Mentoring Program

Love

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This is the first melody I have ever written. I am a vocalist, and sing baritone mostly. I am thinking of putting to words. I appreciate your help with this.
Grade Level: 12
Software Used: Sibelius
Instrumentation: Voice and or piano
Key: C Major
Meter Signature: 4/4
Tempo: Moderato
Status: Work in Progress
File 1: application/octet-streamDownload

Comments   

#10 Erik Nielsen 2017-11-03 13:53
Dear Blake,
Thanks for posting the latest version of your song. You've made some very significant changes that have improved the piece a great deal! The most important is that you changed the piece from major to minor. The sound color of the music now fits the text much better. You've also adjusted the melody in some places and have also altered the ending. This is really making progress now.
I have some suggestions for you.
1. For me, the melody really ends in bar 14. I don't find either the words or the music for bars 15-16 contribute to the song, unless your idea is that these bars are the beginning of the next phrase, in which case I'll withhold any judgment until I've seen more.
2. The bass line in bars 1-5 has great potential, but by putting the chords in inversion in bars 4-5 the effect is lost. Note my suggestion for those two bars in the version I'm uploading to your folder.
3. Bar 9 will work better as a Bb7 chord since it moves directly to an Eb chord in bar 10. See my suggestion for left hand.
4. Since this is in minor now, save yourself a lot of trouble and use the proper key signature (see what I've done in the uploaded score).
5. Some of the words are placed in a funny way ("wo-a-man"?, for example). I've adjusted them to follow standard practice. Note also that it's best to use slurs when there are two or more notes on a single syllable.
Blake, as I wrote above, this is a big improvement. Please look at the score I've uploaded and compare it with yours to see the suggestions I've made. (What I've done with the words aren't suggestions, really, more like corrections, though you need to figure out whether you want two notes on "pain" or "and" in bar 7. I put the slur on "and" because that's how your words seemed to fit with the notes, but it's up to you.) Then give some real thought to bars 15-16 and think where you want the song to go next. We can deal with making the accompaniment more pianistic later. It's more important to get the words and melody in good shape first. Please let me know if you have questions. I look forward to your next posting.

Best wishes,
Erik
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#9 Blake Hopkins 2017-11-03 11:24
I uploaded a new file. Please look and comment.
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#8 Blake Hopkins 2017-11-03 10:26
Hi Mr.Nielsen, I changed it to minor.
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#7 Erik Nielsen 2017-10-27 12:53
Dear Blake,
I think either you didn't notice that I had already commented on your 10-24 posting yesterday or you uploaded the same version yesterday as on Tuesday. In either case, the two versions are the same, so I have nothing new to add. Please look over my comments from yesterday and let me know if you have questions. And if you did upload the wrong version, please find the one you meant me to see that's different from the 10-24 version, upload it and I'll be happy to comment on it.

Best wishes,
Erik
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#6 Mary Jo West 2017-10-26 10:44
I have uploaded a new file with words or text to my music. Would you please look at what I have written and provide feedback? I have a new GOOGLE file saved.
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#5 Erik Nielsen 2017-10-26 09:37
Dear Blake,
Thanks for posting the first revision of your song. It's good to see how much progress you've made by putting words to the music you already had and working on music for the chorus.
Let me see whether I can help you.
1. Regarding the words, I think the sentiment is fine. Lost love is certainly a common theme for songs. However, I have two fairly serious reservations at the moment. The first is that for me the music doesn't fit the mood of the words. The melody and harmony, though moderately slow, are rather upbeat in tone while the lyrics certainly aren't. Are there songs where the mood of the music and the mood of the words don't match? Yes, but that's often done for irony, and I don't think that's your aim. This is part of the problem I alerted you to in my first note, namely writing the words after the music and having the two not match.
The second reservation is with the words themselves. Have you read these aloud to yourself or anyone else? The first four bars work fairly well with the music rhythmically, but after that the phrases get longer and the word stresses don't match the rhythmic stresses of the music at times. See especially bars 11-14. In addition, bar 7 is missing a beat (there are only 3) and bar 14 makes no sense as it's missing a word or words. I'd advise working on this with someone who has a good poetic sense, a fellow student or teacher, so you can take the sentiments and craft them into stronger lyrics that suit the musical mood better. After all, unless I'm mistaken, you don't have much if any experience with song lyrics, so it makes sense to ask for help.
2. The idea of verse-chorus as a form makes a lot of sense. Now what you need to do is strengthen the words for the verse, come up with a strong chorus of lyrics, since we'll hear it several times, and make sure the music is successful as well. At the moment there aren't any words, so let's look at the music. It's not as melodically interesting as the verse and the harmony often doesn't move from bar to bar (notice bars 23-24, 29-30, 32-33 and 38-39 (once again there's an incorrect bar number with 32 instead of 39). Can you start working on the words first and then craft a melody that works with the lyrics? The idea of centering around F is a good one, but I think starting with the lyrics and making them as strong as possible will give you more chance of success matching them and the music in the chorus.

