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The Trombone ForumTeaching & LearningComposition, Arranging and Theory(Moderator: zemry) Composer-arrangers : Do you NEED a strong melody?
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NickGrooves

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« Reply #20 on: Feb 11, 2018, 10:19PM »

... not saying Beethoven was not a good melodist. But his genius resided not in his melodies but in other aspects of his writing. In fact Beethoven 5 is the perfect example, the whole genius of the piece is not to have come up with this 4-note motif (which is not a bad melody, it's not a melody to begin with), it's the ways he uses it as a building block to erect this big musical structure.
What you’re touching on is called rhythmic phrasing. Phrasing is the crucial element. Today we call it a “hook.” Hooks can be melodic, rhythmic, lyrical, and the “best” songs will incorporate all types.

Y’all. Beethoven’s 5th is full of melodies, the trick is that despite the changing pitches and multi-layered canvas, the rhythmic phrase remains prominent. THAT is why it’s so memorable. Because, by the time it’s over you’ve heard that rhythm dozens of times and it sticks in your head.

Saying “today’s Pop has lame melodies” is ridiculous. What’s more accurate is to say that many modern Pop songs use simple melodies or one-note melodies because it’s a current trend. Simple melodies are still melodies.

Good arranging 101 =  tight voice leading in a chord progression; minimal movement with as many common tones (no motion) as possible. We use chord inversions to avoid jumping all over the place. This helps contrast the melody or melodic horn riffs (melody = motion). Today’s Pop likes to have motion in other areas of the song with simple melody. But this has been a technique for many years. Let’s not forget Beethoven. Or, how about Duke Ellington’s C Note Blues. Or the One Note Samba. Or the jazz standard, Mr. PC, which is another prime example of a rhythmic phrase, which also happens to be a melodic phrase.
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davdud101
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« Reply #21 on: Feb 12, 2018, 01:27PM »

//
Saying “today’s Pop has lame melodies” is ridiculous. What’s more accurate is to say that many modern Pop songs use simple melodies or one-note melodies because it’s a current trend. Simple melodies are still melodies.

Good arranging 101 =  tight voice leading in a chord progression; minimal movement with as many common tones (no motion) as possible. We use chord inversions to avoid jumping all over the place. This helps contrast the melody or melodic horn riffs (melody = motion). Today’s Pop likes to have motion in other areas of the song with simple melody. But this has been a technique for many years. Let’s not forget Beethoven. Or, how about Duke Ellington’s C Note Blues. Or the One Note Samba. Or the jazz standard, Mr. PC, which is another prime example of a rhythmic phrase, which also happens to be a melodic phrase.

Good point, this particularly right here. I think modern melodies are just as good as some others. A lot of them AREN'T actually that great, but I also happen think modern PRODUCTION can make *almost* any mediocre/decent melody something enjoyable to listen to.

Lyrics are a different story of course... I really couldn't care less about all the lovey-dovey garbage. It's super shallow, even when compared to similar type of lyrics from years past. But that's not what I wanted to focus on in this topic  :D :D


I humorously am actually finding it interestingly tough to create a GREAT melody over existing chords. Whenever a melody came and slapped me in the face (primarily back when I was trying to write alt. pop), it was often all at once, something really nice on the ears. These days, it just doesn't happen - I come across a cool chord progression and THEN try to sort of retrofit some lame shoehorned-in melody for the SAKE of my cool chord progression.

I think I'll spend some time with some poems or something, just making melodies that match right up to a set of prewritten lyrics.
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