Music Composition And Arrangement: A Guide To Creating Beautiful Melodies

This infographic shows the basic song structure used in most modern pop

This infographic shows the basic song structure used in most modern pop from

The Importance of Music Composition

Music composition is the art of creating original melodies, harmonies, and rhythms. It is a fundamental aspect of music production and plays a pivotal role in conveying emotions, telling stories, and captivating listeners. Whether you are a seasoned musician or a beginner, understanding the basics of music composition can greatly enhance your creative process and enable you to express yourself through music.

The Elements of Music Composition

When composing music, it is essential to consider various elements such as melody, harmony, rhythm, and structure. Melody refers to a sequence of musical notes that form the main theme or idea of a piece. Harmony involves the combination of different notes to create chords and harmonious progressions. Rhythm dictates the pace and pattern of the music, while structure refers to the organization and arrangement of different sections within a composition.

Developing a Melody

Creating a memorable melody is often the starting point of music composition. It is the aspect that captures the listener’s attention and sets the mood for the entire piece. To develop a melody, experiment with different note sequences, intervals, and rhythms. Explore various scales and modes to add depth and complexity to your composition. Don’t be afraid to break traditional rules and take inspiration from different genres to create a unique and captivating melody.

Enhancing with Harmonies and Chords

Harmonies and chords add richness and depth to a composition. Experiment with different chord progressions to create a harmonious backdrop for your melody. Understand the relationship between different chords and how they can evoke different emotions. Use inversions, suspensions, and other chord variations to add complexity and interest to your composition. Remember to strike a balance between simplicity and complexity, allowing the melody to shine while providing a supportive harmony.

Mastering Rhythm and Groove

Rhythm is the heartbeat of music. It sets the pace, creates tension and release, and determines the overall groove of a composition. Experiment with different time signatures, syncopations, and rhythmic patterns to add interest and energy to your music. Pay attention to the interplay between melody and rhythm, ensuring that they complement each other and contribute to the overall feel of the composition.

The Art of Arrangement

Arrangement is the process of organizing and structuring the different musical elements within a composition. It involves deciding which instruments or voices play specific parts, determining the order and duration of sections, and creating transitions between them. A well-arranged piece of music ensures a cohesive and engaging listening experience.

Creating Dynamics and Contrast

Dynamics and contrast are crucial elements in an arrangement. Experiment with different volume levels, from soft and delicate to loud and powerful, to create tension and emotional impact. Vary the instrumentation and texture throughout the composition to maintain interest and captivate the listener. Use breaks, pauses, and changes in tempo to create contrast and highlight specific sections or moments within the music.

Utilizing Instrumentation and Timbre

Choosing the right instruments and utilizing their unique timbre can greatly enhance the overall sound and mood of a composition. Consider the characteristics of each instrument and how they blend together. Experiment with different combinations to create a balanced and harmonious ensemble. Take advantage of technology and virtual instruments to access a wide range of sounds and expand your creative possibilities.

Adding Effective Transitions

Transitions are essential in creating seamless connections between different sections of a composition. Use techniques such as modulations, key changes, and melodic variations to smoothly transition from one part to another. Incorporate transitional elements like fills, drum rolls, or arpeggios to add interest and maintain the flow of the music. A well-crafted transition ensures a cohesive and satisfying listening experience.


Music composition and arrangement are intricate processes that require both technical knowledge and artistic expression. By understanding the elements of music composition and mastering the art of arrangement, you can create beautiful melodies that resonate with listeners. Experiment, explore, and let your creativity guide you as you embark on the journey of composing and arranging music. Whether you are creating music for personal enjoyment or professional purposes, the joy and fulfillment that come from sharing your compositions with others are incomparable.

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Most Important Parts to Google Analytics – How to Read Your Analytics in 19 Minutes

In their infinite wisdom and generosity, Google provides us with their Analytics tool for free without any strings. Being a measurement junkie, I get manic with the depth of the detail Google Analytics provides me about the behavior of my clients’ web users. And with clients where it’s hard to get real life numbers about inquires, conversions, and level of interest, the preciseness of their web metrics is better than cake and ice cream. But as I noticed some of my coaching clients appearing comatose after the 5th hour of reviewing their analytics, I had to develop a list of what the most important measurements were with this tool.

To reap the rewards of the analytics you must first install it. So follow their instructions (again magnanimously provided for free) or pass it on to your IT folks. Here’s an important tip: make sure that this code appears on every single page of the website, and remember to add the code for all new pages. About a month ago, I nearly offed myself when I saw a bounce rate of 70% on one of my clients. After double checking that the home page didn’t say something like “GO AWAY NOW”, I checked on the analytics coding and found nearly 60% of the pages did not have this code. Once you are sure the code is in place, sit back and let analytics go to work. I like to think of Google Analytics as an entire team of little statisticians running around behind the scenes on your website testing and measuring everything….right down to little white lab jackets and little clipboards. So at 4:15 am one of these statisticians is observing a Norwegian Fisherman reading your website, spending an amazing 17 minutes on there.

And at the same time, another statistician is observing the behavior of Northern New York reader who left your page right at the shopping cart section. Thousands and thousands of the statisticians at work every single minute of the day. Maybe 30 days after you have set the folks in the white lab coats to work, check back on your Analytics Report. Start by following the Analytics tutorial just so you are familiar with the overall functioning but don’t get overwhelmed for the millions of measurements you can check on. Instead, consider following the same outline I use for my clients during a 19 Minute Analytics Review.

1. Under the Visitors Section/Overview- click on the Map overlay. It will give you a good feel of the geographic region where you are attracting visitors.

