How to write an effective melody

Discussion in 'Composition, Orchestration & Technique' started by Akarin, Jan 16, 2019.

  1. PeterN

    PeterN Senior Member

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    This approach on music as mathematics......what to say. Is poetry approached as mathematics?

    (Sorry OP, just skip my rant, ignore it, its sort of a rant here, like a low frequency or something)
     
  2. mikeh-375

    mikeh-375 old school

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    Not maths Peter, just feelings - as a performer feels the music so too the composer as they write.
    However, there might well be poetry in maths!!!!;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
  3. jbuhler

    jbuhler Senior Member

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    I was kind of with you until your last paragraph, and its desperate longing for a lost golden age. I would also say the knowledge in the post is more simplified than esoteric. It makes sense for it to be simplified because its aim is pedagogical. And it results in something that is passable as music. The risking fate, yes that is important too, especially in making art, modeling a life worth living. But often one wants to work a bit on technique before risking everything without a net.
     
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  4. PeterN

    PeterN Senior Member

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    You get a quick reply from a guy who didnt go to sleep on time. First I apologize to OP, he did lot of work on website, and kindly shares his knowledge, and doesnt really deserve me making noise around. I probably need a break from here, so stand out me a day or two yet - sorry.

    So.... just a word on the ”risking” fate. Not really, more in terms of ”fate of being a human”. I mean the fate of being a human is disappearing, it didnt use to be like this. Fate has been taken from us, yes its still around, but its sort of one of those butterflies you only see once in a while. It can be found and chased though, and maybe thats something artists should persuade. Fate gives melodies for music and words for poets. Then why not. Sure it can involve risks, but the risk is not the aim, the aim is to encounter human fate.

    Nite.
     
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  5. Chr!s

    Chr!s Active Member

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    Good article.

    For me, the rhythm and structure of the melody are my main concerns. I always bring up to people that every iconic melody can be recognized by its rhythm alone.
     
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  6. mikeh-375

    mikeh-375 old school

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    Naahhh Pete... self discovery through learning and hard work, or just natural ability will reveal your inner music if it is there. I suppose you could call someone's inclination to study and/or feel (without study) music, fate - but I guess you mean something a little more esoteric. I find it's best to keep things simple when it comes to the creative act because it is hard enough without any ontology or teleology messing with your head.

    Back to the OP's thread, a good melody can also lead you to emotional highs and lows by exploiting melodic intervals, repetitive motifs, motivic development, and of course a harmonic structure that supports or perhaps dictates the peaks and troughs. Don't forget too, expressive techniques like suspensions and especially notes that go against the grain of the harmony. Articulations like crescendo and diminuendo should also be factored in as well as sudden dynamic jumps, accents etc.
    Personally, I, like a lot of you probably, find that these facets of melodic writing come quite naturally as I write and are often inherent in the music at first bloom. Interestingly @PeterN, have I come around to your thinking? There is often a sense of inevitability about this process, is that the sort of fate you mean?..:thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019
  7. PeterN

    PeterN Senior Member

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    What we see now going on is music taken from its creative sources, and the conception of music as an art - and the composer as an artist - evolving to something way more mechanical and materialistic. It is the main approach on this forum, no problem with that, however we can already see how this is evolving. To AI taking over. So to sum it down, or up, it will be artists vs ai. That is artist intelligence vs artificial intelligence. The strenghts and advantages of the artist will be creativity and human fate. The strenghts and advantages of AI will be numerous.
     
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  8. PeterN

    PeterN Senior Member

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    In conclusion, you might want to ask yourself if you are an artist or a mechanic. If you are the artist, theres a ton of literature and tradition how artists create. Not too mystical, but indeed, you can dive deeper too. Even so deep some get lost there.
     
  9. mikeh-375

    mikeh-375 old school

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    too true re AI.
    Music if it is to be sincere has to stem from knowledge of one's own sensibilities. For me, that was achieved through intense study and practice, it might well be different for others. But without a sense of personal discovery, however you achieve it, pressing buttons and utilising AI is pretty soulless and anathema to the definition of art as a response to the human condition.
    I consider myself a creative artist because I know myself and am faithful to the music I hear unaided by the digital realm....God that sounds sooo poncy.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Akarin

    Akarin pragsound.com

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    Actually, my day job is in AI. I hear a lot of fallacies when it comes to this subject, mostly due to a lack of understanding of what AI is. There won't be any competition between AI and artists. Artists will simply go the way of the dodos. Not today, not next week and certainly not because of things like Orb composer or Aiva which are too simplistic in their approach... ...but 10 years from now, the game will be unfair for the humans.
     
  11. mikeh-375

    mikeh-375 old school

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    I doubt that Akarin, I'm sure there will always be folk who want to express themselves unaided as it were. Art can be a deep desire too...
     
  12. DANIELE

    DANIELE Active Member

    Maybe you don't know mathematics, math could be a great form of art, math could be poethic. It's all about how much you know it and how you approach it that give you the meaning of it.
    Mathematics is in music and music is in mathematic, they are not separate things.

    Music is a mathematical manipulation of physical reality around us and this is beautiful, this is poethic.

    I'd like to say more but the language still limit me.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Akarin

    Akarin pragsound.com

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    I don't disagree with that at all... But contrary to now, these people won't be needed nor will they have value (as in "will people want to pay for what they do?")
     
  14. mikeh-375

    mikeh-375 old school

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    Possibly, but let's not mix up genres of music. In concert music, I'm sure there will always be a demand for the personality of a human and its plausible that AI could make it there too. Interestingly, with the breakdown of tonality in concert music, it does open the door for AI, because sometimes the complexity of modern music is difficult to grasp on a human level and that complexity could be exploited by AI and whose to say it wouldn't be art.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Akarin

    Akarin pragsound.com

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    Not if a human can't tell the difference. It will simply become niche. A bit like these self-professed audiophiles who don't blink when buying $1k platinum-plated USB cables because "it sounds better."
     
  16. mikeh-375

    mikeh-375 old school

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    indeed. I nearly fell for that sort of patter over an HDMI cable. Modern concert music has been niche for almost a century, so no change there, just fantastic music.
     
  17. KallumS

    KallumS Active Member

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    Someone once told me that an easy way to create a melody is to think of a sentence and copy it to a melody. For example, if I thought of saying "what a beautiful day" each syllable would be a note and the notes would roughly follow the ups and downs of each syllable. I thought that was a great tip.
     
  18. OP
    OP
    Akarin

    Akarin pragsound.com

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    It is the first time I hear this... ...and it's amazing how much sense it makes! Typically the kind of tips I'm looking for. I'm repeating "what a beautiful day" in my head and imagining the musical phrasing, the color. Can't wait to try!
     
  19. Mornats

    Mornats Senior Member

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    This discussion has taken an interesting turn!

    With regards to AI, I'm sure there are a whole load of people wanting to create music for the sake of creating it (I'm an amateur and fall into this category). So whilst AI may get any jobs I might have aspired to, it won't take away my desire to create and that human-created content will be out there and won't go away.

    Back to the lesson though, I'm going to use this technique to practice writing melodies from chord progressions outside of my usual song-writing process. I think it will be a very good exercise.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019
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  20. Fry777

    Fry777 pragsound.com

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    I heard that once too but had forgotten about it, it is a great tip :)
     

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