How to Write Great Music

Now Available

An insight into the process of composition from first idea to final product, including real-world examples and a composition toolkit containing hundreds of decisions or choices that can be made while composing. The ideal companion for anyone interested in writing great music.

"Writing music is an amazing experience. Having the opportunity to create something that many others will listen to, that many will make their own judgments about, and that some will choose to enjoy over and over again. I’ve always been fascinated by music. From a very early age I have explored ways to create my own music and I’ve now been composing for more than 30 years.

I’ve met many people who would like to be able to write music too, but they feel discouraged by a lack of knowledge, understanding or process. I am fortunate to have met many inspirational music professionals from all over the world. They have helped me to develop my craft and, now as a teacher of music, I have the absolute privilege of sharing my experiences of writing music with others too.

This book is aimed at people at all stages of their musical journeys, including pre-musicians. It can be read cover-to-cover or as a reference book for more advanced composers to dip in and out."


Dave Lowe



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Six Shades of Yellow

Six Shades of Yellow is available from many online stores including the iTunes Music Store. 


Interview with Dave Lowe about the EP

Q: Dave, tell us about your new release.

A: Yes, new EP coming soon. “Six Shades of Yellow” will be released on Monday 19th August on the iTunes Music Store. 


Q: What's the background of the EP.

A: The EP is inspired by musical techniques and concepts I've learned from people in different parts of the world. The role and purpose of music in different cultures is as diverse as the places themselves, but they all have one thing in common - music is an essential part of everyday life and life without it would be unimaginable.


Q: What have you learned from meeting people from other cultures? How has your music changed?

A: For the purpose of “six shades” the focus is on the creativity rather than the purpose. Just a few examples are: The street drummer on Koh Samui who used a variety of metal objects on his homemade drum kit to add a new complexity to his cross rhythms by also using unusual timbres. The rich open-harmony of a soul-inspired barbershop quartet in Seattle. The complex rhythms and timbres and the powerful driven bass voices of a choir from Malawi. The sonic exploration to push the boundaries of Huddersfield University. The richness, brightness and precision in production at Champion Forest Baptist Church, Houston. A new approach to scoring for kick drum from a street dance crew in New York. Simple octave melodies from Mexico at a restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona. A guy called Leroy who seemingly spent most of life in a music store in Texas playing on digital pianos to find a new chord progression. The privilege of being on the front row at a Herbie Hancock gig and understanding more about how great musicians communicate to develop driving rhythm sections with real character and great collaborative improvisations. The thousands of young people I have had the privilege of working with as they've begun to discover their own journey in writing great music.


Q: Is there anyone in particular who has helped you in the production of “Six Shades of Yellow”?

A: The album is the product of having had the privilege of listening to or working with many musicians, composers, songwriters and producers. The special edition CD release is printed with their names.

Q: Why “Six Shades of Yellow”?

A: A few years ago I attended an interview and, as was the trend at the time, was asked 'if I was a colour, which colour would I be?'. My answer at the time was 'yellow', possibly as it is my favourite colour but most likely because as a child my favourite Mr Men character was Mr Happy, and he was yellow. One of the concepts that has helped me to advance in my musical understanding is 'colour' as a way to describe a harmony. That is, when a harmonic progression is not obviously related to a simple key and there is the addition of melodic lines using a mode or other derived note row it is described as a colour. I have developed a number of ideas based on this concept, but when scoring, performing and producing the six tracks, my approach has changed due to the many people who have inspired me - hence “six shades”. I'll leave it for you to decide which shade represents which track, or indeed which combination of shades you think I've considered at each point in the music.