2. Under the Visitors Section/Overview- click on New versus Returning Visitors. Are you burning through new leads? Do they come once and never return? How often would you like folks to return? Are you happy with the amount of new visitors?

3. Length of Visit/Time Spent on Sight. It should always be up, and the longer the better. An average time on site that is a matter of seconds or is decreasing tells you objectively that people are not compelled enough to stick around longer. You can fix that with some richer more meaningful copy or preventing the dreaded dead ends.

4. Under the Visitors Section/Overview-check here for % of new visits being up or down. Declining new visitors is a clue to work on your SEO either organically for paid. Just make sure to do something to fix this.

5. Visitor Loyalty/Visitor Recency-one of my favorites. If you are selling a product/service that has a longer buying cycle, this number which counts “sessions” not visits, should be increasing. If it is, congrats- your prospects keep coming back to learn more and educate themselves. If this is declining, consider what kind of meaningful sales copy you can add. A kind of “Big Brother” function gives you insight into the time lapse between your prospects- a great tool to add to your sales psychology/how customers buy collection.

6. Depth of Visit is good to measure to see how “deep” into your site folks are going. I coach people to think of their websites as great big mansions. So it’s unrealistic to expect every visitor to go the East Wing, 4th Floor, 5th bedroom on the left to the closet, but we do want to see SOME people going to that extreme, especially if you are selling a higher $ item. This tells us that people are gobbling up everything you can throw at them about your product.

7. Referring Sources, which appears under Traffic Sources/Direct Traffic tells us an overview of how many pages and how many visitors we had. Once you have been using Google Analytics for 60 days, you can start comparing one time period to another. Don’t waste time just looking at jut one time period of visits and pages; instead compare one time period to another and observe the trends.

8. Also in the section of the report, compare the time on site to a previous time period. It should be climbing but if it’s flat or declining- you have a dull maybe even stupid website.

9. The Keyword section can save you a bunch of money. Rather than paying one of those shady SEO companies a boat load of money to find your keywords, you can do it yourself in this section of the analytics report (another reason we say, “Thank You Google.”) Under Traffic Sources/Direct Resources click on the keywords and you can see what words people used to find you site. Now c’mon, is that not the coolest thing? Ever? I have to practically take nerve pills when I see this because I get so excited. Play around with the keywords presented to you to sort them from high to low. PAY ATTENTION TO THIS! This is gold for us as we can use this to create our Ad Sense campaigns as well as beef up the copy around these keywords. Also have your web genius is make sure that these keywords appear in the title pages for even better search results.

10. Which Pages are Most Popular? Go to Content, then Overview, then over on the right -click on the Entrance Path. This is a good way to show how banner ads, links or other referring sources are doing dumping visitors into your site.

11. The Site Overlay isn’t earth shattering- the better data comes from the Entrance Page Report- but it’s pretty cool to look at for 30 seconds.

12. Top Content/High Bounces is a really fast check to see which pages have the highest bounce rate. It could be that readers are simply “done” but including a couple of links to another section of the website is an easy fix.

13. Top Content/High Exit Rates is the second cousin to High Bounce Rates. These are the pages that need your attention and work. I coach folks to beef up the content of their pages by answering my 4 Ultimate Questions. If the bounce rate horrifies you, check with your developer to ensure these pages have the required Google Analytics code. If you have a really good page- that its loaded with rich content and you are convinced should be a crowd pleaser but is not showing on your top content, consider optimizing it separately, changing its position on the site, or adding some internal links pointing to it.

Consistency is the key. I would much rather clients review their analytics regularly at these bite size 19 minute intervals than putting it off because they can’t find the 2 hours they feel they need to review it. May you experience as much unbridled joy as I have in the exciting world of reviewing your analytics.

Site Analytics Basics

Whether your website traffic is going badly or your online marketing is doing great, you need to know why and how is that happening. That’s where site analytics come in.

Site analytics is a tool that generates information about your website visitors and what they do on your site. It would even tell you what contents and links are doing you good or harming your site. So if your serious about monetizing your site, an analytics tool is a must from the moment your site is live or online.

It’s great to use Google analytics but just like anti-malware tools, it would be wiser always to use two. That way, you’re surer to see what the other one is missing on.

What Can Google Analytics Give You

These are the types of information that Google Analytics generate:

1. Visits -information about new and loyal or returning visitors

2. Absolute Unique Visitors -information about your first-time visitors

3. Page Views -information about what contents on your site are being visited

4. Time on Site -information about length of time your visitors spend on your site

5. Bounce Rate -tells you the percentage of visitors who just take a look at your site and then leave without exploring.

6. Direct Traffic -information about the the number of visitors which came by using your URL or site address into their web browsers

7. Referring Sites -this might be the most important information you could get. This is where you learn which of your links gives you the most traffic.

8. Search Engines -another important information where you can learn what keywords your visitors are using to find your site so you can concentrate on those keywords and promote it.

9. Landing Pages -pages or contents from which your visitors are visiting your site.

Now compare those with these features which I get from another commercial analytics tool:

~SEO online training

~smart keyword marketing

~automated link popularity building

~website optimization for SEs

~customizable and accurate Ranking and Backlink reports

~website error troubleshooting and usability testing

Now don’t think it’s that simple. The bigger your online business is, the more you should study all the details of the analytics information. Big companies hire employees or freelancers just to analyze analytics (no pun).

I suggest you concentrate on traffic sources because traffic is the bloodline of any website. It’s how and where your visitors and customers find out why they should visit your site.

There are so many free analytics programs you can use but just be careful – some have spyware installed in their code. I use WebCEO together with Google Analytics and so far, there are no problems.