Serious Training for Composers



Q: Do You Think About Voice-Leading While Composing?

Here is a VERY common question. In the midst/heat of composition, do composers really look for parallel 5ths & octaves, and other voice-leading considerations? I remember as an undergrad wondering if Bach thought about all of the things we analyzed in class? I was not yet fluent and this was very hard for …

Read More



Tips for Dealing with Composition Fatigue

My student Simon Donovan asked me a very important (and common) question about the process of composition the other day. Here’s his question and my reply. (Thanks Simon for allowing me to post this.)   Hi Alain, … So my question is when you have written a piece or a section …

Read More



Composition as Performance – my hockey analogy

I have been likening composition as a performance over the past few years. That the moment of composition, when that great idea strikes, becomes a performance where all your skills come into play and are there to support that great idea. Those skills and techniques should be learned, like a language, or skills in a …

Read More



The truth about parallel fifths and octaves: good or bad?

A VERY common source of confusion and frustration from composition students involves the use of parallel fifths and octaves. Are parallel fifths and octaves good or bad? Why are parallel fifths taught as something to avoid if they sound so good and when great composers like Debussy, Ravel, Ralph Vaughan …

Read More



Achieving Creative Freedom

“Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind.” Johannes Brahms What is creative freedom? I’d imagine it would be the point where you have complete access to your ideas, right? And what gives you access to your ideas? Technique. For example, let’s say you are struck by a …

Read More

About Alain Mayrand

Alain is a working composer, orchestrator, conductor and orchestrator. His credits include "Elysium", "Ender's Game" and more.

Read more about Alain on the About Page

ScoreClub Newsletter Signup

Get access to FULL free video lessons upon signup.