online access good enough to stream video.

iTunes University offers real classes taught by real professors, recorded during real classes. Want to sit in on full semesters of class sessions at Harvard, Stanford or other high profile universities? You can, and at your own pace in your own good time. Get an app for your device, pick a course, and dig in. You aren’t left out, you are depriving yourself or you’re a whiny little brat.

Coursera is another popular route. These tend to be six-week mini-classes that are free unless you want a certificate. There are class videos, assignments, quizzes, and evaluation by your peers in the class. Don’t ignore the forums within the classes as they address issues you might be having or be interested in.

There are many other sources that I’m not going to bother to list, some pay and some free. For me the big two are listed above. Please comment on others you might know of outside of Lynda.com and MacProVideo. I’ve found that paying for unlimited access costs more than paying for individual ones as you have time.

So, let me show you my final project for the Mozart class. Hit play and scroll down along with the music if you like. It’s a little over a minute, took me 10 days to complete.

Mozart Final Assignment A

Mozart Final Assignment B

8 thoughts on “Writing Music Like Mozart

    • I didn’t do any of the playing. Ready for this? I made the whole thing in Notion 5 for the Mac! I used expensive samples that Notion was able to use, that I would normally use in Logic. Lucky for me the things I already own just happen to have special built-in support. Neither the piano sound nor the violin are part of the Notion package. And you already know there is an iPad app of the same name from the same company. I bought the real Mac version because I already have the iPad version. They use the same file which can be transferred via e-mail, hopefully there will be iCloud support in the future.

      Speaking of iCloud support and cross-platform cooperation, I wish a certain comic book reader had a Mac version and iCloud support so I could be reading on my iPhone, continue reading on my Mac, and then finish on my iPad. Because it takes such a very long time to read a single issue of a comic book. That was a HINT.

      • Well, the plan now is to update ThinkBook, then update ThinkBook again to be free with IAP, at that point I hope to add iCloud Syncing. Then CZ will get it, but only in the form of keeping your reading progress updated on already imported comics. It won’t duplicate comics from other devices.

        Mac version … not unless Apple releases a toolkit to make it easier. It’s a big jump.

    • I don’t think there will be a class thread here although it is welcome. There is a class forum for things like that. They might listen here and comment back there. Whichever is good with me. I hope I’m not breaking some sort of code of honor by showing my work to others.

  1. Thanks. There’s some lines I could smooth out some. I got caught up in legato lines having too much vibrato so I clipped phrases, particularly in the cadences. Too much so, it is too disjoint too often. I will get better control of how the violin sample behaves in the scoring program I used — Notion 5 — but it will take longer than the deadline of the assignment so I’m letting it stand. I am very much looking forward to seeing some of the others because I know there will be better than mine.

    I’ve briefly checked out edx.org and it definitely has promise. I’m adding it to my shortlist of education sources.

    It is difficult to find courses like this one we are currently wrapping up. I think I was primed and ready for the material and the way it was taught. I’m currently obsessed with form and how that facilitates establishing an idea, driving it home, and setting it temporarily to rest in favor of the next thing in a piece. There was nothing I had not been exposed to in this class except for the perspective of writing rather than merely analyzing and somehow this brought it home for me, to formally plan things out before starting to compose. It was a big missing piece to the puzzle for me.

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