Home > Leaving Cert Music > Melody Writing

Melody Writing

To get maximum marks in this question you should practice. Make sure you do loads of melodies and get feedback. When witing your melody always go about it the same way - develop an approach and stick to it. My advice on an approach is below but if you have your own and it's working then stick to it!

1. Check your key and use your chord box. Not referring to a chord box is how stupid mistakes happen. It happens every year to a small group of people who would have written wonderful melodies if they hadn't gotten their key/chords mixed up - don't be one of them.

2. Map your structure first. It's important to plan your melody, and not to just plonk some notes on a page. Most students follow a structure of chords, you should map this out on the page before you begin and rub it out afterwards. Do this while referring to your chord box and you you can't go wrong!

3. Don't forget about the upbeat. If there's an upbeat in the opening phrase you must include an upbeat for every other phrase! Upbeats are exaplined in my Basic Music Theory Notes here.

4. Don't forget the instrument, phrasing, dynamics and articulation. They're worth marks! Write for violin, flute or oboe as these are some of the most versitile. Don't forget dynamics and some articulation but don't overdo it! Be careful with phrasing if there's an upbeat.

My Melody Writing notes cover the Q1 of the composing paper in detail, including identifying the key, choosing an instrument, structure, modulation, upbeats, minor melodies, phrasing and dynamics and hints and tips for the exam.