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That melody writing game! (now on part B!)

Eric VB

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Well my devilish plan is to send you all (and anyone else that wants to join in) off by yourselves for a bit.


Take what we have and make a variation or two. Bring back your best variation on this theme!


I think it'll be more fun if we don't limit ourselves with an underlying chord structure for now. Be free! Just keep thinking "melody" and work towards something unforgetable.


Sound good?

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I found this thread and couldn't help but ripping out a cheesy little church "hemi" like midi file song using the tones you guys provided.


I wrote it in Gmajor, as I'm sure most of you did, and added one more note on the end so I could write it in common time.


Here It Is!




It took me a whole ten minutes or so to do this so don't take it too serious. I may write out something a little more complex if I hear somebody else's version. But I wanted to be the first one to lay something out there.


I tabbed out the notes for a six string guitar if anybody is interested in them.


I kinda feel like I raped this thread since all the notes were put out there the first time I viewed it and didn't have to wait for each new one to be posted. Patience is a virtue I know nothing about.


It took me about ten minutes to write this so don't take it too serious, I hope I haven't offended anybody by it.

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Thanks, Johnny, and welcome to the forums! :wave:


As I've yet to write my own variations, I'll put off listening and commenting on yours for now, other than just to say thanks for sharing. :thu:


No worries about offending anyone here. We're just trying to have some fun while playing with melodies. Looks like we sparked some creativity in you, too, and that's cool! :cool:


When the rest of us check in, we'll move on to the next phase ... or maybe just start a new game? I'm not sure. So stick around and see what happens!

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Ok, I putzed around and came up with something. Not guaranteeing anything sounds good. :rolleyes: I actually made 5 variations using a crappy MIDI interface. First is the original theme, then the 5 variations, then the variations repeat on top of the original theme, just so it's easier to hear where I kept it the same and where I went "crazy". :D


With any luck you can hear it here (2467KB mp3) . (You may need to download to disk in order to hear it.)


I wanted to try to write at least one variation on an instrument, but I'm kinda laid up with a thumb injury for a bit. :(

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Ok, Johnny, I gave your WAV a listen. Nice arrangement! :thu:


Obviously, the accompaniment makes it sound more like a complete song, which is cool, but more than I was asking for at this point. I guess you've earned "extra credit". ;)


If you want, go back and try some variations on the melody. You can keep the same harmony you've established or not, but really work that melody!

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Thanks bassguy, your input has cleared up some muddy water for me. The last post seemed a little ambiguous of what we were suppose to be trying to accomplish. Now that I have heard your variations I know what to do.


I liked your post and thought it was a cool sound. I haven't worked on this project since I posted my little composition but now my directive is a little clearer I'll get something pumped out for a re release version.


As for your thumb injury, I offer my condolences. Since I started playing guitar I have learned to respect those quirky minor hand injuries a lot more. Especially blisters.


Okay I'm heading back to the rat cave.

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Well done, Hooper! :thu: I think you've got the beginnings of a nice composition going there!


You get extra credit, too, for adding accompaniment. And, uh, for skinning a cat or something. :D


Did you work out the chords before varying the melody, or did all of your variations happen to fit the same chords? That is, did you write variations to a constant chord structure?


I know when we were taking turns writing the original melody it was hard not to think in terms of what the chord structure would ultimately be. Did you already have the chords from when we wrote the original?


I know working from a constant chord structure is the "proper" way to develop variations on a theme, but I wanted to try to be a little more free than that, just to see where it might lead (and just in case our original needed some harmonic tweaking).


Regardless of the path taken, the proof is in the pudding, as they say. And that's some nice pudding you've whipped up!


I know Hugo still hasn't shown up to the party, but just some thoughts about where to go next.


Well, let's see, one option for the next step was to develop the harmony, but I think everyone's pretty much covered that already. (Well, I didn't consciously work on it yet.) Maybe we should still address that, since there may be differences.


I like the way you developed things into a melody/counter or call/answer fashion. That's really cool! :cool: That was another idea, to develop counter melodies. I think there's still room in your arrangement for another counter, so maybe we'll still try that. Interested?


Although originally "that melody writing game", there's no reason it can't be expanded to a full composition, or even a song. (I'll pass on writing lyrics myself, unless we do it line-by-line and by committee, or something like that.)


I'm also open to suggestions.

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Thanks Ric. I guess it seems pretty instinctive to me, the melody line implying the chords. That and more notes to help define some rhythmic movement. So, have you put chordal accompanyment yet with any of your melodic variations?


In this case it seems to me like the melody line is the only real 'composition'. It's the part that someone would recognize if you were whistling it. The rest is just arrangement. Which maybe points out that there can be a fuzzy line between composition and arrangement??


I thought it was interesting as the melody was evolving one note at a time; it's good that everyone was cooperating by choosing a REASONABLE note, I could never guess what the next note would be but was never too suprised when it showed up.


Maybe one way to procede would be to consider the 'A' part of the composition done and begin composing a 'B' part- intending to return and produce an arragnement involving both parts??

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Hey guys,


Various technical problems with my studio have cropped up. I'm swamped with other stuff at the moment so it's going to take an unknown amount of time for me to get back to this.


I think it'd be best if you continue on without me for a bit. I'll catch up and join in when I can.



Kawai GS-40 grand & other keys
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  • 2 weeks later...

Rather than chew up time everyone's time messing around with our theme, I'm cutting my experimenting short. There's so many ways to go :)


Here's my file:



The first part is our theme.

The second part lifts various notes up and down by one octave.

The third part adds repeated notes to the second variation.


I've gone through a lot of variations of our melody while we worked on it. It's been a lot of fun. Now it seems best to limit myself to sticking with our original intent rather than turning it into a grand variation by cutting and adding on a whim.


So you've waited on me long enough. Shall we add another segment of melody or shall we try playing with variations on the obvious harmony or whatever else tickles our fancies?

Kawai GS-40 grand & other keys
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Nicely done, Hugo! :thu:


(And the avatar looks "grand" as well. ;) )


Well, I never finished harmonizing like I said I would. I'd like to take Hooper's suggestion and get this rollicking again with another note-by-note melody line, this time for the B section of the song. (What we have so far being the A section.)


We'll proceed as before with the funny notation. Whoever wants to start, feel free! :cool:


[As always, everyone is welcome to join. You didn't have to be here for part A to play with part B.]

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Hello all!


This is one cool thread! :thu:


May I -as a newbie in this forum- put a suggestion



The melody is somewhat... hmmm... I mean it won't

become a megaseller and I know it's not supposed

to be one... its hard to handle or memorize,



...but could that be improved by a extended set

of rules to the game?


I think of something like this:


From the 3rd note on or so, we will have a

first idea in which musical direction this could

go. This idea is posted with the note.


At this point, the thread may split into several

"assembly lines", where we develop the melody

further, but under a common "core thought" per

"line". This should make the result more

"congeniously" (is this a known word here?

I just created it I guess :) )


Another idea is, if somebody has a real good idea,

he may ask the last contributor to change his

note. Further, he may instruct the one next poster

with this idea. So there is influence, but the

second poster after you can still change

everything you may have had in mind.


Could this produce more "hooks" while keeping

the momentum of "oops-how-to-integrate-this"

Or will this lead to "heard 1,000 times before"

too much?


But I didn't mean to complicate things... ;)


Great place here, gotta learn English ... :)



"If it sounds good, no explanation is needed, if it sounds bad, no explanation will help"
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