Blake, I congratulate you on your courage in taking on dealing with both words and music. Now if you can take into account what I've written, especially about getting some help with words (it's not cheating, by the way), you ought to be able to make progress. Please let me know if anything I've written is unclear. I look forward to your next posting.

Best wishes,
Erik
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#4 Blake Hopkins 2017-10-24 12:03
I saved a new file in the GOOGLE DRIVE where I attempted to add words. Please let me know your thoughts on the words and also how I can create a form? Should I use verse and chorus?? I am thinking this is the verse.... Thank you!
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#3 Erik Nielsen 2017-10-17 12:53
Dear Blake,
I forgot to mention that when you've posted a revision, please write me a comment here to tell me what you've done. I look forward to seeing your next posting.

Best wishes,
Erik
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#2 Erik Nielsen 2017-10-11 14:32
Dear Blake,
Thanks for posting the first version of your song and welcome to Music-COMP. I will be your primary mentor for this piece. Your work is off to a strong start, as your melody has a good shape, rhythmic variety, a clear sense of the key and is very singable. So far so good.
Let me try to answer your questions.
1. Regarding the accompaniment, certainly you could dispense with it altogether. The advantage to this is that you can put all your concentration on the melody and words. The disadvantage is that there is less variety of sound than you would have with an accompanying instrument, you would lose the conversational aspect of instrument and voice, and there would be no break for you as singer. The choice is up to you, but you've already started with piano, so you might want to see where continuing such an approach will lead.
2. Regarding words, will you be writing your own or using someone else's? If your own you have an advantage in that you can suit them to the rhythm of the music you already have. The problem with new music and new words that haven't been conceived together is that often it can lead to endless revision, as adding words makes you want to change some of the music, which then leads to making some adjustments to the words, when then leads. . .you get the picture. Does this always happen? No, of course not, but I figured I ought to warn you. Most of the composers of concert (i.e., "classical") music I know (myself included) start by choosing (or writing) the words and then creating music to fit the rhythm and the mood of the text. Most of the songwriters (folk, pop, etc.) that I'm aware of create the music first and then write words to fit the rhythm and mood of the music. Either way can work.
3. Regarding the melody itself, were you given an assignment to write a certain number of bars or was this just what you came up with? I ask because for me the melody effectively ends with the whole note in bar 14 that's really bar 16 (the bar numbering at the beginning of each system is wrong!). Bars 17-19 (shown at the moment as 14-16) just feel like fill to me, so please consider whether they are really necessary.
4. As for the next section, you could use some of the same rhythmic elements as in A, but with different notes and emphasize different harmony. For example, you could make the harmonic center F or A minor rather than C for this section, but keep the same key signature. Or you could create a completely new feel, but again avoid emphasizing C so much. These are just a couple of possibilities for you to consider.

Blake, as I wrote above, your song is off to a good start. I'd say that the two most important tasks (before starting the B section) are to make a decision about bars 14-16 (really 17-19) and to create or find words that you want to use. If you create too much music without the words you will have more problems adding text the further along you go. Please let me know if you have questions. I look forward to your first revision.

Best wishes,
Erik Nielsen
Senior Mentor
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#1 Blake Hopkins 2017-10-10 11:14
I need help to try to add words to this melody. I also need to figure out what the accompaniment will be. Will it be piano? Or maybe unaccompanied baritone? Also I need to write the next B section. I feel what I have written is the melody for the verse.
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