Melody Project


Remember when I created a motif out of C Major? Well, I was so inspired that I decided to write a melody out of the same key. Since it is in the key of C, the Tonic note is C. At the end of the 4th measure, I end with the Leading Tone, B, and start the 5th measure with the Tonic note.

My First Melody 

This melody I composed with 3 notes, just like the motif, but added a lot of octave changes into it and used different notes. Since I had no idea how to make a good melody, it’s pretty terrible, but hey, not bad for a first try. Here it is:

Lesson Melody

For this melody, I basically was a copycat and copied a melody by Dr. Jamie Henke. It’s very simple, but revealed everything that I was doing so wrong with my other melodies. Here it is:

One of My Favorite Melodies

As many of you know, Thunderstruck by AC/DC is one of my favorite songs of all time. So to honor the song, and pay tribute to the late Malcolm Young (R.I.P. Malcolm. May you shine forever in the stars) I decided to download the MIDI file, and strip away the components to unveil this:

My Second Melody

On SoundCloud, I gave it a subtitle called “Country in C Major” and for good reason. It legitimately sounds like a cross between country and hillbilly. I’m very pleased with this melody, I think that it turned out very well. As you can see from the notation (Hit Command+ to zoom in) there is variation between the consequent and the antecedent phrases. Repetition is used in the 1st and t=3rd measures, The tonic notes are at the beginning of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th measures. It starts and ends on the tonic in the 8th measure. It raises tension at the end of the 4th measure by ending on the Leading tone, which is resolved at the beginning of the 5th measure, which began on the tonic note. Here it is:

Melody Composition Terms

Theme- long melodic idea that flows

Motive- short, rhythmic idea

Period- 8 measures of music(sometimes 10-12 measures, but usually 8)

Phrase-4 measures of music inside of a period.

Antecedent (Question) Phrase- 1st phrase of a period. Usually asks a “question”

Consequent (Answer) Phrase- 2nd phrase of a period. Usually “answers” the  “question”

Scale Degrees- Notes of a scale with different levels of tension.

  • Tonic- Beginning and ending note of a scale. Gives stability and resolution.
  • Supertonic, Mediant, Submediant- The 3 notes that are the middle ground between the tonic and the dominant, subdominant, and leading tones. 
  • Dominant, Subdominant, Leading Tone- The 3 notes that cause the most tension.

Steps- a half or whole step jump in a phrase or period.

Leaps- a one and a half step jump in a phrase or period.

Conjunct motion- a melody built primarily out of steps.

Disjunct motion- a melody built primarily out of leaps

Repetition- when you use repeated material to create a link between the two phrases of a period.

Contrast- when you write two phrases that contain contrasting material to create tension and interest.

Variation- when you have some recognizable material and some varied material(halfway between contrast and repetition).

What I Learned and Problems I Solved

So what did I learn from all of this? Well, I learned how to compose a proper melody, and I also learned that if you try hard enough, you’ll get it eventually. So that’s all for now, but stay tuned if I feel to add on to my melody…

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