Discussion in 'Ask Justin Meldal-Johnsen' started by joedecenso, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. joedecenso


    May 9, 2011
    I have this one book, The complete idiots guide to music composition and I have a few questions. The book discusses song structure and it gives an example of a song form, verse-chorus-verse (sometimes notated as ABA) and it said the first long meolody is the verse, the second long melody is the chorus. My question is why don't you use one melody through out the entire piece, but use varition within the melody to define each section of the song (such as arranging the order of the notes in the chorus differently than the verse to make it sound different). How close does one melody have to be to the other? does each section of a song have it's own melody? (according to the book it sounds like you do, so I wanted your opinion)

    I also want to know what you think about the defenition that was given in the book that defines melody, and if you colud, explain it a little more. "Melody is defeined as a logical progression of notes and rythyms"

  2. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    Well, it's totally arbitrary...or at least they are simply tangled up in the semantics of it. They are oversimplifying and generalizing. The fact is, there are few rules. They are just trying to make the most rudimentary explanation of traditional song form: first identifiable long melody is V, second one is CH, and so on. You can certainly do what you're saying, but the CH is often identified as doing something unique in the song, providing a lift, giving the main point of the lyric, telling the crux of the story, etc. etc. Melodies do not in fact have to be close to each other at should perhaps get your head out of that book and just listen to some Beatles records so you can get some applicable examples of that sort of song structure in action. In modern song form (including Beatles songs), you may very often hear a template that's something like this:

    Intro (sometimes being an instrumental chorus)
    Pre Chorus or B verse
    Verse 2
    Pre Chorus or B Verse
    Chorus 2
    Chorus 3
    Chorus 4

    Good luck!
  3. joedecenso


    May 9, 2011
    Thanks for the info and response
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