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Fundamental: Music Theory, Melody


For this edition of the Fundamental series, we continue to discuss the music theory and practices that form an integral part of any dance musicians production skills – this time we examine the theory and composition of melodies, motifs and hooks.

Almost every record every made will make use of a melody in one form or another, whether its particularly exotic as with uplifting trance or a simpler style of motif or hook as typically heard in main room, house and even the bass in tech-house and techno. Melodies form the fundamental element to almost every form and genre of dance music and the more memorable they are, the better. However, composing memorable melodies is far more difficult than it initially appears and requires a good understanding of the theory and plenty of practice.

Beginning with an in-depth discussion on the music theory behind melodies, this 4 hour course examines how they are typically conceived and composed including a detailed look at how we can use the circle of fifths to determine keys. Throughout the tutorial, theories and techniques such as balance, counterbalance, contour, energy, drive, dynamics and motifs are all discussed in detail before we move on to examine some of the techniques you can use to create your own melodies alongside a look at some of the synthesis and processing methods for leads in dance records.

Note: for this tutorial, you should already have a basic understanding of musical scales, as discussed in Fundamental: Music Theory, Bass.

Runtime: 4hr 5 minutes

An introduction to the DVD

Session 01: Circle of Fifths Part 1: 15 minutes
For this first session, We begin with a basic, layman's introduction to the somewhat infamous musicians “Circle of Fifths”.

Session 02: Identifying Notes: 10 minutes
For this session we delve further into the Circle of Fifths and examine how it can be used and how to use it to identify the key of music.

Session 03: The Melodic Scale: 20 minutes
Here, we examine the reasons behind the melodic scales and how we can create these particular scales in any key or mode.

Session 04: Circle of Fifths Part 2: 22 minutes
In this session we return to the Circle of Fifths yet again, examine why its so important and look at its numerous musical uses, including for the creation of both chord progressions and melodies.

Session 05: Melodic Energy: 25 minutes
Melodic energy is the one of the fundamental elements to composing great melodies so we examine how to create energy with selection, positioning and pitching of notes.

Session 06: Melodic Balance: 25 minutes
This session concentrates on the importance of musical balance when writing and composing melodic lines

Session 07: Rhythm and Motif: 20 minutes
In this session, we look at the theory and composition of Motif’s and how they form the beginning of any great melody.

Session 08: Practical Melodies: 15 minutes
With the theory covered, we now put it into practice and show how it can all be combined to produce catchy and memorable melodies for dance records.

Session 09: Dynamics: 30 minutes
A look at the use and importance of dynamics within the construction of a melody.

Session 10: Counterpoint: 15 minutes
This session quickly introduces the viewer to the basic theory and principles behind counterpoint in music. This theory is fully expanded upon in a later release - Fundamental 7: Counterpoint

Session 11: Synthesis & Processing: 20 minutes
In this final session, we take a look at some of the synthesis programming techniques for lead melodies and how both processing and effects are used in their creation.

Coming soon...

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