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Lilt: a theory of melody

A melody has to catch the ear. A lilt is an up and down movement that has to be asymmetrical or surprising in some way. It can go up, and ...

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The 5th Song

The 5th song is taking shape. It is is Bb and begins there in the tonic, with a sixth and ninth. It goes up to the subdominant Eb, then to the II chord Cmin7, with a flatted 5th and back to the tonic.

Then it goes to IV again, V7, then III (Dmin), a C#7, and a Cmaj7. I don't know if that is permissible, because I'm doing a II/V/I progression in another key. No matter, it sounds ok to me.

The next four measures will repeat the first four. Then the last four measure of the second A section will have to be slightly different, resolving on the tonic rather than on II.

It only took two days to learn to do chords in this key, so that's not so bad.

The melody so far goes like this: La, la, la, la, la // la la / la / la la. Well, I guess you have to be here to hear it. I always need chords first, then melody, then lyrics.

Lyrics seem infinitely perfectible to me, whereas the song (harmony / melody) just is what it. Perhaps that is a feature of my method.

The next step, logically, is to write down and record my songs. I've started to do both. But I think I need an album of 8 songs.

I am painfully aware of my limitations, yet my songs sound ok, even beautiful at times, to me. Toward the end of a part the other night I sat down and played one of them instrumentally and nobody complained.

I think, naturally, that I should set poems to music.

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