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Thread: What role does melody play in 2020???

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    Default What role does melody play in 2020???

    (Instrumental melodies, not vocal melodies)
    A lot of people say that melody is dead, but I disagree…. I think what we emphasize in melody has just evolved... I feel like the timbre/design of the sound playing the melody makes a bigger impact on how a melody is perceived than the actual sequence of pitch and rhythm that makes up the melody. What do you guys think??? How important is the sequence of notes in a melody compared to the quality of sound used?
    It also seems like melodies are used less as the focal point of songs, but used as less emphasized elements that add character to a song, especially in hip hop. Once the drums and bass come in, it’s sometimes hard to even hear the melodic elements of the instrumental.
    I guess what I’m asking is what power does melody, regardless of timbre, play in music today (In your opinion)??
    I'm asking, because I’m trying to gauge how much time I should put into understanding how to create melodies based on scales, chords etc… If it only has minimal importance I’d obviously rather spend my time on more important things.

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    It sounds as if your major ambition in music is to be commercially successful. Would you hesitate to write a melody if you came up with one you liked just because you think it "isn't done" nowadays?

    I'm inclined to think that melody - sequences of notes that people enjoy and remember - is never going out of style, but its style and relative prominence depends on the genre you're working in. This is a classical music forum, for what that's worth. If you hope to be a commercial success in classical music, good luck. If not, write what you like.

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    Senior Member mbhaub's Avatar
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    I think:
    1. Melody is the primary point of any music. From folk music around the world, to opera, symphonies, pop songs -- melody is the most "human" and important element.
    2. Many - too many - modern composers of so-called serious music tried to get around the importance of melody and wrote a lot of bad music as a result. Mere sounds or rhythm are no substitute. The composers of popular music, like Broadway shows, "hillbilly" music, even movie music understood how important a good tune is.
    3. Writing a good tune is harder than people think. And contrary to the opinion of some, all the good melodies have NOT been used up! Andrew Lloyd Webber can still write a good one. Most rock, metal, hip-hop, etc composers haven't a clue.
    4. For a long time churches had hymnals loaded with great tunes that the congregation could sing. Since the folk/pop movement some 50 years ago many churches abandoned their treasury of great ones and ruined that legacy with more hip tunes - most of which are unmemorable, dull, and often unsingable.
    5. How do you write a good tune? GET AWAY FROM ANY INSTRUMENT. Use only your inner voice and your real voice.

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    Senior Member Kopachris's Avatar
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    Melody is overrated. Ambient music is where it's at.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kopachris View Post
    Melody is overrated. Ambient music is where it's at.
    Ambient music is where it's at … if where it's at is an airport.

    Your frogs make me shudder with intolerable loathing and I shall be miserable for the rest of my life remembering them.
    — Mikhail Bulgakov, The Fatal Eggs

    Originality is a device untalented people use to impress other untalented people and to protect themselves from talented people.
    — Basil Valentine

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardBast View Post
    Ambient music is where it's at … if where it's at is an airport.
    Covid-19 may also be found at airports. Two reasons to avoid airports.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardBast View Post
    Ambient music is where it's at … if where it's at is an airport.
    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Covid-19 may also be found at airports. Two reasons to avoid airports.
    Diatonic music is where it's at ... in Sunday school. You can also get Covid-19 there, as the news reports show. That's two reasons. And Brian Eno is laughing at you.

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    Senior Member Kopachris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    Diatonic music is where it's at ... in Sunday school. You can also get Covid-19 there, as the news reports show. That's two reasons. And Brian Eno is laughing at you.
    Yeah, let's get some microtonal music in here!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kopachris View Post
    Yeah, let's get some microtonal music in here!
    Hay-yul Yay-yuh!!! And a microbrewery!
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Mar-31-2020 at 20:25.

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    Melody is overrated, maaan! I just wanna let ambient waves of music wash over me like a warm bath!

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    Quote Originally Posted by youngcapone View Post
    (Instrumental melodies, not vocal melodies)
    A lot of people say that melody is dead, but I disagree…. I think what we emphasize in melody has just evolved... I feel like the timbre/design of the sound playing the melody makes a bigger impact on how a melody is perceived than the actual sequence of pitch and rhythm that makes up the melody. What do you guys think??? How important is the sequence of notes in a melody compared to the quality of sound used?
    It also seems like melodies are used less as the focal point of songs, but used as less emphasized elements that add character to a song, especially in hip hop. Once the drums and bass come in, it’s sometimes hard to even hear the melodic elements of the instrumental.
    I guess what I’m asking is what power does melody, regardless of timbre, play in music today (In your opinion)??
    I'm asking, because I’m trying to gauge how much time I should put into understanding how to create melodies based on scales, chords etc… If it only has minimal importance I’d obviously rather spend my time on more important things.
    I think a lot of modern popular music aspires to create a kind of hypnotic condition in the listener based on very regular repetition and distinctive sounds the listener hasn't come across before which capture their attention. There is melody but it tends to be short phrases repeated. In this sense we are probably travelling back in time to the earliest music in stone age times which would have been very repetitive, very rythmic and at the time would have sounded very new and fresh as new sounds were added.

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    The rhythmic signature of the melody is probably more important than the pitches. Try using words to construct melodies, even if you don't use them. Skoodly-op-m-be-dop-bwow!

    Even if this is a classical form, it has non-classical sections as well. Music theory is for anyone.
    Last edited by millionrainbows; May-18-2020 at 00:36.

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