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Digital Music Production

Part Four: Melody and Harmony

Find the perfect hook as you try out different approaches to creating melodies for your new song.

Your First Assignment

  1. After watching the video, reflect on different melodies from songs that you already know.
    • What is an example of a melody that you connect with?
    • How would you describe the feeling or mood that this melody creates?
    • What about the melody specifically creates this mood or feeling?
  2. Login to Soundtrap and open up your original track. Create a new melody for your track and make sure it works well with the notes from the bassline you created in the last session.
  3. Review this list of key music production terminology that Charles introduced in the video.
    • melody: a sequence of single notes that is musically satisfying
    • ear candy: upbeat melodies and catchy choruses that you can’t get out of your head
    • harmony: the combination of musical notes sounding simultaneously to produce chords and chord progressions
    • triad: a set of three notes played simultaneously
    • pentatonic scale: a musical scale with five notes

Your Second Assignment

Listen to the ten chords that Charles plays and write down an emotion you feel for each chord:

1.                                      6.
2.                                      7.
3.                                      8.
4.                                      9.
5.                                      10.

Your Third Assignment

  1. Login to SoundTrap and open up one of your drum and bass loops from the previous lesson.
  2. Add a chord progression or melody to your loop.
  3. Once you have added both a melody and harmony to your original song, challenge yourself by creating a new four bar loop starting with chords and melody, and then add other elements, including drums, bass, and vocals.

Explore Other Parts of Digital Music Production

Charles plays an audio sampler.

Digital Music Production | Part One: Loops

Explore the origins of modern digital music production and learn how to create loops that will form the basis of your original music.

Charles plays drums.

Digital Music Production | Part Two: Drums

Groove along with Charles as he breaks down the parts of the drum set and uses a digital sequencer to create new drumbeats.

Charles plays bass.

Digital Music Production | Part Three: Bass

Establish the foundation of your original piece of music with a bassline that connects with the drums and sets up the harmonic space for your new tracks.

Screenshot of a digital audio workstation

Digital Music Production| Part Five: Arrangement

Put all of your new digital loops together into a structure that tells a compelling story and provides surprises for your listeners.

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