Melody (Melədē) Recording Project


Creative Commons image Music – an art for itself – Headphones and music notes / musical notation system by photosteve101 at Flickr

“To study music we must learn the rules.
To create music we must forget them.”

– Juliette Nadia Boulanger

She was a French composer, conductor, and teacher. Among her students were many of the leading composers and musicians of the 20th century as well as celebrated living composers and musicians. She also performed as a pianist and organist.[1]

From a musical family, she achieved early honours as a student at the Paris Conservatoire but, believing that she had no particular talent as a composer, she gave up writing music and became a teacher. In that capacity, she influenced generations of young composers, especially those from the United States and other English-speaking countries. Among her students were those who became leading composers, soloists, arrangers and conductors, including Aaron CoplandRoy HarrisQuincy JonesJohn Eliot GardinerElliott CarterDinu LipattiIgor MarkevitchVirgil ThomsonDavid DiamondIdil BiretDaniel BarenboimPhilip Glass and Ástor Piazzolla. – wikipedia


  • Demonstrate knowledge of melody terms and concepts and apply this knowledge to build melodies

Composition Terms

  • Theme
  • Motive
  • Period
  • Phrase
  • Antecedent (Question) Phrase
  • Consequent (Answer) Phrase
  • Scale Degrees
    • Tonic
    • Supertonic, Mediant, Submediant
    • Dominant, Subdominant, Leading Tone
  • Steps
  • Leaps
  • Conjunct motion
  • Disjunct motion
  • Repetition
  • Contrast
  • Variation


  • Create a blog post with embedded media from SoundCloud and Flickr of compositional themes.



  • Watch How Music Works with Howard Goodall – Melody


  • Day 1 – Part 2 – Compose a Period of Music
    • Watch How to View and Print Sheet Music: Garageband X Tutorial
    • Create a period of music, 8 measures,
    • Use only the key of C, notes A, B, C, D, E, F, and/or G
    • Use one octave
    • Be sure to only have one note playing at a time, no harmony/chords
    • Place under the My First Melody heading:
      • Screenshot Print Preview of the notes and upload to Flickr
      • Print Preview
      • Export an .mp3 from GarageBand and upload the composition to SoundCloud
      • Embed composition from SoundCloud into your post
  • Day 2-3 – Watch How to Write a Melody Video Tutorial
  • Day 4 – Recreate the Lesson Melody
    • Review Period Melody Composition Rubric (PDF)
    • Watch the Lesson Melody Video Tutorial
    • Review Composition Terms at Quizlet
    • Recreate the sample theme in GarageBand
    • The goal is to see the music notation in the SCORE VIEW and see the length / duration comparison / relationship in the PIANO ROLL view
    • Your notation should look like this:
    • Reminder: Use OPTION + DRAG on green notes to clone them (IN THE PIANO ROLL VIEW)
    • Reminder: Copy and paste similar note patterns in certain measures
    • Remember to look at the mathematical comparisons of the notes per measure
      • 1/2 note lines in the green PIANO ROLL VIEW are half of the measure
      • 1/4 note lines in the green are a quarter of the measure, etc.
    • Class Melody Comparison
    • Include under the Lesson Melody heading
      • A  screenshot of musical theme notation or score; uploaded to Flickr and embedded into your blog post
      • The exported theme as an mp3; uploaded to Soundcloud and embedded into your post
        • Be sure to give credit to Jamie Henke of the University of Wisconsin
      • Answer the questions (use compositional terms in your answer):
        • How was working with GarageBand’s piano roll and score editors?
          • What was challenging?
          • What was revealing?
  • Day 5 – Examine One of Your Favorite Themes
    • Watch the Favorite Melody Video Tutorial 
    • Review Composition Terms at Quizlet
    • Find a HookTheory song for the song key and note structure
    • Find a MIDI file of one of your favorite melodies
    • Import the MIDI file into GarageBand
    • Export the melody line as an mp3 and upload to to Soundcloud
    • Screenshot Print Preview of the notes of the melody from GarageBand and upload to Flickr
    • Include under the One of My Favorite Melodies heading
      • Embed a YouTube video of the song
      • Embed the screenshot of the melody notation from Flickr
      • Embed the melody from Soundcloud into your post
        • Be sure to save it as a Creative Commons file and give credit to the musicians
      • Answer the questions (use compositional terms in your answer):
        • What did you notice about the note structure of the theme?
        • Where was the tonic note and where were the tension building note(s)?
        • What was revealing?
  • Day 6 to 2nd to Last Day of Project – Create a Theme
    • Scale_Degrees
    • c_major_notes
    • I ii iii IV V vi vii
      C MAJOR D min E min F MAJOR G MAJOR A MINOR B dim
      Tonic Supertonic Mediant Subdominant Dominant Submediant Leading Tone
    • Watch last two minutes of How to Compose Music – Lesson 1 – How to Write a Melody by Art of Composing
    • Watch The 4 Critical Parts to Writing a Melody
    • Examine
    • Watch the My Melody Video Tutorial
    • Create a period of music: 8 measures – a musical sentence that has a catchy melody that builds and releases tension
      • Remember the green notes raise the most tension
    • Decide on pitches (notes)
    • Think about how many notes
      • Fast = happy
      • Slow = sad
    • Think about notes rising or descending
      • Rising = happy
      • Descending = sad
    • Use GarageBand or (this file has the notes and chords in the key of C major) or a similar program to create your MIDI file
    • Include under the My Second Melody heading
      • A  screenshot of the notation; uploaded to Flickr and embedded into your blog post
      • The exported theme as an MP3 or WAV file; uploaded to Soundcloud and embedded into your post
      • An explanation about how you composed your period of music by answering the questions below (use compositional terms in your answer):
        • Explain your musical structure choices for each musical phrase: Antecedent (Question) Phrase (first 4 measures) and the Consequent (Answer) Phrase (last 4 measures)?
          • Identify what key you composed in (should be the key of C major)
          • Identify the tonic notes (first and last notes) (should be the note C)
          • Identify where you built tension and what notes they are: dominant, subdominant, etc., (should be measures 4 and/or 5)
          • Identify using Contrast, Repetition, and/or Variation.
            • Which measures?
          • Did you use inversion, retrograde, or retrograde-inversion?
            • Where?
        • Remember you are writing for an audience that was not in the class, so explain your melodic choices
  • Second to Last Day
    • Fill in a second Period Melody Composition Rubric (PDF)
    • Create What I Learned heading
      • Explain what you learned and at least one problem you overcame
      • Include a link to a tutorial you used and describe how you used it
  • Last Day
    • Present compositional themes



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