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Composing a Melody

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					Composing a Melody

                                    Terminology


  Texture
                                   Phrase


     •  Monophony
                              •  Antecedent

     •  Polyphony
                              •  Consequent

     •  Homophony

                                              Period

  Contour

     •  Conjunct (e.g., scalar)
              Cadence

     •  Disjunct (e.g., chordal)

                                              Climax


  Accent

                                              Balance

     •  Dynamic

     •  Agogic
                               Unity   vs. Variety

     •  Tonic

     •  Metric
                               Text setting

                                                •  Syllabic

  Range     
                                  •  Melismatic


  Tessitura
                                 Word    painting

                             Anatomy of a Melody



The Star Spangled Banner


                            Conjunct motion





        Disjunct motion



   Contour





                Range





               Tessitura

                                   Anatomy of a Melody



The Star Spangled Banner

                                                    Period

                      Phrase 1 (antecedent)
                         Phrase 2 (consequent)




  Harmonic 

implications:
   I
                              V
           I
         V
         I

                                               Cadence
                                      Cadence

                                         (imperfect authentic/
                          (perfect authentic)

                                            half-cadence)
          augmentation

                                                              variation

         Rhythmic motive:

                            Anatomy of a Melody



The Star Spangled Banner





    Metric accents

    Dynamic accents

    Agogic accents

    Tonic accents

                                     Text Setting


Walk Like an Egyptian (Sternberg/The Bangles)



  All the old paint-ings on the tombs
         All the old paint-ings on the tombs


  They do the sand dance don't you know
       They do the sand dance don't you know



  If they move too quick (oh whey oh)
         If they move too quick (oh whey oh)


  They're fall-ing down like a dom-i-no
       They're fall-ing down like a dom-i-no




  All the ba-zaar men by the Nile
             All the ba-zaar men by the Nile


  They got the mon-ey on a bet
                They got the mon-ey on a bet



  Gold croc-o-diles (oh whey oh)
              Gold croc-o-diles (oh whey oh)


  They snap their teeth on your cig-a-rette
   They snap their teeth on your cig-a-rette

New Melodic Resources

Various types of nontonal scales: modes, synthetic, and non-Western scales





                                                     From David Cope, Techniques of the
                                                         Contemporary Composer, p. 27.

Impressionism/Exoticism—Influences


       Balinese gamelan and 

         African drummers.





                                 Precedents:

                                     Paris   Exposition (1889) 

                                     Chicago    World Fair (1892)

Impressionism/Exoticism





     Claude Debussy (1862-1918)

Impressionism/Exoticism





Maurice Ravel 
            Igor Stravinsky 

(1875-1937)
                    (1882-1971)

Folk Music





 Béla Bartók (1883-1945)

 recording and transcribing folk
 songs of Hungarian peasants.

Folk Music—Characteristics


    Unusual phrase lengths (not restricted to 2, 4, 8, etc.)


    Metric variety: frequent use of mixed and additive meters


    Temporal fluidity: use of irregular rhythmic subdivisions and tempo changes.


    Modal rather than tonal melodies; not bound to “the tyrannical rule of the
     major and minor keys” (Bartók).


    Not restricted by equal temperament: use of microtonal pitch inflections and
     scales based on natural tuning systems.


    Free from the expressive pretensions of 19th-century “art” music.

Folk tune transcribed by Béla Bartók.





                            Irregular phrases

                            Flexible tempo

                            Irregular rhythmic subdivisions

                            Microtonal pitch inflection

                         Diatonic Modes

“White note” version:
      Mode name:
    Starting on C:


                               Ionian



                               Dorian



                             Phrygian



                               Lydian



                             Mixolydian



                              Aeolian



                              Locrian

                            Diatonic Modes

Lydian:

   Maurice Ravel: String Quartet in F (1903)





Phrygian:

   Ralph Vaughn Williams: Variations on a Theme of Thomas Tallis (1910)

                          Pentatonic Scales


The most familiar variety of pentatonic scale is the “anhemitonic” (I.e., without
semitones); it may be easily realized by playing on the black keys of the piano.




Derivation from diatonic scale:

                          Pentatonic Scales

Anhemitonic variety:

   Claude Debussy: “Nuages” from Nocturnes (1899)





   Maurice Ravel: String Quartet in F (1903)

                          Pentatonic Scales

Other varieties:

   Igor Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps (1913)





                                                             P4

                                                       m2

   Claude Debussy: String Quartet (1893)





                                               m2
   M3

Claude Debussy: “Pagodes” from Estampes (1903) 

Maurice Ravel: Ma mère lʼoye (1908)—“Laideronnette”

              Whole-Tone Scale


A




B




Claude Debussy: “Canope” from Preludes Book II (1913)

Claude Debussy: “Voiles” from Preludes, Book I (1910) 

Béla Bartók: Mikrokosmos No. 136—“Whole-Tone Scales”

Béla Bartók: Mikrokosmos No. 136—“Whole-Tone Scales”

Béla Bartók: Mikrokosmos No. 136—“Whole-Tone Scales”

                             Octatonic Scale

Two versions:

           “Major” (whole-half) 

    A


           “Minor” (half-whole)

    B



Three transpositions:


    1



     2




     3

                             Octatonic Scale

Structure:

          Four overlapping [013] pitch cells 





                            Two nested diminished 7th chords 




Igor Stravinsky: Octet (1922)

Béla Bartók:

Mikrokosmos No. 99

“Crossed Hands”




Octatonic pentachord 1 (RH):





Octatonic pentachord 2 (LH):





These two octatonic pentachords
combine to form a single octatonic
collection.

Alexander Scriabin 

    (1872-1915)

             Alexander Scriabinʼs “Mystic” Chord





Four arrangements of the “mystic” chord:

  a. As a series of stacked fourths (original form)

  b. As a scale: related to the whole-tone scale (with A-natural instead of A-flat)

  c. As a dominant thirteenth/sharp eleven chord (with added G)

  d. As a chord with mixed intervals



Use of the “mystic” chord in Scriabinʼs Poème, Op. 69 No. 1 (1913):

           Olivier Messiaenʼs Modes of Limited Transposition



Mode 1: 6 pitches, 2 transpositions
                        Mode 2: 8 pitches, 3 transpositions

   
(“whole tone”)
                                            
(“octatonic”)



      2        
2        
2        
2    
2    
2 
               1          
2       
1    
2     
1        
2        
1         
2 



Mode 3: 9 pitches, 4 transpositions
                                        Mode 4: 8 pitches, 6 transpositions




     2    
1        
1        
2    
1    
1   
2     
1    
1
                   1    
1    
3   
1    
1        
3         
1    
1 

Mode 5: 6 pitches, 6 transpositions
                         Mode 6: 8 pitches, 6 transpositions




      1        
4        
1        
1    
4     
1 
              2           
2       
1   
1    
2     
2             
1        
1      


Mode 7: 10 pitches, 6 transpositions




     1    
1        
1        
2    
1    
1    
1     
1    
2       
1



From David Cope, Techniques of the
    Contemporary Composer, p. 27.


				
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