Lesson

Composing Melodies

Let’s begin today with the melodic contour for “The Butterfly”

Melodic Motion:

“There are two types of melodic motion: conjunct motion, which proceeds by step from one scale degree to the next (i.e., by the interval of a second) and disjunct motion, which proceeds by leap (i.e., by intervals larger than a second).”**

**The above is excerpted from Chapter 1 of “Melody in Songwriting:Tools and Techniques for Writing Hit Songs” by Jack Perricone, published by Berklee Press.

Let’s compose a melody with the following contour:

Assignment: Compose a melody (6 to 8 notes in length) for each of the melodic contour shapes below. Follow the instructions for melodic motion as indicated on the drawing. For each melody, choose a tonality for your melody – our harps are currently tuned to C major/A minor. If you choose to compose in C major, some good starting notes for your melody would be C, E, or G. If you choose A minor, some good starting notes would be A, C, or E.

The final assignment for this unit will be to create your own melodic contour shape and compose a longer melody based on your drawing. If you would like, go ahead and get started on creating your melodic contour shape!