Monday, 17 March 2014

Melody First

Last week, I helped Bianca record vocals for some collaborators in Chile and Australia. I really do love being in the studio! I can't wait to get my National Insurance number so I can start working at the Court :)

So, I'm a little late on my blog for last week. I've been working on moving in to a new place in Corsham and I have allergies for the first time in my life. Apparently, since the pollen is different here, so are the allergies. UGH. This week's task was to construct a melody before any other part of the song. I used Sibelius to write as much as I could for my collaboration with Alex and Farhan and I also wrote a simple 6/8 melody for Will M. The class went very well and our song, Two Faces, went over very nicely. I think it will be a great song for our portfolios.

Alex, Farhan, and I all had an all night/day living room recording session on Wednesday and Thursday with our equipment and computers all set up to work on the songs for the portfolio. It was a very fun experience.

March 10th, 2014

Some melody terminology to think about:

  • Scalic melodies move stepwise within a scale
  • Intervalic melodies include leaps and steps within a scale
  • Static melodies maintain the same pitch across the syllables
  • Melisma is the singing of a single syllable over multiple pitches

I usually come up with lyrics and a melody first these days since I don't always have access to a piano, but also because I avoid constraints when I detatch my writing process from the loopy chords I might gravitate to on the piano. HOWEVER, writing a melody without lyrics and then fitting lyrics to that melody SUCKED. We almost scratched this song about 4 times before we finally began to feel confident with it. What happens when a melody is great, but the lyrics have to fit and be great too? Seems simple, but it's not. 

Lyrics and melody have to adhere to certain grammatical rules that we don't usually have to think about when we speak or even sing most of the time. Things like inflection of a word, accents in the word or sentence, and sentence structure. In the sentence Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away, the word yesterday is sung as it is spoken and the overall accent of the sentence is on the word far. Imagine (all the people...jk) if the phrase was sung as yes-TER-day rather than YES-ter-day... And the main held note was on MY or SEEMED? It wouldn't scan right and it wouldn't make sense in a lot of ways. That's not how it is spoken, that's not how it is sung. 

SO when the melody came first without a lyric, we were forced to really pay attention to these details that seem to go under the radar most times. I found this challenging because the song still has to be clever and interesting. 

All together, I am so proud that I formally noted a melody (2 melodies) this week for class and that is how we wrote a seriously catchy tune! AWESOME

Everyone did a fantastic job this week and many collaborations are bringing out the best in people's abilities. I look forward to recording this song and working with everyone else in the class soon! 


I wore my Dad's work jacket that I bedazzled to class :) 

Next week's task: Write a chorus form song with a repeating title in the chorus consisting of 3 words or less. 

Bring it. 


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