Recently we just had a music summative which required us to compose a 16 bar song. Here is the process through mine:
This was the first (partial) draft that I had tried out:
I had relatively nice sounding melody, however it was pretty disjunct, apart from the last bar, and it was a little more dissonant that I would have liked. I just thought it was really messy overall, my use of alberti bass clashed with the melody quite a lot, and I wanted to use a lot of 8th notes, and with the alberti bass, this would have clashed a lot.
So… I scrapped that and restarted.
This is my final product:
I like this a lot better. I used a similar beat (4th note, 4th note, 8th notes and a 4th note) as the previous draft, however this one is more consonant, which makes it sound a lot better.
Choice of Title/Story:
Although you can’t see it in the picture I added (It was a little difficult to screen cap the whole thing), I titled the piece “The Little Blue Butterfly”. I know it’s a little stereotypical to have these songs written about butterflies, but my song does sound like something that would represent a butterfly. The staccato’s are to represent it’s wings, while the slurs are as it lands on a flower. Bar 11 sounds a little strange, it’s I guess what I would call the “bridge” of the piece, or the “climax” I suppose. This is when, in my mind, the butterfly would run into a cat, that would be chasing it, however, in the end it escapes.
Choice of Instrument and Key:
I chose D major for my song because I wanted something slightly more interesting that the generic C major, and I like D major :D. Also, I chose flute and piano. Personally, I think they sound nice together, I think a woodwind paired with a keyboard-type instrument makes a good duet. I don’t play the flute, however I thought it would be interesting to experiment with a different instrument that I am not familiar with, also, the flute is a light, high instrument that fits well with the title, as it sounds like a butterfly.
Writing of Melody:
Every “4 bar phrase” is pretty similar, but just like we learned in class, I just changed a little bit to make it interesting, however, I didn’t change to much to make it seem like a different song. I made sure to end every phrase with at least a quarter note, and I made sure to make the last note a whole note, to make the song sound complete. As I said above, it was the targeted “relatively conjunct and a little disjunct” and “relatively consonant and a little dissonant”. I did have some large leaps in my song, but not too many, and it makes the song more interesting.
Before I completed the song, I asked Kenne for feedback. She said it was good, but one particular thing that stood out was bar 11.
It previously looked like this:
As seen, the notes were really high, and sounded out of place. I listened to my song again and I decided to change it. I lowered the notes and re-listened, and it sounded better.
Afterwards, in class, I also got Joyce’s feedback. She commented that the staccato’s I included really made a difference (in a good way).
I tried to use different chords, of course, we weren’t allowed to use chords consecutively, and we were restricted with certain chords (ex. first and last chords had to be i to make it sound completed and in D major). I mainly used Chords i, ii, and V, which I think is fine, I didn’t want too many different chords or that might make the song sound quite strange.
Adding Performance Directions:
Well… I don’t think I added too many, but I added staccato’s (through a lot of the song) and a trill at the end, as well as a few slurs. Honestly, before I added them I didn’t know it would make that much of a difference, but listening to the after version it sounded a LOT better. I put the staccatos on my 8th notes , especially the ones on the third beat. It made the song sound quicker and lighter. Then, mainly every fourth bar, I added slurs. They were meant to be a break from the staccato because I didn’t want too much repetition. I added Mezzo forte, and Mezzo piano, just to emphasise certain phrases and add more flavour to the song.