COMPOSITIONAL TOOLS

Composition doesn't come from just anywhere. Those who write music often employ tools to help them get their point across. Here are a few accessible ones.

PROSODY

THE MUSIC ACTS AS THE WORDS SAY

ALSO CALLED "WORD PAINTING"

We've discussed this in class before, the example I used was from Dear Evan Hansen. Here it is again, see if you can identify the prosody.

For Forever - Dear Even HansonArtist Name
WHAT IS  HE SINGING ABOUT?
WHAT DOES THE MUSIC DO?

Here are some other examples

INSTRUMENTATION

USING INSTRUMENTS TO REPRESENT A CHARACTER OR IDEA

This is a very common, nearly universal, tool used by classical composers, film scorers, and popular artists. A famous example of this would be Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, which employs a specific instrument to represent each character.

Another famous example is Carnival of The Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns. This piece uses music to try and capture the movement and personality of different animals.

"Borrowing"

Using a small piece of existing - copyright free - music to inspire your own

Once upon a time, before copyright law existed, it was very common for composers to borrow from each other. It was usually considered complementary, at worst it was competitive, people would take elements of a piece they enjoyed and spin them into something new for their own work. This kind of composition takes practice, skill, and permission, so make sure you're using music that's aged out of copyright if you intend on publishing your work.

1996 Romeo & Juliet

"What is a youth"

Lana Del Rey

"Old Money"

YOUR TASK

In your group, choose one of these techniques and apply it to your lyrics. Note where you used descriptive or action words that could inspire prosody. Look for opportunities to use instrumentation to your advantage, and perhaps consider pulling a melody from an existing composition.

(If you choose this option we will have a more specific conversation)

©2019 by Emily Zornado.