Okay, by now you should have a firm grasp of the ingredients needed to compose memorable melody. Let’s recap. –
- It all comes down to intervals or intervallic structure – the distance from one note to the next (ex. 2nd, 3rd, etc.) – watch this video for a refresher on intervals.
- The diatonic scale – seven notes, C to shining C – (ex. C D E F G A B C = diatonic scale).
- An expressive element.
- Use of repetition.
Let’s look at an example of a bad or poorly crafted tune.
Now, let’s analyze the reasons why we consider this a poorly crafted tune.
So now let’s look at an example of a good, or well-crafted melody.
Why is it good? Well…
Remember what Mr. Copland says,
A beautiful melody, like a piece of music in its entirety, should be of satisfying proportions. It must give us a sense of completion and of inevitability. To do that, the melodic line will generally be long and flowing, with low and high points of interest and a climactic moment usually near the end.
The well-crafted melody is too short to take any listener on a journey. But it does fulfill the requirements for a well-balanced and inevitably complete melody.
I hope you’ve found these three mini-lessons to be helpful. Composing memorable melody really is that easy! Just remember the four main ingredients –
- Intervallic structure
- Diatonic scale
- Expressive element