Now lets create a composition:
We’ll start by composing in C major. The notes of a C major scale look like this:
C¯ D E F G A B C^
(C¯ indicates low C and C^ indicates high C)
- Assign the values that you can get from each possible dice roll to the notes in the scale. Make sure all values from 2 to 12 are assigned, so you may assign more than one value to a note. (For example, either a 9 or a 10 could mean the note G)
- Suggestion: Assign the most probable rolls to C¯, E, G, and C^ to get a composition most likely to sound like it was actually written in the key of C
- Suggestion: Assign one or more values to rests. (silence or pause).
- Now we will write a 16-measure composition in 4/4 time. Begin rolling the dice. Write down the results of each roll. Each roll represents a quarter note or quarter rest. 4 rolls make up a measure of music. That means you must roll and record the dice 64 times.
- After you’ve made and recorded each roll, write the corresponding note or rest beside each one.
- Then, if you like, write the quarter notes and rests on a musical staff. (This can be done by hand, or using notation software.)
- Finally, play your composition, or get someone to play it for you.
Write a second 16-measure composition. Incorporate one or more of the following:
- Write a composition in a minor key. (A minor is easiest, using no black piano keys.)
A¯ B C D E F G A^
Suggestion: Assign the most probable rolls to A¯, C, E, and A to get a composition most likely to sound like it was actually written in the key of A minor.
- Write a composition that uses the chromatic scale—all 12 notes, including both black and white keys on the keyboard.
C¯ C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C^
- Write a composition that uses a pentatonic scale—a five note scale common in Asian music
C¯ D E G A C^ (for example)
- Write a piece that randomly uses notes from eighth notes and rests through whole notes and rests. (each note will require two dice rolls—one for pitch and one for duration.)
- Write a piece in 3/4 or 6/8 time.