how to be less melodic?
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Old 30-03-2012, 06:26 AM   #1
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how to be less melodic?

*this is a total rewrite of my post*

more specifically my questions are:

What are the key modes and scales that sound unmelodic...

do any of you have any tips for overcoming the limits of melody and chromatic harmony whilst still sounding like music?

I want to know what the relationship is between apparantly unmelodic sounds, and the melodic vocals (or sometimes leads) sung over them...

Is there some kind of pattern (or theory) to it that i've missed?

Last edited by kidkunjer; 30-03-2012 at 03:03 PM.. Reason: my original post was too unspecific and whiny lol

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Old 07-04-2012, 08:11 PM   #2
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Re: how to be less melodic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kidkunjer View Post
*this is a total rewrite of my post*

more specifically my questions are:

What are the key modes and scales that sound unmelodic...

do any of you have any tips for overcoming the limits of melody and chromatic harmony whilst still sounding like music?

I want to know what the relationship is between apparantly unmelodic sounds, and the melodic vocals (or sometimes leads) sung over them...

Is there some kind of pattern (or theory) to it that i've missed?
Chromatic scales, or use dissonance to your advantage if you want to create that vibe, do you still want harmony in tact? There are many thing you can do, you can also use power chords and chord modulation to do what you want...pick up this book if you can
Amazon.com: Hal Leonard Pocket Music Theory: A Comprehensive and Convenient Source for All Musicians (0073999309683): Carl Schroeder, Keith Wyatt: Books [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
i carry it around and it has helped me a bunch.

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Old 07-04-2012, 08:26 PM   #3
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Re: how to be less melodic?

What exactly do you mean by 'unmelodic'? Could you post an example of that, and maybe of your work, so we can hear the difference?
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:21 PM   #4
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Re: how to be less melodic?

Yeah feral I was almost going to ask the same question, but I think Paggos' response was pretty spot on - I think the OP was talking about dissonance. I mean, it depends on how your chords or notes progress too. Two notes a semi-tone apart will sound like garbage, but you can make them sound good depending on how you write your music...

At the end it comes down to your ears... I mean, just make your "un-melodic melody" and if it sounds too melodic, just make adjustments until it's how you want it to sound. Might be easier to do with drone sounds.. what kind of music are you trying to make that sounds "unmelodic"?

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Old 10-04-2012, 08:46 PM   #5
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Re: how to be less melodic?

Make atonal music, or make "melodies" in 16, 24 or 36 tone equal temperament scale.

edit: ah. Re-read it. Maybe you just need to add some disharmonies.

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Old 11-04-2012, 08:30 PM   #6
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Re: how to be less melodic?

bit of a long shot off the top of my head but try this maybe?

Fuck with peoples pre-conceptions of melodic theory. Use a standard scale but use very odd and inharmonious degrees for the progression/key points of the progression. Like instead of resolving at the tonic or using the dominant e.t.c. as main aspects of the melody, use much more random arrangements of things.

Key change into scales with really dissonant scale degrees in comparison to the starting key for an odd amount of time, then jump to something else e.t.c.

Basically, use theory to turn it's self on it's head, making it deliberately 'off'. In this way you're not really using scales or keys that are inherently disharmonious, because (i may be wrong) scales of any kind will always be harmonic to some degree because they are based off the physical science of vibration frequency ratios that produce pitch and the harmonic series of said fundamental[s]. You are instead challenging the preconceptions of melodic progression that we culturally perceive as resolute. I think in this way, the listener will notice much more the jarring nature of a progression going against the inbuilt grain as it were.


Last edited by Tiger Widow; 11-04-2012 at 08:36 PM..
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:09 AM   #7
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Re: how to be less melodic?

Pretty much any electronic piece is going to include bass frequencies. and any sound no matter the pitch has a tonal quality, even though it is harder to discern tones for low frequency sounds. Using a repetative chord and bass can build momentum in a track and get people dancing while at the same time keeping the melodic complexity to a minimum (I can allude to Rymd by Pryda).

The first 2-3 minutes of the song Beauty of Silence by Andrea Doria v. LXR is a perfect example of a very simplistic melody layered on to a very complex percussion beat. But keep in mind the trade off of melody and percussion, the simpler the melody the more dynamic and energetic the percussion has to be to make up for that melodic deficit.

If your aimed audience digs bass, then you can get away with using tonal bass sounds (as I mentioned before the tones will be hard if not impossible to discern especially in the midst of other elements in the song playing along with it).

for those with some math know how you could express this idea that I have presented as a simple proportionality that goes something like this....

(Good song with a lot of momentum) = (complex and dynamic melody + simple beat) inversely proportional to (complex and dynamic beat + simple melody)

final remark: In music there are always exceptions, nothing is ever the rule.
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:22 PM   #8
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Re: how to be less melodic?

Have you thought about doing some research on dissonant counterpoint? I think it takes the 'accepted' rules of traditional counterpoint and turns them upside down. You also might want to look at serialism and 12 tone stuff.
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:53 PM   #9
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Re: how to be less melodic?

Lol! You music theory guys! Being all smart and stuff. Have you tried pushing just one or two or three keys on your keyboard?

I always tell my keyboardist "play something with less melody, this isn't classical"

But yeah, I just found out about the chromatic scale. ;-)
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Old 13-04-2012, 07:37 AM   #10
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Re: how to be less melodic?

Yeah, I guess the answer could be "play less melodies, or don't play them at all". But where's the fun in replying like that?

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Old 14-04-2012, 06:20 AM   #11
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Re: how to be less melodic?

This worlds of difference between pressing 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 keys on a keyboard to produce a melody and classical music which combines complex chords with dynamic progression. And you can't just degrade a melody without making up for it on some other part of the song. That's just my opinion though, and BTW this is a music theory and composition blog so complexity is a staple in order to explain you opinions regarding such ideas. But I'm sure you know what your doing, perhaps you don't rely as much on the keyboard as other instruments in your set up.
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Old 14-04-2012, 06:30 AM   #12
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Re: how to be less melodic?

That's really neat they way you set up that string based sound system, you can produce some pretty cool sounds that way. I would describe it as inovation for electronic music.

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