Music Composition For Dummies
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In composing music, you follow certain rhythm forms. These musical forms outline placement for accented and unaccented beats that form a pattern for a passage or for a whole piece. The following list offers a handy guide to the different parts in different types of compositions:

  • One part form: A, AA, AAA, and so on

  • Binary form: AB, AABB

  • Ternary/tertiary form: ABA, AABA

  • Arch form: ABCBA

  • Sonata: ABA


  • 8-bar blues: I, IV, I, VI, ii, V, I, V/I (turnaround)

  • 12-bar blues: I, I, I, I, IV, IV, I, I, V, IV, I, V/I (turnaround)

  • 16-bar blues: I, I, I, I, IV, IV, I, I, V, IV, V, IV, V, IV, I, V/I (turnaround)

  • 24-bar blues: 8xI, 4xIV, Ix4, V, V, IV, IV, I, I, I, V/I (turnaround)

  • Verse-chorus form (pop music): Intro ABACBCB

About This Article

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About the book authors:

Scott Jarrett is a producer and musician who currently runsthe Monkey House Recording Studio. Holly Day is the coauthor of Music Theory For Dummies and Music Composition For Dummies. Her articles have appeared in publications across the globe.

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