Anatomy of Melody: Exploring the Single Line of Song

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Drawn from the world’s most beloved songs, the more than 70 examples in this book explore the history and crucial elements of melody, which is the very basis of song.  Focusing solely on how simple musical lines combined with the right texts can make a catchy melodic phrase that lasts throughout the ages—without consideration of harmony, counterpoint or other constructs—this unique guide allows readers a new insight into the composition of songs.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781579995607
  • Publisher: Gia Publications
  • Publication date: 4/1/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 1,495,429
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Alice Parker is a composer who wrote her first orchestral score while still in high school. She has been commissioned by such groups as the Vancouver Chamber Chorus, the Atlanta Symphony Chorus, and Chanticleer, and is the founder of  Melodious Accord, Inc., which has received generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Copland Foundation, and the New York State Council for the Arts. She lives in Hawley, Massachusetts.

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Table of Contents

Figures     ix
Foreword-Life without Melody     xiii
Preface     xix
A Cautionary Note     xxi
The Power of Melody     3
Reflections     9
Daughter of the Muses     11
Song as Possibility     13
Reflections     16
Building Blocks
In the Beginning Is the Word     21
Reflections     28
The Ladder of Language     30
The Eternal Dance     31
Reflections     40
The Uses of Silence     43
Reflections     48
The Pool of Silence     50
Mountain Ranges     51
Reflections     60
Patterns in Song Materials     62
The Explosive Combination: Melody
Breath and Phrase     67
Reflections     71
Text and Tune-Marital Alliances     75
Reflections     82
Melodic Styles
In History     87
Medieval     88
Renaissance     89
Baroque     90
Classical     91
Romantic     91
Twentieth Century     92
Reflections     95
In Geography     97
European     98
Southeastern European-Northern Mediterranean     100
African     101
Asian     102
Latin American     104
North American     105
Reflections     109
In Function     113
How Was It Used?     113
How Can One Move to It?     114
Is Its Primary Function to Unite a Group?     115
Reflections     118
The New Element
Fundamental Energy     121
Reflections     127
Form and Forms     129
List of Elements to Consider in Analyzing and/or Performing a Melody     136
Reflections     138
Example of an Analysis of Figure 13.4, "Teach Me the Measure"     141
Ear Play and Eye Play
Improvisation     145
Reflections     149
Combining Ear and Eye     151
Reflections     155
Encountering the Page     157
Reflections     162
Notation: The Bar Sinister
The Page Itself     167
Ella and George     170
Reflections     172
One Composer's Relationship with the Page      175
Reflections     180
Communicating the Song
One Conductor's Relationship with Song     185
Reflections     187
A Walk in the Woods     188
The Circle of Song     189
Bibliography     191
About the Author     193
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