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9 Reviews
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough and extremely helpful
This book is an extremely useful introduction to the techniques of musical composition. It does presuppose a degree of technical knowledge and its usefulness would be improved if it made clear at the outset what level of ability at music theory the student is assumed to have. Nevertheless, Schoenberg's treatment is detailed and thorough, and it contains many helpful...
Published on 26 Oct 2001

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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Worthy but boring
Probably the most boring book ever written about composition. This is not a work that will kickstart your creative processes. If you are advanced enough to appreciate its worthiness, its main strength will probably be as an ancillary text for those more academically inclined. Seemingly written more to impress than to inspire, its language is dense: 'As motive of the...
Published on 30 July 2010 by Peter G


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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough and extremely helpful, 26 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Fundamentals of Musical Composition (Paperback)
This book is an extremely useful introduction to the techniques of musical composition. It does presuppose a degree of technical knowledge and its usefulness would be improved if it made clear at the outset what level of ability at music theory the student is assumed to have. Nevertheless, Schoenberg's treatment is detailed and thorough, and it contains many helpful examples from musical literature to illustrate points under discussion. I feel that this book is best read alongside other works on musical technique so as to ensure that each section is thoroughly understood. When studied in this way the knowledge and practice gained are invaluable, and I would recommend this book to anyone with a creative instinct.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 23 Feb 2009
This review is from: Fundamentals of Musical Composition (Paperback)
as with any other textbook written by Schoenberg,this book educates the aspiring musician on technical,philosophical and practical aspects of music.
Contrary to what someone else wrote in some reviews,this book presupposes that the student knows solidly all the foundations of harmony. It's not a book for 'dabbling' in composition,it's a book for composers in the making. It requires careful study and review. An excellent book by a great teacher and innovator of music.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Master!, 6 Feb 2007
By 
J. J. Rowley "rowleyjohnuk" (Loughborough, Leics) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fundamentals of Musical Composition (Paperback)
This book is brilliant for looking at how to compose, written by a great composer of the 20th Century. He taught in the USA and wrote a variety of books the seminal one being his 1911 book on Theory of Harmony where he set out his 12 tone theory. Recommended reading for all serious music scholars at university. One I refer to often.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what I hoped it would be., 10 April 2014
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This review is from: Fundamentals of Musical Composition (Paperback)
Very inspiring book. The idea of taking a small musical phrase and expanding it to form a larger structures is what I wanted to learn from this book about. Using it now with a couple of my students.
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent choice, 16 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Fundamentals of Musical Composition (Paperback)
Excellent choice for anybody learning musical composition. Great value for money, very happy with it. Arrived quickly and very happy with everything
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5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable Introduction to the Classics, 4 Jun 2012
This review is from: Fundamentals of Musical Composition (Paperback)
Schoenberg put this book together from the lessons he gave to American students who hadn't had the academic background in Music that he was used to from his students in Europe. In other words, it's a handbook in composition (and analysis) for intelligent people who want an introduction to the composition styles of the 18th & 19th Century German masters.

It's not intended as a guaranteed method of producing original masterpieces, (still less "How to Write Twelve-Tone Music") but to show the student composer how these composers put their Music together: how to come to grips with phrasing, cadence, and structure. It's a great book and has been invaluable to me for pastiche work for the past thirty-four years!
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Worthy but boring, 30 July 2010
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This review is from: Fundamentals of Musical Composition (Paperback)
Probably the most boring book ever written about composition. This is not a work that will kickstart your creative processes. If you are advanced enough to appreciate its worthiness, its main strength will probably be as an ancillary text for those more academically inclined. Seemingly written more to impress than to inspire, its language is dense: 'As motive of the harmony and motive of the accompaniment, through motive-like repetitions, this regularity contributes to unity and comprehensibility.' Well, yes... Apparently, Schoenberg conceived this book in English rather than in his native German. Bad call; if someone would rewrite it in clear English, I, for one, would be very grateful.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, 31 July 2013
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This review is from: Fundamentals of Musical Composition (Paperback)
As usual, it arrived in excellent condition and on time. I haven't been able to read it just yet, but this is definitely a book to buy, if you're studying music theory - even if on just a beginner's level. It contains the basics that you need to know, if you want to become a great composer - as the title says. It's also a "classic", when it comes to this kind of music literature.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 12 Aug 2012
This review is from: Fundamentals of Musical Composition (Paperback)
I bought it for my friend, he siad that is brilliant.
He is a student in Music department ar University of Birmingham.
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Fundamentals of Musical Composition
Fundamentals of Musical Composition by Arnold Schoenberg (Paperback - 15 Mar 1999)
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