All About Melody

Summary of “Melody: How to Write Great Tunes” by Rikky Rooksby

Part 2


VI. Phrasing

42. balance leaps with steps
43. use of motifs
44. tranposing motifs; phrase in 2, 4, 8, 16 bars or odd lengths
45. phrase in 3 bars
46. rhythmic syncopation
47. answer a melody instrumentally; harmony can make a ‘wrong’ note sound ‘right’
48. pre-chorus
49. gradual pitch ascension for drama

VII. Contour

50. definitions of outside notes for each scales
51. definitions of chromatics
52. use of chromatics
53. harmonizing chromatic notes with diatonic or non-diatonic chords
54. transposing phrase to fit intervals of new chord
55. transposing phrases in a blues
56. transposing up a whole step with harmony as well
57. transposing to parallel minor & relative minor

VIII. Harmony

58. intro to harmonization
59. for 6, 7 or 9, lots of possibilities for harmonizing
60. example using b3 and b7 and varying harmonic rhythm
61. constrast contour of melody with that of harmony
62. use harmony to increase emotional impact of melody
63. mutliple ways to harmonize 1 note / alter a note in a melody to fit a reharm
64. can make it mixolydian instead of stricly minor or major
65. reharm a minor melody to its parallel major by changing the 3rd in particular
66. can increase in pitch one note in a repeated phrase to increase intensity

IX. Advanced Techniques

67. keep same pitches but change rhythm
68. retain contour in follow-up phrase(s) but change certain pitches to match chords
69. could end up with completely new melody as per above with more extreme reharm
70. have a melody over a riff – with different contours for different sections
71. unpack a chord by turning it into arpeggio
72. odd time signatures; don’t always start phrases on first beat
73. have a counter-melody that answers back a la Beatles “Help”
74. have instrumentation interact with main melody with sub-melodies
75. through-composed melody

6. Phrasing

7. Contour

8. Harmony

9. Advanced Techniques