Rae, Cornick: Sound Foundations

Rae, Cornick: Sound Foundations  | UE21483

A source of reference and a guide for aspiring composers - A practical and supportive resource to meet the needs of developing composers, especially suitable for those taking secondary school music examinations (GSCE and beyond).

Edition type:
Cornick Mike, Rae James
  • UE21483
  • ISBN: 978-3-7024-6731-9
  • ISMN: 979-0-008-08092-0
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Contents – Sound Foundations

  • Introduction
  • Acknowledgements
  • Preface
  • Section 1: Notation - the Basics
  • Section 2: Composition: Getting Started
  • Section 3: Understanding Pulse, Time Signatures and Rhythm
  • Section 4: Understanding Key Signatures
  • Section 5: Understanding Harmony
  • Section 6: The Composer's Tool Kit
  • Section 7: Thinking Horizontally
  • Section 8: Instruments and their Characteristics
  • Section 9: Writing for the Piano
  • Section 10: Writing for Voices
  • Section 11: Adding Important Instructions to Your Score
  • Section 12: Breaking the Rules
  • Appendices
  • Select Bibliography
  • Postscript
  • Glossary


This informative and stimulating new volume with CD on the art and craft of composing will be welcomed by anyone who is learning to compose and is especially suitable for those taking secondary school music examinations (GSCE and beyond).

Sound Foundations includes:
• The fundamentals of music theory, including time- and key-signatures, scales and a section to get you started in understanding harmony
• Explanation of the basics as well as many of the finer points of musical notation and the applications of music software
• A CD with over 100 recorded examples directly related to the text as well as two play-along tracks for jazz improvisation
• Specific tips on writing for the voice and the piano as well as a thorough survey of virtually every other instrument, including ranges and characteristics
• The meaning of foreign musical terms
• Adding dynamics, articulation and other essentials to your score
• More than 150 suggestions for further listening in a wide range of genres
• An extensive glossary of technical terms
• A range of inspiring compositional assignments


Sound Foundations is an informative and stimulating resource on the art and craft of composition. Pupils working at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher Levels could use this book effectively to further their knowledge and understanding of compositional techniques. The book is well structured offering practical advice on a number of topics. In conclusion, Sound Foundations is an excellent resource that contains a vast amount of essential information in an accessible and readable style (...) All in all, this is an invaluable text which would be an excellent resource for interested pupils.
SAME Magazine Summer 2014 (David Lambert)

This is a well-presented and carefully planned resource, packed with so much useful information that it would be ideal for those taking GCSE and A-level Music. Many students are bound to gain some inspiration from the suggestions for further listening and the helpful recordings on the supporting CD. It would make a good reference book for any music teacher who has students keen to compose, and would help get the less keen composer started.
Classroom Music Magazine 11/2010 (Steven Berryman)

Additional information

Edition type:
Cornick Mike, Rae James

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