Creative Project 2: Melody with Chords

Creative Project Late Assignment Policy:
Each CP is carefully grade by the instructor; as such, late assignments are disruptive. CPs not submitted by 11:59pm on its
due date, will lose points. ( ­ 10% for the first day late & ­ 5% each additional day thereafter.)
Get started early. Technical issues are not as an excuse for lateness.
Step 1 = 20 points: Compose a short melody.
Step 2 = 20 points: Add chord below your melody
Step 3 = 20 points: Record yourself performing your composition.
Step 4 = 40 points: Write an analysis of your melody.
Step 5: Submit assignment via the eCollege Dropbox.
You will submit 2 files:

  1. A Word file consisting of an image of your notated melody and a written analysis.
  2. An mp3 recording of your melody
  • if you are using a separate recording for the chords (see below), you can submit two MP3s.
    File names must be formatted this way:
    Improperly labeled assignments will not be graded.
    LastnameFirstname_CP2_SectionNumber (no spaces)
    Submit files into the eCollege Dropbox.
    Instruction Video Here:
    Each step in this assignment builds on the previous step. Therefore, it is critical that you read over the entire
    assignment carefully before beginning your composition.
    This is primarily an analysis assignment. You are not graded on how “good” your melody is. Instead you are
    evaluated on your ability to follow the process, abide by conventions of music notation, and discuss your
    musical choices in depth. To do well on this assignment, compose your melody with the questions from Step 3
    in mind.
    STEP 1: Compose a short melody = 25 points
    Background: In Units 4 and 5, we have added chords, built on intervals. As with the scales and rhythm
    we learned in Units 2 and 3, these new elements give you new ways to convey emotions. Just as pitches create
    different musical and emotional effects, different rhythms have a powerful effect on the listener. Likewise, the
    sense of a tonic note and the personalities of the other scale degrees are powerful expressive tools.
    Compose a 8­10 bar melody that expresses the meaning of the following text by Mary Oliver. You can create a
    melody piano or actually set the text as a song (i.e. sing the poem to a melody of your own creation.)
    This text is a source of inspiration meant to stimulate the imagination. It should provide you with guidance and
    direction as you are making decisions about your overall melody. Poems are by their nature somewhat abstract and
    may have multiple meanings, leaving room for your own personal interpretation.
    What is the poet trying to say? Dig deep in your composition.
    By Mary Oliver
    I lift my face to the pale flowers
    of the rain. They’re soft as linen,
    clean as holy water. Meanwhile
    my dog runs off, noses down packed leaves
    into damp, mysterious tunnels.
    He says the smells are rising now
    stiff and lively; he says the beasts
    are waking up now full of oil,
    sleep sweat, tag-ends of dreams. The rain
    rubs its shining hands all over me.
    My dog returns and barks fiercely, he says
    each secret body is the richest advisor,
    deep in the black earth such fuming
    nuggets of joy!
  1. Compose and notate a melody in treble clef.
    Scores must be notated in the Flash tool inside eCollege or scores that are HANDWRITTEN on music
    paper and scanned into the computer. These files must be clear, readable and follow all notational
    Using images created in notation software such as Noteflight or Finale will result in an automatic
    ZERO for step 1.
  2. Make a screen capture of your melody.
    Video Demo Here:
  3. Include your screen capture in your final assignment submission.
    Point Breakdown:
    Step 1 Tasks Points
  4. Melody is between 8 and 10 complete measures long.
    Make sure the rhythmic values add up correctly in the meter.
  5. Use a major or minor scale that is built on two sharps or flats.
    Don’t use a key signature; instead, add sharps or flats to each note according to the key.
    Remember that accidentals last throughout the whole bar. (Ex. D major is OK, but F
    major is not.)
  6. Start and end on the tonic of your scale, and the second­to­last note should be the
    leading­tone , dominant or the supertonic.
    Pay attention to minor vs. major; LT is one semitone below the tonic.
  7. Correctly use and follow the conventions of rhythmic notation (outlined in Unit 2).
    ● All measures contain the correct number of beats
    ● All beats correctly match the chosen meter.
  8. Use correct notation for ledger lines, stem direction, accidentals
    (i.e., no ledger lines outside a note, correct stem direction, accidentals go before the note
    on the same level, not above or below; in general, observe all notational conventions
    outlined in Units’ 1­3 lessons)
    Total Points for Step 1 20
    STEP 2: Add chords below your melody, one chord per measure = 20 points
    Background: CP1 used the scales you learned in Unit 3. In Units 4 and 5 you have now learned how
    scales are made up of different intervals and how to use scales and intervals to build triads. It is very
    common in music for a melody to have chords to go along with it.
