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Chapter 5. The building blocks of composition - Pg. 104

104 Chapter 5. The building blocks of composition In Chapter 1, MIDI sequencing, I explained how technically challenged keyboard players like myself can record a difficult piece of music by breaking it down into manageable chunks. We dismantle the composition, piece by piece and rebuild it again as sequencing objects on a track in the Arrange window within Logic. You could liken this process to a building being dismantled and reassembled, brick by brick, in a new location. There is much to be learned by doing this, and Logic is an ideal place to do it because we can see the constituent parts, or building blocks, of a composition clearly displayed in the Arrange window. To examine the Logic files for this chapter, copy the folders named `exile' and `blocks' from the CD to your computer. Info The phrase You probably discovered earlier, when sequencing three completely different styles of music, that musical common sense prompted you to play and record the music as complete phrases. We can assume then, that a phrase is the smallest structural unit used for composition. It has a sense of completeness. It can be sung or played in a single breath and has a definite beginning and ending. · Load exile/exile and view the flute (Track 3) in the Score window. The first phrase is colored red. It's a complete unit. Think of it as a musical sentence. Better still, think of it as a musical question. It's followed by another phrase, the answer, marked blue. After this there are two more question and answer phrases. Look through and play the score to identify other such phrases. I've marked a few to get you going. What do these phrases consist of? What is the main ingredient? Well melody for a start. For me, this is usually the most important part of the creative process. The melody comes first and the rest follows later. Melody OK, not all music relies on melody but the overwhelming majority does. How many times have you heard a snatch of melody and it's instant recall time? You know exactly where it came from. Even if you can't remember where its origins lie, the damn thing nags you silly until you eventually find out. That's the power of melody. That recall ­ depending on how old you are! ­ will often bring to mind a particular memory. It may well bring submerged emotions to the surface. Powerful stuff! What constitutes a melody? At its most basic, a string of notes that rise and fall. But that's not enough. · Load blocks/oddnotes (Figure 5.1).