Classical Music Composition

Embark on a transformative journey with our new online course, “Classical Music Composition: From Sentences to Sonata.” This course is crafted especially for those of you who yearn to grasp the rich tapestry of classical music, tailored for theory students, composition enthusiasts, and anyone eager to delve deeper into this timeless art form. It promises not only to teach you the formal structures but also to empower you to imbue your personal style and signature into your compositions.

We understand how disheartening it can be, navigating through endless YouTube tutorials or struggling to find a course that truly speaks to your musical aspirations, one that resonates with your unique creative voice. This course is designed to meet you right where you are, addressing the very challenges you face. Inspired by Arnold Schoenberg’s seminal work “Fundamentals of Musical Composition,” our curriculum explores the foundational elements of classical music across the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods, guiding you through the ‘why’ behind the music, not just the ‘how.’

Through a series of engaging lessons, hands-on assignments, and supportive feedback, this course is meticulously structured to nurture your own creative voice within the disciplined forms of classical music. Whether you’re a music theory student eager to expand your knowledge, a composition student refining your skills, or simply passionate about acquiring a deeper understanding of classical music, this course is specifically designed with you in mind.

Join us to explore the beautiful complexities of classical music composition. We are committed to supporting and accompanying you every step of the way, ensuring you not only achieve technical proficiency but also discover and cultivate your unique musical voice in a warm and responsive educational environment.
Let’s start this musical journey together—enrol now and transform your passion into a masterpiece.
  • Title: Classical Music Composition: From Sentences to Sonata
  • Objective: To guide students through the fundamentals of musical composition in classical music using Schoenberg’s principles, focusing on structure, thematic development, and form.
  • Target Audience: Music students, composers, and enthusiasts with basic knowledge of music theory.
  • Duration: 24 weeks
  • Format: Weekly lessons, assignments, and a final project.


  • Weekly assignments: Analyze and create short musical forms.
  • Midterm project: Compose a complete piece using binary or ternary form.
  • Final project: Compose a full-length piece in sonata form, presented and critiqued in class.

Additional Resources

  • Recommended readings from Schoenberg’s works. and Caplin’s “Analyzing Classical Music”
  • Listening assignments covering key compositions from Baroque, Classic and Romantic periods.
  • Online forums for discussion and peer feedback and material produced by Gisela Paterno and Juan Rezzuto.

Course Information


Course Instructor

Gisela Paterno Gisela Paterno Author

Module 1: Introduction to Musical Composition

Module 2: The Basics of Musical Sentences and Periods

Coordination of Melody and Harmony

Building Musical Periods

Module 3: Developing Themes and Motives

The Melodic Line: Analysis and examples

The accompaniment, the character and the mood

Module 4: Introduction to Binary and Ternary Forms

Module 5: Theme and Variations and Rondo Forms

Module 6: Minuet and Trio and Scherzo Forms

Module 7: Introduction to Sonata Form

Module 8: Composition Projects

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