Harmony Book For Beginners - online book

Scales, Intervals, Common Chords, Dominant Seventh Chord and Melody Making.

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ON MELODY MAKING                                                 141
Let the student select two familiar Melodies, proceeding in a similar manner; write them in the space following; and indicate the portions of two and four measures as ia the foregoing examples.
All good melodies are made up of similar groups, which display a relationship to one another, according to the Principles of Unity, Variety and Proportion. One finds similar relationships in the lines of a verse of good poetry. In poetry, for instance the lines are said to Rhyme:
"My country 'tis of thee, " Sweet land of liberty." Note the Rhyming (similarity of sound) at the ends of the lines: thee and -ty. There is a similar Rhyming in these musical groups; but it may occur both at the beginning and at the end of each group.
The musical terms which are to follow are frequently employed in a very elastic manner; but, for our present purposes, we will restrict them to certain definite pro­portions.
The shortest form of Melody is eight measures in length. This is called a Period. The Half-Period (four measures) is called a Phrase. The Half- Phrase (two measures) is called a Section. The Half-Section (one measure) is called a Motive.
We are now going to take a Motive and expand it into a Section; the Section into a Phrase; and the Phrase into a Period. Let us take as our material, in the first place, the Major Scale, or any portion of it. This will give us a Diatonic Melody. Diatonic means proceeding by Degrees. We will select a simple double time ( 2/4 ) and begin on
the Tonic of C Major, thus:
Variety would suggest, going on,
that we take next the Degree above C: D; and thus complete our first Motive:
ity is preserved
by using notes of equal value. Proportion would suggest that we complete our first Section by a repetition of our first Motive, thus:
By continuing this Section and repeating it in a higher Degree, we make a Phrase thus:
Since we have been rising con-
tinually from our Tonic, Proportion would suggest that we now begin to fall. Let us








E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III