Unit: 4th Grade Music Composition How to compose a melody One of the most important things in music is learning how to read the notes and rhythms. Once you have those tools, you can use them to be a composer. Today you will learn how to write a good 8 or 16 measure melody that you can play on the xylophone, piano, or any other instrument. We are going to use the key of C Major since it has no flats or sharps. Here are the notes in the C scale that you can use:
Now most melodies that are in the key of C major start and end with C. It’s kind of like a home run in baseball. It wouldn’t make much sense of the runner left home plate and decided to just stay in the outfield. Listen to this classical melody and see how it begins and ends on C. Do you recognize the tune? What do you notice about the rhythm of this song?
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Melodies are made up by what we call phrases. Phrases are usually made up of 2 measures of music. How many phrases would be in an 8 measure song? Good melodies also use similar rhythms that stay the same. Rhythms that suddenly change don’t make a very sing able tune. Look at the example below and see how the rhythms are very similar. Make sure you when you write your melody, you plan out your rhythm before hand. Start with an 8 measure melody and if it turns out good, go for one that is 16 measures or longer! Phrase 1 Phrase 2 Phrase 3 Phrase 4 Also when you write our your notes, make sure the notehead is clearly on a line or a space, and the stem is pointing up or down. The stem has to be up and to the right below the 3rd line, and down and to the left above the 3rd line. Anything on the 3rd line – and you can decide!
Here are the steps you need to follow on the back before writing your melody on staff paper. 1. 2. 3. 4. Plan out your rhythm Plan out your notes Put a treble clef and time signature (4/4) on the staff Write your melody
Rhythm Plan I Phrase 1: Phrase 2: Phrase 3: Phrase 4: Rhythm Plan II (with letters of notes written below) Phrase 1: Phrase 2: Phrase 3: Phrase 4: * Now you are ready to write your music on the staff Bonus Rhythm Plan (Try this if you want to write a more complex and longer melody) Phrase 1: Phrase 2: Phrase 3: Phrase 4:
Phrase 5: Phrase 6: Phrase 7: Phrase 8: