Today’s blog is written by guest writer and current Librarian in Residence Emily Spitz.
Have an inspiration for a song but need help with writing the melody and accompanying chords for it? The NLS Music Section has numerous audio recordings, braille and large print books to help you. We are very excited to announce that our NLS recording studio here in Washington, D.C., is currently preparing the talking book for How to Write Songs with Keyboards by professional composer and guitarist Rikki Rooksby. This is a collaboration between the Music Section and the NLS recording studio that evolved during the fall of 2019.
Rooksby’s book offers a contemporary twist to popular song composition and encourages patrons – of all musical abilities – to be creative from chapter one. He gives many examples of chord progressions and explains which chord will create certain moods and how to play them. Since previous knowledge of music theory or keyboard proficiency is not required, How to Write Songs with Keyboards is specifically geared towards all aspiring song composers from the beginner to the professional. A major bonus to this delightful book are Rooksby’s upbeat and inventive arrangements for each of the musical examples.
While we are finishing up this recording for you in the coming weeks, you can already learn about song composition with the following titles:
Music Theory and Music Composition
- Chords by Scott Huston. Demonstrates several ways chords can be constructed and connected and how key feeling or tonality is produced by drawing on examples from composers of different eras and styles. Set as a conversation with Carolyn Watt. (DBM00141)
- Intervals and Triads by Scott Huston and Carolyn Watt. Discusses the uses composers make of intervals and triads in their music. (DBM00214)
- Modern Harmony Course by Bill Irwin. (DBM00701)
- Advanced Keyboard Harmonies for keyboard, piano, and organ by Bill Irwin. (DBM03010)
- Keyboard Harmony Magic for the Popular Organist by Bill Irwin. (BRM34177)
- How We Write Music: Elementary Theory Book for Elementary Classroom or Individual Instruction by Willard I. Musser. (LPM00311)
- Music in Theory and Practice by Bruce Benward. Seeks to develop the following skills and knowledge: analysis skills, historical perspective, compositional skills, the seeing ear, the hearing ear, performance. (BRM26520)
- Music in Theory and Practice Workbook by Bruce Benward. Intended to provide assignments in depth and breadth to augment those printed in the texts. (BRM26920)
NLS Music Section Resources Available from the Website
- Facts: Music Scores and Books for Individuals Who Are Blind or Have a Physical Disability
- Facts: Music Scores and Books for Individuals Who Are Blind or Have a Physical Disability. In braille.
- A wealth of information about composition is in the NLS’s Music Instruction Catalog.
The NLS Music Collection provides over 2,800 audio books on music appreciation and music instruction, has more than 23,000 in braille, and more than 850 large print titles are available for checkout. For more information about NLS music materials, our services and BARD, you may contact the Music Section by phone at 1-800-424-8567, option 2, or e-mail [email protected]. We are looking forward to hearing from you!