Composition & Improvisation: A Case Study: Part 24 of 24: Idea: Add an Ending

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A common practice is to add a few extra bars at the end of the form in order to signal crisp and clear closure…

A standard idea is to “turnaround” to the V7 chord and to postpone full resolution of the melody for a few more bars. Notice how the extra four bars fits with the established melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic flow of the piece…


This brings us to end of our case study. I hope that this series helped to demystify the process of creating music. In one sense, it is utterly simple. All you need is a bit of knowledge (of scales, chords, chord progressions, etc), some insight into how music works, and the curiosity of a child playing with building blocks of sound. In another sense, the subject is so vast that it will challenge every composer and improviser for a lifetime!

learn more… Piano Technique



  1. How wonderful, it makes so much sense..I am frustrated as to how long it takes me to know the notes!! the effect is easily lost if I have to think, hit the wrong note, try again, get it right…start again… In the meantime the housework is ignored. Oh dear, it is obvious I want too much too quickly!

    1. Indeed, Paula. As you can see… mastering the fundamentals of musicianship (scales, chords, chord progressions, etc) is absolutely essential so that we don’t have to fuss over the details. Is there something in particular I can help you with? By the way, it’s okay to let the housework wait on occasion! : )

      1. I thought you were going to offer to do some housework!!! Indeed, I do understand I MUST get the fundamentals under control and know instinctively which black dot belongs to which key…simple stuff that is still too difficult for me. Never mind…it is very, very early days.

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