Online Resources for Music Composition



Composition Techniques

“Instruments” and samples



WCU library subscriptions: > Resources > Databases > Subjects/Music

  • Alexander Street
    • Classical Music Library
    • Classical Scores Library
    • Contemporary World Music
    • Jazz Music Library
    • Opera In Video
  • DRAM
  • Met Opera On Demand
  • Naxos Music Library & Naxos Video Library
  • Oxford Music Online

Sheet music collections

Blogs and web ‘zines

Recording sharing


Learning notation software

Matthew Hindman fonts (all free!) for use in computer software and for annotating music essays: Be sure to get:

  • Times + Musical Symbols (Mac only) and Rhythms
  • Instrument-fingering and pedaling fonts are available for harp, saxophone, recorder.


Audio Examples for “Simple Forms”

Franz Schubert: German Dance D. 783, No. 5

J. S. Bach, “Schlaff’s mir mir, Gott” from Anna Magdalena’s Notebook

Franz Josef Haydn: Divertimento Hob. XVI No. 8

Franz Josef Haydn: Sonata Hob. XVI-43

George Gershwin: “I Got Rhythm”

Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Sonata Op. 26, mov. 1

Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 2, mov. 3

Schumann “Träumerei” from Kinderszenen

Robert Johnson “Ramblin’ On My Mind”

Beethoven Minuet in G WoO. 10 No. 2

Composition Challenges

Successful completion of these challenges involves approaching each task directly and thoroughly, avoiding extraneous musical details that do not contribute to the requested sonic effect.

Challenges that must be composed for acoustic instruments with no electronic accompaniment or sonic modification are indicated with a ☀ symbol. Challenges designed for electroacoustic music are labeled ⚡. Challenges designed for piano or piano-plus-one are labeled 🎹.

Continue reading Composition Challenges

Dear Distance Education Students

This is a slightly-edited email that I just sent to a class of students in my online course that is  designed for graduate students who need to review (or learn for the first time) undergraduate music theory concepts. Course grades had been falling as material became more difficult. This course is made up of fourteen weekly lessons, each of which includes an activity, an assignment (self-graded with automatic release of a key upon submission), and a quiz. Quizzes are available all week, and must be done by midnight Sunday.

Dear students,

I see a disturbing trend: that most of you are submitting their assignments at the end of the weekly unit, and so aren’t making time for asking questions or for study before the quiz. Here’s what I found for the last five assignments:

Continue reading Dear Distance Education Students