Musical composition and scoring school
Musical composition and scoring school

   Since 1987, the Musical Scoring School offers students a four-year program, enabling an efficient learning of all necessary techniques for the composer. Our pedagogy, elaborated by Jean Robert, is the fastest possible.

   Teaching is based on intensive practising of musical writing exercises. Beside attending sessions (group lectures of one hour, twice a week), regularly doing your homework is therefore absolutely necessary. Correcting of exercises, in the form of a workshop, gives the teacher the opportunity to support and guide each student efficently in their progressive mastering of scoring techniques.


   The step by step program of exercises enables any hard-working beginner to successfully reach the end of the studies. Sessions are held from October to June, in three quarters, corresponding to the French schools calendar. The full cycle of studies lasts four years.

   Another particular point : our teaching is entirely based on writing. Students therefore will not use their listening skills to complete exercises. Real inside listening, which cannot be separated from musical intelligence, will simultaneously develop with scoring skills.

First year

Melody techniques : Melodic-rhythmic path

  • Rhythmn, pulsion, metering
  • Modal and tonal structures
  • Pivot notes
  • Functional notes
  • Downbeat/Upbeat and pivot notes positioning
  • Primary melodic messages
  • Secondary melodic messages
  • Tonulation
  • Melodic chromatism

Cadential harmony

  • Chords with root bass
    • Primary chords harmony
    • Secondary chords harmony
  • First inversion
  • Second inversion
  • 7th chords
  • Third inversion
  • Modulation and tonulation
  • Harmonic chromatism

Second year

Melody development : The melodic cell

  • The smallest melodic-rhythmic element : the cell.
  • Melodic imitating :
    • Similar
    • Opposite
    • Backwards
    • Augmenting, diminishing
    • Extending, reducing
  • Counterpoint-cell
  • Two voices imitating (counterpoint imitating)
  • The theme

Two voices and three voices counterpoint

  • Punctum contra punctum : note against note counterpoint
  • Simple moves :
    • Parallel
    • Opposite
    • Oblique
  • Complex moves:
    • Similar
    • Contrasted
  • Counterpoint using two notes against one, three notes against one, four notes against one
  • Three voices counterpoint :
    • Melodic limits of voices
    • Role of the third voice
    • Rhythmic combinations

Third year

Musical composition exercises :
With the help of the teacher, the student analyses a work of a great classical or contemporary composer. Then the student must write a piece in a similar way, using the structures and musical language of the time (of course without the help of any instrument). The third and fourth years enable the student to learn different musical forms, the evolution of the musical language, as well as instruments use and symphony orchestra scoring.

Fourth year

 Once finished :

After having received and learnt the musical tradition, we can together look towards new sounds, and a new form of writing. The school offers the opportunity to produce your end-of-studies composition, which will be performed and recorded during the annual concert.