Sample lessons for melodic study
Nelson, David R. (Student of music)
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The study of melody is a topic which is generally not emphasized in theory classes. Ironically, when one listens to music, melody is usually in the foreground of their perception, and most theorists would probably agree that it is at least as important as the other elements if not the most important element of music. Melody is sometimes studied after preliminary work in harmony. When theory programs begin with the study of harmonic progressions first, the student may find great difficulty because he or she has not learned how to handle one single line of music satisfactorily, let alone the interrelationships of three or more lines. Melody, if studied first, can teach a student how to create an integrated line which can help later on in understanding proper voice-leading when writing for four parts. This study is designed to give direct assistance in the presentation of melodic concepts, with a comprehensive organization of activities related to the concepts. The presentation of a concept should include these four basic activities: listening, performing, analyzing, and composing. Concepts logically taught should start with real sounds, progress to symbolic sounds, and finally end with real sounds. It is hoped that students following this "full circle" will be able to relate the concepts and apply them long after the theory program is completed.