Lesson 4: Making It Move (Yes, i’m catching up.)

Another round of awesome video lectures from Pat Pattison’s online Songwriting course produced a valuable lesson in the role music plays in creating motion, and how motion supports e-motion. As songwriters, our job is to marry the meaning of language (the clever words we write) to the emotion of music (the feelings we are trying to evoke), enhancing both so that we Preserve the natural shape of language.

Rhythm in the lyric is created by arranging stressed and unstressed syllables. Prosody (there’s that word again) is enhanced when the syllabic rhythm of the lyric matches the melodic rhythm to support the emotion of each lyrical phase. Simple right? Well, maybe after a little practice!

I love the masterclass series of videos Pat included in this week lessons. I came across them a few years ago on youtube, and found them to be a great tool in thinking about the performance of our songs, and ensuring they support the intended lyric. I highly recommend you add them to your video library!

This weeks assignment was to map out the syllabic rhythm of the verse and chorus we created last week, and set it to music, speaking or singing the appropriate stresses and match it with the corresponding melody.

Here is my assignment set to music:

Assignment 4I’m quite happy with the way it turned out, and it was very interesting using the map of my stressed and unstressed lyrics (as i wrote them first) and building the melody from there. then i sketched it out again in my notebook to make sure my stresses were falling in line with the melody, and tweaked here and there until it was all working together. I suppose it might not always go in this order for every song, but it really worked for me in this case! I could see the huge potential for using this technique in my songwriting moving forward… (get it? moving.. forward hehee)

once again hear are the lyrics:

stable verse

–       –      –      /    –    –       /        –     –      /        /
She had me calling her name from the first glance
–       –       –      /     –   –    /    –    –    /          /
She had me stealing a kiss at the first chance
–       –      –       /      –     –       /    –    –      /      /   –
She had me counting the days till our next hello
–       –      –         /    –     –      /   –   –   –     /       /
She had me spending my pay till I was flat broke

unstable chorus

–        –      –     /    //  –   –    /         /     –     /  –    –    /
She said the currency of love trades a million to one
–     –     /    //  –   –     /     –      /          /       /  –
In the currency of love you might break even
/       –       /   –       –        /    –       –       /     –        –      /
Spend your nickels, your quarters, your pennies, your dimes
–      –        /  –   –     /     –        /     –     /
If you’re lucky in love you might do fine
–    –       /  //   –   –    /
That’s the currency of love

Advertisements