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For more information, please see full course syllabus of Songwriting
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Lecture Comments (2)

0 answers

Post by Beverly Terry on June 2, 2013

I am doing all the homework assignments and wonder whether there is a way I can share with you so that I can get some feedback?

0 answers

Post by Beverly Terry on June 2, 2013

I understand what you mean by stable and unstable because you explained it. What are slightly stable and slightly unstable tones?

Object Write to Verse

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Object Write to Verse

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
  • Rhyming Lesson 0:19
    • Example: 'If I Die Young'
  • Rhyming Lesson, cont. 3:00
    • Words Don't Rhyme, But It Works
  • Object Write: Orange 4:28
    • Turn Object Write Into Verse
  • Object Write to a Verse 6:55
    • Finding the Rhyme Scheme
    • Changing to Not Rhyming Lyrics
  • Melody and Harmony 9:02
    • Stable Unstable Tone Placement
    • One-Bar Idea

Transcription: Object Write to Verse

Hello and welcome back to Intro to Songwriting.0000

My name is Eliot, and let's get right to today's lesson. As you can see, it is pretty exciting.0004

We are going to take one of our object writes and turn it into a verse or lyrics.0009

So, let's get right to work here.0015

Right before we do that, though, we are going to do a little bit more of a lesson on rhyming.0018

Remember last time, we talked about A-B-A-B in which the first and the third lines will rhyme, and the second and the fourth lines will rhyme.0023

And then, A-A-B-B is when the first two lines rhyme, and then, the third and the fourth lines rhyme.0034

Let's look at one more example. This is A-B-C-C, where the first and the second lines do not rhyme, but the third and the fourth ones do.0039

And we will look at an example. This is an amazing song in case you have not heard it.0049

It is by a group called The Band Perry. It is called If I Die Young, so here is the lyric:0054

if I die young, bury me in satin, lay me down on a bed or roses, sink me in the river at dawn, send me away with the words of a love song.0059

If we think of the rhyme scheme, we have words satin, and then, we have roses, dawn and song.0073

This is an example where the first two lines do not rhyme at all, and then, the second and the third - excuse me - the third and the fourth lines rhyme.0085

So, this is A-B-C-C.0092

Let's look at another example, and this is one where we completely break the rules.0095

This is a song by Katy Perry. This is called Firework.0099

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag, drifting through the wind, wanting to start again.0103

Do you ever feel, feel so paper-thin, like a house of cards, one blow from caving in.0110

Now, we have bag, again, thin and in. Any idea what the rhyme scheme is here?0119

Obviously, some of these rhyme. So, this is actually A-B-B-B.0131

The first line bag does not rhyme with anything, and again, actually, both of these have been downloaded probably over 3, 4 million times by people.0138

These are very well-known songs, and it is amazing to me that they really thought outside of the box in terms of rhymes.0147

And when you hear the song, it really fits because remember, a song is about lyrics, melody and harmony and obviously, rhyming.0154

And it is how those work together.0162

In these examples, if you go back and listen to the song examples, you will see that the melodies are very memorable and say the same.0163

And you do not necessarily feel that the rhyme scheme is that different line to line.0171

Let's look at one more example, and as I said here, go way outside the box.0177

This is a song that is by Janet Jackson, and it is called Love Will Never Do Without You.0184

Check out this rhyme scheme: others think we're opposites, falling in and out of love, they all said we'd never last, still, we manage to stay together.0188

Now, this was a no. 1 song for many weeks. Do you know that none of these lines rhyme at all?0199

There are no rhymes. We have opposites, love, last and together.0205

They are not even close to rhyming, and this is an amazing song.0218

But, I will tell you, here is just my attempt to trying to sing Janet Jackson, but it goes something like:0222

others think we're opposites, falling in and out of love, they all said we'd never last, still, we manage to stay together.0227

I hope you enjoyed me singing Janet Jackson.0241

If you hear in the melody, it is very similar line by line, and you cannot even tell that she is not rhyming.0243

Now, what this is, is this is actually an A-B-C-D. Not one of these lines rhyme with each other at all.0249

And it is an amazing song, and it was a huge hit.0255

So, I would like to give you the guidelines.0258

And then, you feel free to break any rule as often as you want because you can come up with something amazing like this.0259

Onto our next exercise, and this is when we are going to take one of our object writes and turn it into a verse.0266

