We have already covered three classes of instruments in the guide, the computer, percussion and musical instruments. It is now time to look at the fourth and final class, the human voice.

You may be thrilled, shocked even, to discover that the human voice is an instrument of wind. Technically the voice is classed as an aerophone in the Hornbostel-Sachs system and keeps company with the mighty bagpipes and the humble recorder. The guide hopes to show that the voice is more than just wind.

The process of writing vocal music is pretty much the same as it is for writing instrumental music, except there are some specific issues that apply only to sung melody.

This section concentrates on the compositional aspects of vocals. It starts with the range of pitches that can be sung and explains how and why voices are classed as Soprano, Alto, Bass and Tenor (SATB). It investigates a formant and how it affects vowel and consonant sounds, and looks at the rhythm of singing especially its tempo. The section ends with writing lyrics for a melody.

Everything in this section applies to harmony as well as to melody.