I am pretty much a complete beginner to composing and arranging, and would like some advice from the experienced here. As far as my backgrounds go, I know a reasonable amount of theory (for the Australians here, I've done AMEB's Grade 5 theory exam), but not nearly enough to accomplish my goal that is most simply stated as `I want to compose music like Chopin's etudes'. I like that Chopin etudes are short, fun to play as well as fun to listen to, which is sort of my dream combination I guess.
As to arranging: I play a lot of transcriptions of anime music (another word for J-Pop I guess) by this guy on YouTube. Here's an example for those interested (http://youtu.be/D5kyjnlDNZs?list=UUyW-leqPXUunrXXxFjpZ7VA
). I've tried my hands on transcribing/arranging things myself, and I feel like anything that I write myself sounds awkward and/or bad.
So I'm looking for advice on how I should go about achieving my objectives. I'm not too confident in analyzing Chopin's compositions as I fear I might get things wrong, but there also don't seem to be many resources out there that go into the heavy amount of detail that I think I require. Are there any good books/websites/other resources on teaching composition? I feel like learning about harmony and counterpoint is probably more useful than melody writing since arrangement doesn't require such a skill, am I correct on this? Should I consider taking theory/composition lessons? I've had piano lessons since forever so I know what they are all about, but how do one-on-one composition lessons even work?