Become a better composer!

the only clear, systematic, and intuitive method for making melody

This volume presents a step-by-step method
for composing a good unaccompanied melody.
And what makes a melody “good?”

A good melody is memorable, expressive, intriguing, and unique. It follows its own inner logic as it moves in ways listeners can readily follow, yet can’t fully predict. Even without accompaniment, a good melody projects colorful, striking harmonies. And it says something.

Once you become adept at unaccompanied melody your melodies will no longer “all sound the same.” You’ll know several different ways to begin, continue, and end each phrase. You’ll be able to sketch a pretty good melody in just a few seconds, and know dozens of ways to bring it to life.

15 chapters plus an introduction; 142 pages.


Traditional methods for composing “tonal counterpoint” are based on intervals. But tonality is not based on intervals, it’s based on harmony. Figuring Out Melody is the first book to offer a systematic yet intuitive way to use chord tones to write counterpoint.

There are six chapters on the “basics”: 1:1, 2:1, suspensions, imitative counterpoint, and much more – all with far more practical instruction than usual. Four Chapters on invention make it clear why Bach himself claimed that composing inventions is indispensable for composers. Similarly, chapters on canon and fugue dig deeply into the compositional process.

In the end, your counterpoint skills will transform all the music you compose: piano music, chamber music, choral music, pop songs, art songs, film scores, EDM, video gaming, and sound design!


Many an enthusiastic reader has said that the ideas and instructions in the FOM eBook have changed how they hear and make music. Still, reading the eBook alone is like reading a menu without ordering the food.

The workbook exercises, analyses, and composition projects will help you internalize and digest everything you discover. They’ll make you master mechanics and stretch your imagination. An answer key in the back of the workbook lets you know right away whether you’re on the right track. Besides solutions, there is commentary to explain any “tricky” spots in the exercises.

105 exercises; 8 analysis projects; 8 composition projects; 133 pages


The instructions in the eBook show how to set up a framework for counterpoint, then embellish that framework to create interesting textures, harmonic tension and release, nuanced cadences, and imitative counterpoint. So why is a workbook necessary?

So glad you asked!

Most people will benefit by starting with basic drills before jumping into a broader application of the techniques at hand. Even the “more advanced” chapters on invention, canon, and fugue are designed with this in mind. The exercises show a variety of ways to build each smaller component part of an imitative form before tackling an entire piece.

126 exercises; 6 analysis projects; 7 composition projects; scores for 8 inventions and 5 fugues; 185 pages


Save a bundle on a bundle!

any two books

$40.00 $35.00

use code: any2

all four books

$80.00 $55.00

use code: all4

music students

currently enrolled in a high school, college, or graduate music course are eligible for an extra 20% discount.

use code: musicstudent20
after any other codes
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