Likes Likes:  0
Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: Composing a countermelody but getting stuck

  1. #1
    Senior Member caters's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    178
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Composing a countermelody but getting stuck

    So I'm composing a piece that is supposed to sound warm like a sunny day. Partly because of this, I decided on the key of the piece being G major and the instrumentation being a piano quintet such as the one shown here:
    0icp8ka868631.jpg
    My piece is harmonically speaking, in ternary form. I only say harmonically speaking because I don't know if I will actually do any melodic borrowing from the first A section yet. The B section is in D major. First, I will show the melody and then the bass line of what I have so far of the B section.


    Melody:

    xt0eu3dj78631.png

    Bass:

    gmg1i1d288631.png

    Now, I will show you the full subsection of the B section and you will see that I have a lot of space octave-wise, to put in countermelodies.

    cog7v8za98631.png

    As you can see, I have the first violin playing the main melody and for good reason. The melody goes up into the third octave. You wouldn't expect a second violinist in any ensemble to do that, just the first violinist and the pianist would be expected to go into that high of an octave outside of solos. I have the cello and left hand of the piano both playing a bass role with the cello playing just the harmonic roots and the piano playing full chords. This would be expected. But it feels kind of bare leaving the entire subsection as just main melody + bass. Now I'm not necessarily saying that I would want the countermelody/countermelodies to start at the same time as the main melody. Within the context of the entire piece, that just wouldn't sound right. What I am getting at is that finding a countermelody that goes well with both the harmony and the melody is hard. Chances are that if I find one that goes with the melody, there will be a harmonic error and vice versa.


    I know rhythm is part of it. But, given how slow the melodic and harmonic rhythm is already, I don't think rhythm is quite the importance as it would be if say the tempo was fast and involved 16th notes. The tempo here is moderate and the fastest notes are eighth notes. The fact that the fastest notes are eighth notes means that I probably shouldn't go any faster than eighth notes in my countermelody/countermelodies. But is there an easier way than just trial and error to find out what countermelodies work both harmonically and melodically? Because there are a ton of different melodies I could try using as a countermelody here. Some would be going fast enough that they would sound like the main melody, even though that isn't my intention. Others would barely be a melody.

  2. #2
    Senior Member mikeh375's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    283
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    This might be better placed in the Theory section Caters.

  3. #3
    Senior Member caters's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    178
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeh375 View Post
    This might be better placed in the Theory section Caters.
    Well, I didn't know if it would be better here in the Solo and Chamber Music section because it is about a piece that I am composing for a chamber ensemble or in the Music Theory section because of my question about finding a countermelody. But if it fits better in the Music Theory section, I will post it there.
    Last edited by caters; Jun-25-2019 at 16:55.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •