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musical composition

n. a musical work that has been created; "the composition is written in four movements" [syn: opus, composition, piece, piece of music]

Musical composition

Musical composition can refer to an original piece of music, the structure of a musical piece, or the process of creating a new piece of music. People who practice composition are called composers. "Composition" is the act or practice of creating a song or other piece of music. In many cultures, including Western classical music, the act of composing may include the creation of music notation, such as a sheet music "score", which is then performed by the composer or other musicians. In popular music and traditional music, the act of composing, which is typically called songwriting, may involve the creation of a basic outline of the song, called the lead sheet, which sets out the melody, lyrics and chord progression. In classical music, orchestration is typically done by the composer, but in musical theatre and in pop music, songwriters may hire an arranger to do the orchestration. In some cases, a songwriter may not use notation at all, and instead compose the song mentally and then play or record it from memory. In jazz and popular music, notable recordings by influential performers are given the weight that written scores play in classical music.

Although a musical composition often uses musical notation and has a single author, this is not always the case. A work of music can have multiple composers, which often occurs in popular music when a band collaborates to write a song, or in musical theatre, when one person writes the melodies, a second person writes the lyrics, and a third person orchestrates the songs. A piece of music can also be composed with words, images, or computer programs that explain or notate how the singer or musician should create musical sounds. Examples range from avant-garde music that uses graphic notation, to text compositions such as Aus den sieben Tagen, to computer programs that select sounds for musical pieces. Music that makes heavy use of randomness and chance is called aleatoric music, and is associated with contemporary composers active in the 20th century, such as John Cage, Morton Feldman, and Witold Lutosławski. A more commonly known example of chance-based music is the sound of wind chimes jingling in a breeze.

The study of composition has traditionally been dominated by examination of methods and practice of Western classical music, but the definition of composition is broad enough the creation of popular music and traditional music songs and instrumental pieces and to include spontaneously improvised works like those of free jazz performers and African percussionists such as Ewe drummers.

Although in the 2000s, composition is considered to consist of the manipulation of each aspect of music ( harmony, melody, form, rhythm, and timbre), according to Jean-Benjamin de Laborde (1780, 2:12):

Usage examples of "musical composition".

A word kept popping into his head which he had heard Gunilla use when she was introducing Schnak to the finer realms of musical composition.

In his poetry he strives to embody the ideals proclaimed in his prose work, which are, first, to write nothing that is not moral and elevating in tone, and, second, to express himself in versification which is obedient to the laws of regular musical composition, in rhyme, rhythm, vowel assonance, alliteration, and phrasings.

From my youngest days, I have been blessed-or perhaps cursed-with the ability to reproduce flawlessly any musical composition, Romulan or human or Vulcan, after hearing it only once.

On the same mornings little Johnny enters his music-room (underneath) and gives himself up to musical composition.

And even if I discovered that I possessed a natural talent for the operation of motor vehicles that was the equivalent of Mozart's brilliance at musical composition, I wouldn't be able to drive twenty miles south along the coast or thirty miles north to another police jurisdiction.

Our Dayo's relatively innocent scam with his musical composition was a case in point.

She sang every song and instrumental musical composition she knew, recited poems from the Middle Ages of Earth forward, translated works of literature from one language into another, cast them in verse, set them to music, meditated, and shouted inside her own skull.

Mr Ohno said, 'What I think is at work here are underlying principles that govern the structure of many things - a gene, a birdsong, a musical composition.

In musical composition, for example, women surely have produced fully as good things as have ever been produced by male amateurs.

I sang with him, I read his notes back to him like a student of musical composition.

The spoken word and written composition have rhythm, cadence, phrasing, as does a musical composition.