    *Important: You will be performing your melody and harmony together, so make sure to choose triads that
    sound good with your melody.
  9. Add your chords (triads and 7th chord), one per measure.
    ­ At least 3 of your triads should be inverted, and 1 chord must be a seventh chord. –
    Your composition must contain chords built on at least 5 different root pitches.
  10. Indicate the chords quality for each triad(major, minor, augmented or diminished).
  11. Indicate the root (not bass) note of each chords and its inversion.
    ­ Include a table in your analysis document with each chord’s quality and inversion.
  12. Make a screen capture of your melody in both treble and bass clef.
    Video Demo Here :
  13. Include your screen capture in your analysis document.
    Point Breakdown:
    Step 2 Tasks Points
  14. In Bass clef, compose 1 chord per measure; each chord = one whole note. These
    chords should support your melody from step 1.
    For each bar, two notes of each chord should be the same as a pitch class in your melody.
  15. Make sure that each chord includes only pitches that exist in your chosen key/scale.
    Your harmony and melody should be in the same key.
    For example, there is no G­sharp in the scale of F minor.
  16. Did you include at least 3 triads in inversion & at least one 7th chord? 4
  17. Indicate the root note of each chord , its inversion (ex. 1st, 2nd), and quality (ex. major/min) 4
  18. Your composition contains chords built on 5 or more root pitches (ie.8 versions
    of a single triad is not acceptable.)
    Total Points for Step 2 20
    STEP 3: Record yourself performing your composition = 20 points
    Background: Turning notated pitches into actual sound is an essential skill. In fact, for much of Western
    musical history it was the essential skill for all musicians. To get a further taste of composing and
    performing, we want to hear you play or sing your own tune.
    *Important: All recording must be of a live performance by yo u.
    Submitting an automatic MIDI recording of your piece will result in an automatic ZERO for this section.
    Equipment needed:
    ● Computer with microphone and speakers
    ● A quiet recording environment
  19. Record an accurate performance: Record both your melody and its supporting chords.
    Make sure the performance that you submit matches your score.
    Options: Record your melody and chord either separately or together.
    ­ Both options are fine and will earn you the same points.
  20. Create an .mp3 file from your recording to submit. (No other file format is allowed!) ­
    Recording Software:
    (free, works in any web browser, and includes an on­screen piano)
    ­ Convert Audio to .mp3:
    Point Breakdown:
    Step 2 Tasks Points
  21. Performance accuracy
    How accurate, note­for­note, is the performance of your notated composition?
  22. Record/present your melody clearly and cleanly
    To receive full points your recording should be:
    ● recorded in a quiet place (i.e. no talking roommates)
    ● not so loud it is horribly distorted (turn your mic down)
    ● not so soft it is inaudible (turn your mic up)
  23. Following Directions
    Please record only one version of your melody, submit an .mp3 file only and label
    your file as described above.
    Total Points for Step 2 20
    STEP 4: Write an analysis of your melody = 40 points
    Background: This is the most important part of your assignment. In the same MS Word doc you used to put the score
    image, write succinct answers to the following questions.
    *Presentation: All answers should be presented in a scholarly way, i.e. well­written, thoughtful, spell­checked,
    grammatically correct and attractively formatted. Points will be deducted for poor presentation.
    *Length: Expected length is between 700­850 words. Longer or shorter responses will lose you points.
    Task: Answer the following questions
    Most of your 700­850 words should be spent in answering questions 2 & 3.
  24. Describe the meaning of this text in your own words. What phrases and images in the text might be
    represented musically by humor, tension, instability, and motion, and what aspects might be represented
    by relaxation, stability, and rest?
  25. What were the two greatest challenges for you in trying to express this meaning, and how did you use
    the following musical elements: melodic shape (arc, high/low points, steps and leaps), scale degree
    tendencies (leading tone rising to the tonic, subdominant falling to mediant, etc), and rhythm (short and
    long durations, consistent versus varied) to help solve those challenges?
    ­ Be very specific and cite evidence from the text and from your composition.
  26. How were harmonic choices affected by your interpretation of the text? Why did you place inverted
    chords and seventh chords where you did?
    ­ Be very specific and cite evidence from the text and from your composition.
  27. How well do you feel those musical elements solved the challenges? What other musical elements, or
    what other ways of using those elements, might have been helpful in solving the challenges?
    ­ Be very specific and cite evidence from the text and from your melody.
    Point Breakdown:
    Step 3 Tasks Points
    Critical Analysis: Questions 1­4 30
    Presentation of Analysis: Polished, proofread and well presented. 5
    Length: Polished, proofread and well presented. 5