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Songwriting For Dummies by Cathy Lynn Austin, Jim Peterik, Dave Austin

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Chapter 9

Making Melody Magic

In This Chapter

Understanding the what, where, and how of melodies

Finding the perfect fit for your melody

Getting “in the zone” where ideas come naturally

You’ve plunked down your hard-earned money to buy this book, and chances are you have some songs stirring in your soul already and a melody or two percolating in your brain. At this point, maybe you just want to know a little more about how to encourage and capture these “notes in conversation” and how to organize them into a song.

But what exactly is a melody? According to Webster’s, a melody is “an agreeable succession of sounds, a sequence of single tones.” (Fine, now if only you could look up “platinum smash hit” and get a definition for that, too!) The melody is the ultimate “ear candy” of a song. It’s the series of notes that transports the lyrics along, or, in a musical piece without words, it’s the “tune” that the main instrument plays. Where do melodies come from? Perhaps they are just out there, waiting to be harvested. Perhaps a melody comes “from nowhere” into your head. Perhaps you are the type to experiment on a musical instrument until a series of notes sounds good to you. Maybe writing various successions of notes on music (or staff) paper and playing them back is what works for you.

However you create a melody, the proof is in the beauty of the result. One of the measures of a great melody is its hum-ability (can the listener remember it after he hears it, and how long does it ...

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