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Chapter 6. Melody making - Pg. 108

108 Chapter 6. Melody making In the previous chapter we used small melodic fragments to build a kind of musical collage suitable for background use. The fragments remained undeveloped. We'll now have a look at how small fragments of melody can be expanded into larger structures. In other words we will construct a melody. `Construct a melody!' I can hear you saying, `surely melodies aren't constructed but revealed, in moments of divine inspiration, to extremely gifted musical people such as Mozart, Irving Berlin, Lennon and McCartney and the like. Not ordinary people like us.' To examine the Logic Audio files for this chapter, copy the folders named `cells' and `ex- ile' from the CD to your computer. Not so. The first ideas are often inspirational but the hard work of building and constructing soon takes over. As usual it's one percent brain wave, 99 percent hard work. So you're in with a chance. So how's it done? Well, there are no hard and fast rules. However, there are some guidelines and general principles that have worked well over the last few hundred years or so. Why do we remember certain melodies, and not others? In most cases we remember the well crafted ones that are carefully developed from a few distinctive ideas. These ideas are then repeated and varied to form a complete melody. The two key ingredients are repetition and variation. Without repetition, the listener has nothing to hold on to and soon becomes bewildered. Without variation boredom sets in. Info Cell construction Don't be frightened of repetition. Without it, nobody will be likely to remember anything you compose. A good way of getting started on developing and constructing melodies is to write a short motif or phrase, repeat it several times and introduce variations in pitch. Here is a melody constructed this way (Figures 6.1 and 6.2): Figure 6.1. Motif cells