SONGWRITING

Melody

 

 

Instructor:  Dr. Vicky V. Johnson

Email: vjohnson@tarleton.edu

Phone: Ext 9238

 

 

Course Outline    Syllabus

 

A song, in order to be a song, must have two things:  words and a tune.

 

Poetic MeterAspects of Melody
 

Stable and Unstable

Again??

Here's a scale

You can number the tones, call them by their letter names, or call them "Do Re Mi"

 

Most stable

(I'm home!)

 

 

 

 

Least stable

(I have to go on!)

#1 (Do)

Key note of the song

#5 (Sol)

in the key chord

#3 (Mi)

in the key chord

#6 (La)

wants to go to 5

#2 (Re)

wants to go to 1

#4 (Fa)

wants to go to 3

#7 (Ti)

wants to go (up) to 1

Unstable tones are often used in the first phrase of a pair.

Stable tones are often used in the second phrase of a pair.

Sort of like a question - answer.

 

Then there's Word Painting

Examples:

high notes - flying, joy, superlative words (great, awesome)

low notes - ominous words, ground, sturdy/stable

ascending notes - moving in a positive direction, loss of control

descending notes - coming home, settling down, introspection

gaining speed - train, losing control, gaining excitement

slowing down - tired, coming to an end

minor melody - sad, melancholy, ominous, reflective, secretive

major melody - happy, bright, open, confident

non-traditional scale - exotic, surprising

 

 

Checklist for Melodies

Returning to the same pitch too often can make a melody boring.

Use the high note wisely.  The range makes can determine the words' importance.

Usually the chorus should include the higher notes, rather than the verse.  You want your chorus to stand out.

Consider writing a tune for the name of the song first.

Repetition is your friend!  You want your song to be memorable, so repeat your memorable melody fragments.

Make sure your melody is 'singable.'  If you want others to be able to sing it, watch the range.  If you're singing it, make sure you sound good in the range you choose.

Consider putting your highest note in the chorus.  A high note makes that section or phrase special.

 

 

 

  
  
  
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Created and maintained by Vicky V. Johnson