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Lecture Comments (3)

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Post by Professor Popkin on March 26, 2013

Great questions my students! The arches are simply an example to take notice of the shape of the melody. The melody is shaped just like an arch; where it rises up, and then falls back down. That is really the significance. It is not a musical 'notation', simply an example of the shape of the melody. I hope that answers your questions!

Thanks, Professor Popkin

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Post by Marie Mehy on March 26, 2013

Hi, what is the small the big arch in term of notation?

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Post by Marie Mehy on March 13, 2013

I am sorry instructor, what is the note for the small arch and big arch?
The melody example was cded.



Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Lyric Writing 0:25
    • What is a Metaphor?
    • Examples: Metaphors
  • Melody Ideas 2:24
    • Arches
    • Examples: Small and Big Arches
  • Harmony Major vs Minor 3:55
    • Groove
    • Introduce Minor Chord to Mix

Transcription: Metaphor

Hello. Welcome back to, Intro to Songwriting.0000

I am Eliot, and let's get right to today's lessons.0004

So, we are going to talk a lot over the next few lessons about different ways to develop your lyrics and your melodies.0007

And you will be very happy to know that I do not have any more object write exercises to give you.0014

So, I hope you enjoyed the ones that I gave you, but let's get right to today's first exercise.0019

In talking about lyric writing and developing your lyrics, we are going to talk about the idea of metaphors, and what is a metaphor?0026

A metaphor is a comparison between two things that are unrelated, and here are a few examples.0033

Patrick Swayze's She's Like The Wind: she's like the wind through my tree, she rides the night next to me.0039

You could look at this saying your tree, what does that have to do with the wind?0048

Excuse me. This should actually say she's like the wind.0055

The next example, The Band Perry, If I Die Young: Lord, make me a rainbow, I'll shine down on my mother.0059

That has got to be one of the most...just the prettiest lyrics I have heard in years.0065

But, you are asking Lord or God to make you a rainbow. Clearly, you are not a rainbow.0070

But, if you are to become one, what would you do? You would shine down on your mother.0077

Absolutely beautiful lyric and a wonderful example of metaphor.0081

Next, Mary Chapin Carpenter, this song is called Where Time Stands Still: baby, where is that place where time stands still.0085

All three of these, if you have not heard the songs, so you are not familiar with them, please go ahead and check them out.0094

This is just an amazing example of metaphor, and it is just a beautiful lyric: where is that place where time stands still.0102

I do not know if there is a place where time stands still, and if there is a place where time stands still, what are the qualities of it?0110

That is actually...if we look at the lyric of this entire song:0116

baby, where is that place where time stands still, is it under glass inside a frame, was it over when you had your fill,0120

it's no place you can get to by yourself, you've got to love someone and they love you, time won't stop for nothing else.0127

Beautiful! A wonderful song and a wonderful lyric and an excellent example of what a metaphor is.0133

So, let's go right on to our next exercise. We are going to talk, as I mention, further about more ideas about developing your melodies.0141

This is our initial example. Again, it is just four quarter notes.0150

It was C-D-E and then, D, and so, we are going to about arches today.0154

So, if you see here, this example actually already uses a tiny bit of an arch. It goes up, and then, it goes back down.0162

We are talking about two different arches now: going up and then, going way up and coming back down.0168

And again, any jump in melody is going to create to the listener just a sense of excitement like it is going to feel really brand new.0176

So, let's listen to these examples. [music playing]0187

That is our original, and here is the small arch. [music playing]0197

And here is the big arch. [music playing]0203

Do you hear in that da, da, da, da? It really opens up the melody.0209

And it creates a sense of excitement to the listener to introduce something that new to them, and that is a wonderful tool you can use.0214

You could have the first few lines of your verse just follow the same da, da, da, da.0221

And then, the fourth line just comes up with this like a big arch like that. Oh my god.0227

It is going to sound so pretty.0231

So, let's go on to our next example. OK, so, this is our final example, lesson of today.0232

We are going to talk more about harmony, major versus minor chords.0239

In our last lesson, we talked about introducing a new chord in the chorus.0243

Remember, a groove is just two chords going back and forth, so now, we are going to introduce yet something additionally new.0247

What happens if you introduce a minor chord into the mix? How is it going to sound?0254

And how will this affect the lyrics and the melody if you are introducing a minor chord?0261

So, let's hear this example. [music playing]0265

And then, it is the same four bars again. [music playing]0281

The A minor, it just sounds so dramatic. It adds a lot of excitement.0292

It clearly sounds different from anything we have heard before.0296

And I would think that the best time to use that is when you are going to do something dramatic in the0301

lyrics and the melody to just really bump up this part of your song to grab the listener's attention.0306

So, thank you for tuning in to, and I will see you at the next lesson. Thanks.0314