01/16/15 Building Blocks of Music: Melody

For Wednesday, 1/21

  • Read Prelude 1, Chapter 2
  • Melody: often (but not always!)
    – the most prominently featured part
    – the highest in pitch
    – the most memorable part — what you walk out of a concert singing to yourself, what gets stuck in your head

    Terms we use to describe melodies:
    – Contour: how the melody moves: ascending, descending, arch, wave
    – Interval
    – Conjunct
    – Disjunct

    Amazing Grace

    Amazing Grace Diagram

    Listen for the contour of these melodies:

    I drove by all the places we used to hang out getting wasted

    I thought about our last kiss, how it felt the way you tasted

    Do you have the time to listen to me whine

    About nothing and everything all at once

    I am one of those melodramatic fools

    Neurotic to the bone, no doubt about it

    Melodies are made up of phrases, similar to how paragraphs are made up of sentences. A typical way to put phrases together creates a question-and-answer sequence — Amazing Grace and Ode to Joy are examples of this. The musical term for this procedure is antecedent-consequent.

    Ode to Joy

    Stars & Stripes: listen for melody sung the first time, then repeated by instruments with a second melody (countermelody) played on piccolos.