Composition Class Assignments for 9.22.2017

Last week you had the task of writing an original melody, and you did great. We discussed some ideas for how you can structure melodies, including question/answer or call and response phrasing. By the way, those are basically the same thing, just different and interchangeable terms for our purposes. Some examples of question/answer phrases include:

The first two phrases of The Muppet Show theme song
The Bare Necessities
At Last
Deh vieni, non tardar from Le Nozze di Figaro
The Carnival of Venice, played by Wynton Marsalis and the Boston Pops, conducted by John Williams

There are other types of phrases, such as sequence, that we haven’t talked about yet. Here’s a link that discusses a few other types to give you a head start thinking about them: Musical Phrases Unleashed

Tonality can change the mood of a piece completely. To that end, take a listen to a familiar tune in a minor key: Sad Linus and Lucy
And another that changes a minor song to major: Darth Vader in a good mood?

Your assignment this week is to explore how your originally composed melody is changed, and how it stays the same, when you change it from major to minor. Remember to use all three forms of the minor. Most of you will have at least minor differences (punny!) between the three different forms, which may prove interesting.

Also, be sure you are either secure enough (read: rehearsed well enough) to perform your melody for the class, or have secured a performer to take care of it for you. If you choose to find someone else to play it for you, please give them a day or two at least to have the score and practice it. Of course, playing it from your computer, or emailing it either to me or Mr. William to play from our computers is also acceptable. The same thing applies, however. Please make sure Mr. William or I have it by lunch time on Friday to be able to access it and make sure we can open it properly.

I’m very much looking forward to how your melodies change this week! As always, please let us know if you have questions. And if we haven’t responded in a couple of days, please prompt us again.

Just for fun, here’s my musical happy moment for the week: Hiromi “I’ve Got Rhythm” at the BBC Proms 2017.

A resource on how to use Musesscore: Musescore Basic Commands (1)


Heather R. Nelson, PhD

Singing Voice Specialist

Voice Teacher