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For more information, please see full course syllabus of Songwriting
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Lecture Comments (4)

0 answers

Post by Darius Smith on July 10, 2013

Low audio volume on the music notes...;-(

0 answers

Post by Kenneth Montfort on July 9, 2013

I'm confused about the melody and harmony homework: what were you asking us to try on our own?

0 answers

Post by Professor Popkin on September 14, 2012

Hey Juan Carlos,

Thanks for the comment! Yes, please try different speakers - No one else has reported an issue.

Thanks and enjoy the course! - Eliot

0 answers

Post by Juan Carlos Garcia on September 11, 2012

Is it just my speakers or can anyone hear the samples he puts on? I can't hear the audios he plays. I can hear him perfectly but absolutely nothing when he plays samples. :(

Object Write & Melody

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Object Write & Melody

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
  • Object Write: Orange 0:24
    • Homework review
    • Homework assignment for next lesson
  • Melody Lesson 3:18
    • Stable & Unstable Tone Review
    • Example: Tones Falling
    • Example: Pick the next tone
    • Groove review

Transcription: Object Write & Melody

Hello and welcome back to Intro to Songwriting.0000

My name is Eliot, and let's get right into today's lesson.0003

Last time, I introduced you to the wonderful exercise called an object write, and you spent 5 minutes writing on the word orange.0007

Hopefully, you came up with some really cool stuff. Let me show you what it is that I came up with because I actually did the exercise, too.0017

So, again, no judgement. We are just getting creative, figuring out what it is that we really want to say.0025

I will just briefly go through my list with you.0033

I came up with sun-kissed. I was thinking of the soda- juicy, sweet, summer fruit, natural healer, sitting by the fountain laughing.0037

I am going to circle that because I think that sounds really cool.0047

I do not exactly know why I was...oh, OK, sharing brunch is the next thing.0050

I think I was thinking of people having orange juice outside of the cafe on a Sunday morning, so I have sitting by the fountain laughing.0053

Again, you could think of that as such a stretch from the word orange.0060

But, whatever it makes you come up with, I love the idea of that as far as being in a song.0065

So, let's go on: bright sun, perfect sunset, peel the skin I treasure inside.0070

Oh, you know that rap song black and yellow, black and yellow? I thought about red and yellow, red and yellow because red and yellow makes orange.0076

That is about as much as I know about rap music.0083

OK, lazy morning, not a care in the world- oh, that is a nice idea.0084

I think I was thinking of, again, orange juice and brunch, and on a Sunday, not having to wake up early and having to do something,0089

just having, kind of, a leisurely day, so I came up with not a care in the world.0095

No time limit, enjoying the late morning into the afternoon, starting my day, going into the sun- oh, I love that, so I am going to circle that, too.0099

I just get this idea of someone walking down a dirt road, and you see the sun in the horizon; and you do not know where they are going.0109

See, that is, kind of, a good example - excuse me - of...these lines can, kind of, stand on their own.0117

Sitting by the fountain laughing- you automatically get an idea of two people outside on a sunny day sitting by a fountain laughing.0125

They are surrounded by all these other people, and they are just enjoying a meal together or a laugh together, or maybe it is a date.0134

It is a complete thought, and I think that is what I am hoping that you can get out of this is that after you come through this whole list of just...0141

It feels silly initially to write all these stuff about orange. You might come up with some really cool things.0150

So, go through your list. Do not judge yourself, and if you see anything that looks really cool, circle it.0154

And then, next time, I am going to show you what you can do with those ideas0161

and develop them into more of a section of a song and maybe even a whole verse.0165

So, speaking of object writes, your homework, should you choose to accept it, is to do two more object writes.0169

Again, these are just 5-minute exercises, so just time yourself for 5 minutes.0175

The first one I want you to do is on the word ocean, and the second object write I want you to do is on the word truck- ocean and truck.0180

So, again, just create your list. Have fun with it, and that concludes the object write lesson.0190

The next thing we are going to do is talk more about melodies.0196

If you remember last time, I told you, we talked about stable tones which were C, E and G,0200

and then, the more unstable tones in the key of C, which are D, F, A and B.0207

And I mentioned to you that these tones, it does not make you feel warm and cozy that0216

you are at the end of a song section, that you feel like you are at home in the song.0222

These do the opposite. They make you feel like you are going to anticipate "wow, where is this song going to go?".0227

And this is where these tones want to go. D always wants to fall back down to C.0231

F wants to fall back down to E. A wants to go down to G, and then, B wants to go up to C, so let's talk about this for a minute more.0238

Now, why would they want to do that? If you think of do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do, D is re falling down to do.0252

F is fa going down to mi. A is la going down to so, and then, B is ti going up to do.0262

So, let's hear these tones resolving, and hopefully that can give you a further idea of which melody notes to choose at what parts of your song.0274

So, let's listen to this. [music playing]0285

So, that was D to C. [music playing]0291

fa, mi. [music playing]0296

And that was A to G. [music playing]0299

And then, did you hear that daaaaaaa, daaaaaaa like you could hang on to that ti note or the B.0304

That is like the note at the end of the bridge where there is just this big dramatic thing happening.0311

And then, you finally resolve it once you hit the chorus again to C, which is do in this case.0315

So, hopefully, that gives you a little bit further of an understanding in regards to tone tendencies and how to utilize those in your melodies.0320

I am going to give you another example. Remember last time, we had a 1-measure phrase.0328

And then, we repeated it four times. Then, all of a sudden, we have eight measures of music.0335

I want you to do the same thing with this example, but I want you to choose what the next note is going to be.0341

So, mix it up. Choose some that are stable, some that are unstable.0346

For those of you that do not know, whenever you put a dot on a note, it increases the length value by half.0351

So, instead of one beat, a dotted quarter note is 1/2 beats, so followed by an eighth note, which is half a beat.0357

Let's listen to this, and again, I want you to choose what the four endings are going to be and come up with eight bars of music on your own.0363

So, let's listen to this. [music playing]0371

And then, you choose a note there. [music playing]0379

OK, so, your homework, should you choose to do is, is to come up with four one note endings here, so you had completed your eight bars of music.0398

And then, I want you to come up with one bar music, yourself.0407

Keep it simple, just four quarter notes is fine, and then, I want you to choose four endings and come up with another eight bars of music.0412

Lastly for today, remember last time we talked about what a groove is?0420

Harmonically, a groove is two chords going back and forth, and it creates a natural harmonic rhythm.0425

What I want you to do is choose your own two chords to start your own groove and play them back and forth.0431

And maybe actually with the example I just told or homework that I want you to do for coming up with a one measure of melody,0436

maybe that will come from the groove that you would create yourself.0442

Thanks for tuning in. My name is Eliot.0446

This is Intro to Songwriting. Thanks for watching, and I will see you soon.0448