Hints for melodists


I’m dropping few tips useful for melody makers:

#1 - Cadences
It’s cool when the melody got pauses on every several played notes - cadences. It’s also good when pauses got two different lengths and longer pause is used every few shorter pauses. Between shorter and longer cadences there are short notes filling in the space. So it all looks like this:

nnnc nnnc nnnC nnnc nnnc nnnC … and so on - (n - note, c - short cadence, C - longer cadence)

It’s good to place it all rhythmically with notes on the beats.

#2 - Gradation of interval tensions
There are few groups of acoustic tension of succeeding tones, that follow:

1: 0, 12
2: 7, 5
3: 3, 4, 10, 9, 8
4: 2, 1
5: 6,11

Gradation is using semitones written groups 2-4 in order 2, 3, 4 or 4, 3, 2. These are intervals between cadences only. Notes separating cadences follow according to gradation of it’s position on a keyboard, not their interval, so they are frankly rather short passages of interval 1, 2 or 3 semitones than interval play, just like with playing scales ‘cdefgabc’. Notes may also form sort of permutations of tones neighbouring around the following cadence or cadence before. They may link cadences with a line of tones between cadences.
The are not heard as intervals only rather tonal as they are short.
Both, notes and intervals, has to be within the scale.
Group 1 is not used for cadences due to repetitiveness of 0 semitones interval and to far distance of interval of 12 semitones. Same way group 5 is not used because of dissonance of tritone (6 semitones) and septime (7th a.k.a. 11 semitones)

#3 - Invention
Invention follows as theme, as a path of cadences set on gradating intervals of groups 2-4 linked with way of notes between them. Second part of invention is counterpoint which is similar invention, however built on intervals from groups taken in opposite direction: for 2, 3, 4 it is 4, 3, 2 and for 4, 3, 2 is 2, 3, 4. It is superb when intervals selected form each group forms monotonic rise or fall of number of semitones, like: 5, 4, 2 semitones or 7, 3, 1 or 2, 4, 7 and such. It gives smooth succession of quality of interval and distance of interval.
After invention it’s OK to play theme of invention again with different counterpoint, then chorus.

#4 - Accompaniment
When melody is ready add chords (i. e. with Progressor) to it, then bass to chords, then beat to it all. (Best to add Progressor only to cadences before placing notes between cadences)


Thanks for the tips!

You’re welcome.