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sphefx

Best Way To Compose a Melody Over Chords?

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Interesting, what are these instruments?

The melody and bassline are respectively a square wave and a triangle wave generated by the sound chip of Nintendo Entertainment System video game console (or more properly, a computer program emulating said sound chip). Thanks for asking! =D

And I finally managed to create a score! Turns out "\new staff" and "\new Staff" are two different things. So now I have attached a PDF score for your perusal. =D

ram figured bass melody exercise.pdf

PDF

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So now I have attached a PDF score for your perusal.

Now can you add two middle voices completing the harmony so as to make a 4-voice quatuor?

I think you forgot to use a F# at the end to make a dominant chord before the final tonic chord.

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So here's my own version. It makes a nice little piece I think.

You'll find a PDF, a midi and MP3s here.

This is by no means the only solution, as has been demonstrated previously. It would be fun to see more versions by others.

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*looks up "figured bass" on Wikipedia*

You mean those numbers 5 and 6 up top actually meant something? I am a failure. I definitely have a LOT of learning to do. . . D=

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You mean those numbers 5 and 6 up top actually meant something?

Of course they meant something. But when I wrote it up, I forgot it was in minor and I should have said "#" instead of "5" for dominant chords (D in the bass) in root position, for instance: when nothing is stated, the alteration applies to the 3rd of the chord.

What I was trying to convey was the chord positions, so it was not a true Baroque figuration. And most often, chords in root position were not figured by "5" at all. When nothing was said, the player had to assume a root position chord.

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Trust me on this: compose your melody first with a bass line only, and add your middle voice(s) in last (if there are any). In doing this, you will eventually be able to do all at once with practice.

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On a book I read, chord progressions seem to be kind of like the opposite of melody progression, where melody sounds best when you travel through major and minor 2nds and 3rds.

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Don't forget diminished chords! They are the secret to melodic progression. So are major chords, but dim is just as important, trust me.

And don't think of your bass note in terms of the chord you have laid out.

Check this example that I myself have created to share with you.

Play a C major chord with a C bass. Then play a chord C-E-Gb with a D bass.

The goal of the melody now is to create something exceptable that will get from your first chord to your second chord. The tools for melody are dim and major arpeggios. And you have to put more progressions in the middle of course. This is a very simple and reasonable example.

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Schoenberg in his book "Fundamentals of Composition" says that a composer should never think of a melody without knowing its underlying harmony :)

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It depends what kind of melody you're writing over the chords. If you're writing pop music, then you can just write the first, third and or fifth note of each chord at the beginning of each measure that has a new chord in it.

Then you can use those as targets notes and or beginning notes for your melody. If you're writing for jazz then you'll need to use the third or the seventh of the chords as guide tones in many cases.

It's possible to start a chord on a non chord tone in the melody but then you have to give it special treatment and eventually resolve to a chord tone.

They create suspensions which are popular in rock and pop especially, though they occur elsewhere as well. Good luck.

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I say, sing! Play the chords and sing a melody whilst consciously attempting to create a sense of melodic curve and shape. Simply 'joining the dots' between chord tones will inevitably lead to a boring composition.

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Write what you want

No. Write what I want!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHA~

....

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