When I gave my little talk on composition, a question was asked about what is the meaning of structure in music? As often happens when teaching, the answer I gave became a moment when many things came together to form one clear, perfect concept.
You see, I always look to extract core concepts out of whatever music I study, and not just the surface elements. This way I can assimilate the essence without resorting to plagiarism or locking myself in to a single approach.
Melody writing is important to me and has been on my mind for years, and even more so recently.
I have analyzed large amounts of melodies, dug deeply to understand how the composer thought while writing them and why the melodies work.
I have devoured music psychology books to try to understand how the listener perceives music. How I perceive music!
All these ideas floating in my head came together in that classroom to form a very simple concept of melody writing.
Simple, yes. Truths are usually simple and appear self-evident.
And here it is, the condensed version. I’ll let you figure out the details. (I feel like I should charge for this.)
First, let’s talk Gestalt Theory for a second. The human mind is wired to perceive patterns. Patterns are perceived as beautiful.
What shape do you see above? See, your brain makes it a square and it is almost impossible for you to only see four little dots.
Now imagine that each of these dots is a motive and that the shape is the phrase. You can organize these dots/motives to form any kind of shape you wish, (as long as it has order and is perceivable as a shape.)
Think of The Barber of Seville, Beethoven’s Fifth or Indiana Jones and you will see what I mean.
Now pay up!
I have recently struck a deal with another manufacturer of musical software. I won’t say who it is yet… all I’ll say is that I have now an orchestral template that is beyond my wildest dreams!
Between this new software and Synful, I have sounds that firmly plant my little studio on the cutting edge of the 21st century.
It feels good writing that!
Especially since I never was interested in samplers and other music technology in the past because of the lack of musicality involved, but this new software brings playability and expression as close to real as you could hope for!
Anyway, I’m excited, but since I can’t write about it I’ll just leave it at that… for now!
And next Wednesday I am going to give my first talk on composition. Oh, I have taught composition before, but this is the first time I will address a class of University students. It should be a lot of fun!
Last item for today, come check out my new website: www.gettingthescore.com
It’s a website about film scoring aimed at directors!