If you haven’t already, please take a look at my previous post regarding the rhythm aspect of this composition study.

*click image for full size.

This continues our study on composition and use of Finale Notepad as a useful music composition and transcription tool. This time we were asked to make a melody out of our previously generated rhythm. The criteria were that we had to be able to play ourselves it on our own instrument, which is why this melody is written for flute.

Here’s what it sounds like, instruments rendered on GarageBand:  Composition
(I would recommend turning your volume down – apparently master volume doesn’t make a difference when I export to iTunes)

I made the melody fairly simplistic. I wanted it to seem like a basic study of rhythm and intonation with little emphasis on melody. When I listed back to my melody it reminded me of one of the grade 3 piano pieces I played for my exam, which was somewhat repetitive, but not unusual for pieces of its time.

Here’s what I think:

  • Do you have a combination of conjunct and disjunct motion?

Yes, I think I do.

  • If there are any large intervals, have you changed direction by step?

Yes, I think I did, if you count any of those as large intervals.

  • Does the melody have an appropriate range?

Yes, I think so. It’s a very simple melody without any extremely high or low notes.

  • Does it start and finish on the tonic note?

Yes, it begins and ends on G because it’s in G major.


Give me feedback using the same template:

  • Do you have a combination of conjunct and disjunct motion?

Yes O No

  • If there are any large intervals, have you changed direction by step?

O Yes O No O NA

  • Does the melody have an appropriate range?

O Yes O No

  • Does it start and finish on the tonic note?

O Yes O No

*Click on image for full view.

So now we’ve started composing our own song! It’s just a little 8-bar exercise. Today we only worked on rhythm. We spent the first 40 minutes of class (almost) just talking about how you can’t have a note that doesn’t let the beginning of the third beat be shown, at least when it’s sight-read. If the sound bridges it’s okay. I made 6 out of the 8 bars in my little rhythm, and we were asked to have a partner do our third and fourth bars. We were asked to name our pieces, and I tried to make it sound professional, but I think my French grammar needs some fine-tuning (J’ai étudié le Français pour trois année, en école).

I tried to make my rhythm seem not totally random, I tried to have a similar rhythm or way of counting at least every 2 bars. I guess I became more aware of this after seeing my flute exam song: Cantabile et Presto by George Enesco. There’s some good recordings on YouTube. The song seems as if the composer made no attempt to make rhythmic patterns, it’s a pain to sight-read and the syncopation is difficult to follow.

Give me feedback on this rhythm!

  • Does it finish on a long note?

  • Are the phrases balanced?

  • Is there variety?

  • Is there repetition/imitation?

Reflection on The Greatest Song Ever – Transcribing Music digitally.
No, this has nothing to do with One Direction.

This is what it sounds like (with the MIDI imported into GarageBand):
Greatest Song Ever

We had to copy, as precisely as we could, this mini-song by ‘Big D’, onto Finale Notepad, a music notation software. We had to insert intonation, expression and dynamics into the piece. The last time I had used finale was 2 years ago, and since then, because I had not been able to find the correct font packs to install, I had been using MuseScore. I found that Finale Notepad 2012 was not that different from Finale Notepad 2009, though, so the interface was not at all unfamiliar.

If you’ve had a look at my Soundcloud widget, you may have seen that I transcribe music sometimes, usually doing BGM (Background Music, usually refers to video game soundtracks). I try to get the instruments as precise as possible in my transcriptions. I’m not as good at working with drums though, but at least the transcription that we had to do for this assignment didn’t include dealing with MIDI drums.

Example: (Tomorrow Will Be Special, Yesterday Was Not from the Touhou Project: Mountain of Faith)

At least now that I have Finale working again, and since I’ve just gotten my computer’s internal hard drive replaced, I don’t think I’ll download MuseScore again.