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Songwriting Book

Melody in Songwriting

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Author: Jack Perricone

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Table of Contents

Preface
Intuition And The Rational Mind In Creative Writing
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Chapter 1 Melody: Some Basics Melody: Some Basics
Melody
Melodic Phrase
Conjunct/disjunct Melodic Motion
Writing For The Voice
The Lead Sheet
Guidelines For Lead Sheet Writing
Writing Tip
Repeat Signs
Writing Tip
Format
Chapter 2 Pitch
Harmonic Series
The Major Scale
Stable And UnStable Tones
Tone Tendencies
Tonally Open And Closed Phrases
Exercise
Independent Melody
Unstable Tones Ending Phrases
Writing Tip
Assignment
Chapter 3 Rhythm
Pulse, Meter, And Rhythm
Stress Symbols
Summative Stress
Additional Considerations In Stress
Assignment
Masculine/feminine Endings
Beyond Simple Prosody
Exercise
Writing Tip
Assignment
Chapter 4 Tone Tendencies
Immediate Resolution, Delayed Resolution, And No Resolution
Assignment (See Ex. 4.6)
Chapter 5 Symmetry/asymmetry
Compositional Variables
The Number Of Phrases
Balance Vs. Symmetry
Phrase Lengths; Phrasal Balance
Exercise
The Rhythm Of The Phrase
Matched, Inexactly Matched, And UnMatched Phrases
Assignment
Assignment
Correspondence Of Matched Phrases With Rhyme
Outer Matching
Matched Rhythms
Inner Rhythmic Matching
Open And Closed
Exercise
Assignment
Chapter 6 Melody in Minor
Overtone Series
The Minor Scales
Natural Minor Or Aeolian Mode
Harmonic Minor
Melodic Minor
Assignment
Chapter 7 Melodic Outline; Melodic Contour
Melodic Outline
Melodic Step Progression
Embellishing The Melodic Outline
Analysis Of Structural Tones And Embellishing Tones
“can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You”
Assignment
Melodic Contour
“because You Loved Me”
Assignment
Chapter 8 Controlling the Speed of Your Song
Phrasal Acceleration/deceleration
Use Of Phrasal Acceleration/deceleration In Songwriting
Exercise
Rhythmic Acceleration/deceleration
Exercise
Chapter 9 Melodic Placement
Phrase Endings
Phrase Beginnings
Pickup Notes
Beginning On The Weak Part Of The Measure Or Metric Grouping
“love Is You”
Chapter 10 Building Sections
The Order Of The Phrases
Building A Symmetric Section
Aaaa
A B A B
An Asymmetric, Balanced Section: Aabb
Building A Balanced But Not Perfectly Symmetric Section: A A B A
A B A A
A A A B
Open Or Closed?
Creating Open Sections
Unbalancing A Section
Creating Interesting Balanced Sections
A B A / A B A
Fragmentation
Assignment
Chapter 11 Developmental Techniques
Motive
Variety Within Unity
Developmental Technique #1: Retain The Rhythmic Structure, Change The Pitch
Sequence
Assignment
Use Of Developmental Technique #1 In The Compositional Process
Developmental Technique #2: Varying The Phrase Structure; Extension And Truncation
Assignment
Developmental Techniques
Assignment
Chapter 12 Form
Song Forms
The Central Statement
Song Sections: The Verse
The Refrain
The Chorus
The Bridge
Transitional Bridge
Primary Bridge
Frequently Encountered Song Forms
The “standards” Song Form
The Introductory Verse
The Chorus
The Concept Of Open And Closed And Its Relationship To Form
Verse/refrain
Verse/chorus
Bridge Sections
Assignment
Chapter 13 Functional Harmony and Harmonic Progession
Tonic Function Triads
Subdominant Function Triads
Dominant Function Triads
Stability/instability In Harmonic Progression
Functional Harmonic Progressions
Exercise
Chapter 14 a Unified Theory of Melody and Harmony
Melodic Progression
InDependent And Dependent Melodies
Why A Unified Theory?
Assignment
“come Rain Or Come Shine”
Chapter 15 Non-Chord Tones and Tensions
Non-Chord Tones
Assignment
Assignment
“killing Me Softly”
Tensions
Non-Chord Tones And Tensions
Assignment
Writing Tip
Chapter 16 Making Harmonic Choices
Harmonic Choices
Assignment
Chapter 17 Melody/bass Relationships
Motion Of The Bass To The Melody
Chord Inversions
Assignment
Consonance/dissonance Of Intervals
Assignment
Chapter 18 Harmony in Minor
Traditional Harmony In Minor
The Harmonic Minor Scale
The Melodic Minor Scale
Melody/harmony Relationships In Minor
Minor To Major/major To Minor
Use In Form
Modal Interchange
Assignment
Chapter 19 Additional Melodic/ Harmonic Considerations
Harmonic Rhythm
Harmonic Cadence
Use In Form
Harmony’s Effect On The Phrase
The Harmonic-Metric Phrase And The Melodic-Rhythmic Phrase
Assignment
“the Long And Winding Road”
Chapter 20 Starting With a Chord Progression
Melodic Integrity
Front-Heavy Melodic Phrases; Back-Heavy Melodic Phrases
Assignment
Chapter 21 Pedal Point, Sus Chords, and Chords Without Thirds
Pedal Point
Assignment
Sus Chords And Chords Without Thirds
Chords Without Thirds
Assignment
Chapter 22 Blues/rock
Independence Of Melody And Harmony
Characteristic Rock Harmony
Root Motion
“addicted To Love”
Form In Blues And Early Rock
Emphasis At The Beginning (Measure 1)
Emphasis At The Subdominant (Measure 5)
Emphasis On The Dominant (Measure 9) Or On The Final Cadence
Adding A Bridge To The Blues
Other Blues-Derived Forms
Stylistic Considerations
Assignment
Chapter 23 Modes
Aeolian Mode Or Natural Minor
Chord Progressions In The Aolian Mode
Strong Cadencing Progressions
Root Motion
Writing Tip
Dorian Mode
Chord Progressions In The Dorian Mode
Mixolydian Mode
Typical Mixolydian Progressions
Use Of Pedal Point
Assignment
Afterword
Biography

Melody is a subject too often neglected in the teaching of music. This unique resource gives melody that attention it deserves, and proves that melody writing is a skill that can be learned.

Through proven tool and techniques, you will learn to write interesting melodies, how melodic rhythm influences rhyme, what makes harmony progress, and the many dynamic relationships between melody and harmony.

This clear and comprehensive approach to songwriting unlocks the secrets of popular songs, revealing what really makes them work.

Examples of great songs by such notable songwriters as Lennon and McCartney, Diane Warren, Robert Palmer, and more, provide a close-up illustration of the songwriting techniques employed by these masters of the industry.

This is the book used in Songwriting classes at Berklee College of Music. The exercises provided make it a wonderful self-teaching manual and a great addition to any general theory course of any level.

Use the tools presented in this book to help fine-tune your craft and start writing hits!

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