Melody is king!
Think of your favorite song. Okay, now sing it out loud. I’m serious! Go on and sing it from the top of your lungs! Do you know why the desire to sing is so strong? It’s because your favorite song has a killer melody or tune.
Melody is a sequence of single notes that is musically satisfying. A memorable melody will take your music further than you could ever imagine.
Consider what Merle Haggard once said about it,
The only thing that I miss lately in all music is somebody that will put out a melody that you can whistle. It doesn’t seem like there’s anything happening like that.
So how does one go about composing a memorable tune? I’m talking about the kind of tune you can’t help but whistle or sing.
It all comes down to intervallic structure. I know what you’re thinking. “Whoa Chris just laid a big one on us.” But it’s not that difficult. I explain it all in this video –
He gained quite the reputation for composing memorable melodies. So much so that his colleagues were of the opinion that ‘he must have made a deal with the devil because no person could craft such memorable themes without some supernatural assistance.’
Peter and the Wolf and his ballet Romeo and Juliet showcase Prokofiev’s gift for melody.
(Peter and the Wolf, Main Theme, Sergei Prokofiev)
Melody should quickly engage the listener, taking him or her on a journey. Here are a couple more memorable tunes by various composers –
(Star Wars, Main Theme, John Williams)
Notice the perfect fourth followed by the perfect fifth. These two intervals create a heroic introduction and a perfect beginning to one of the most memorable themes ever composed!
And what about that Beethoven guy’s classic fifth symphony?? It’s got a pretty darn catchy melody!!
(Fifth Symphony, First Movement, Ludwig van Beethoven)
Those major and minor thirds. Man, what power!
So there you have it – my thoughts one of the most crucial elements in music. Composing engaging melodies will help your audience connect with your music. It takes time and practice. But it’s so worth it!
I feel so strongly that melody is of such importance to your music that I’m going to dedicate the next two blog posts to this topic. I hope you’ve enjoyed lesson 1! Tune in next Tuesday for lesson 2.
Master the craft of composing memorable melody and you’re off to the races!
La, di, la, la, da : )