This high school music course is not only for those interested in composing, but anyone with some basic music theory background who wishes to read music better, understand what is happening in music, and be able to compose a little themselves. The course is not for beginners and while it reviews some basic theory, a knowledge of the fundamentals of music is assumed. The course moves fairly quickly and covers a lot of ground for a 100 page text, so a slow approach is recommended. It would be very beneficial to practice and apply the ideas and concepts taught in the text through study of “real music” outside the textbook.
The course has a good combination and sequence of teaching ideas, practicing sight reading, dictation of sounds off the CD's/tapes (which are an essential part of the course), and composition. Near the beginning of the book, strict limitations are set given for compositional work, so the student can work within a narrow set of ideas and is not overwhelmed. The limitations are scaled back in the later half so the student has more freedom to be creative.