So, if you remember we did an object write on the word orange,0272

So, this was the list that I came up with in our 5-minute exercise.0275

And I am just going to scan through and see if there is anything here that really speaks out to me:0279

sun-kissed, juicy sweet, summer fruit, natural healer, sitting by the fountain laughing.0284

That I really like- sitting by the fountain laughing.0292

I think this is such a cool...and this is just your personal preference.0295

Did I come through? There we go.0301

I can hear this line by itself: sitting by the fountain laughing.0305

And I automatically conjure up an idea. I see people, maybe having lunch together.0308

There is a beautiful fountain in the background, and they are sitting in together laughing, and I can see it is a pretty scene outside, and the sun is beating down.0314

Now, what does this have to do with orange? Very little.0322

I mean, I can think of the time maybe I thought about two people sharing oranges or eating brunch outside on a Sunday or something like that.0326

But, the great news is I came up with a really cool idea for a one line of the lyric.0332

It does not necessarily matter how I got there. Now I have this sitting by the fountain laughing.0338

So, let's see if I can come up...if I think anything else like this might work in a song.0342

Sharing brunch oh, so then, I was thinking about two people eating together.0347

Bright sun, perfect sunset, peel the skin you treasure inside, red and yellow, red and yellow.0351

For all of you rap fans, you know that Wiz Khalifa have black and yellow, black and yellow.0358

Red and yellow make orange, so that was just me being inside wishing I was a rapper.0364

Lazy morning, not a care in the world, oh, I like that- not a care in the world. That just sounds like the lyric to me.0369

And again, at this point, at my assessment, if you will, I do not know if these two things that I am circling are going to work together or not.0375

I am just going to circle what I like and see what I can do with it.0382

No time limit, enjoying the late morning into the afternoon, starting my day going into the sun- that is very pretty.0385

I just automatically think of someone maybe walking on a dirt road, not knowing where they are going.0393

And you just see the sun in the background. That could be really cool in a song.0398

Late nights playing outside, sticky fingers bursting with flavor.0403

Alright, so I am going to show you what these three that I circled...what can happen as far as a verse goes.0407

I actually used those two of the things I have circled: sitting by the fountain laughing, not a care in the world.0416

I used them as full lines in an idea for a verse.0422

So, we have sitting by the fountain laughing, not a care in the world, all the sudden, something happens, I saw this pretty girl.0425

Let's look at what the rhyme scheme is. We have laughing, world, happened and girl, so this is actually A-B-C-B.0433

The first and the third lines do not rhyme, and world and girl, the second and the fourth lines do rhyme.0450

And I actually had an idea for a melody for this:0457

sitting by the fountain laughing, not a care in the world, all the sudden, something happens, I saw this pretty girl.0460

If you can hear in the melody the first and the third lines of the melody were the same:0471

na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na.0475

So, I am changing the lyric, and again, the third line does not rhyme with the first one at all, but I kept the melody the same.0482

So, the listeners still has somewhat of a feel of a comfort, that there is something to remember0490

there because the melody stays exactly the same even though the lyric changes.0495

What you can do as far as two more object writes, this is a really fun exercise.0500

You could still keep it at 5 minutes, but if you could go somewhere like a cafe or a library and pick two people to do an object write on.0505

It could be the person, the barista working behind the coffee counter or someone else sitting in the library.0515

That person does not have to know it all that you are writing an object write about them.0520

I would recommend you not tell them, but all you are going to do is describe them.0524

What do you think they are thinking? What do you think they are feeling?0528

What do they look like? Describe, describe as much as you can in those 5 minutes two very different people.0531

And I hope you enjoy that exercise, so let's go right on to our next part here.0537

Remember, I introduced the idea to you last time about melody and harmony.0544

And so, what I want you to do for next time is finish each one of these phrases.0548

What note here is going to make it sound more stable or more unstable?0553

I would recommend you choose a stable tone here for the end of the 8-bar phrase,0561

and maybe a slightly stable one here because you do not want to completely close the thought.0566

Here, I would do an unstable tone, maybe here, a slightly unstable one.0575

OK, and then, again, we are taking just the 1-bar idea, just one measure of music, repeating it four times and choosing a different ending.0589

And all of a sudden, you have an 8-measure verse of melody.0599

So, that concludes today's lesson.0605

Thank you very much for tuning in to, and I will see you at the next set of exercises. Thank you.0606