Composing - WJEC

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Composing worksheet 2: MELODY Bach’s Badinerie is in the key of B minor. Here are the scales of B minor – get to know them!
B harmonic minor B melodic minor
On an instrument of your choice, improvise using the scale of B harmonic minor. Think about the balance of ideas, and work to create question and answering phrases. Start with the plan below.
You could improvise on your own, or work with a partner. Use the first 5 notes as shown to improvise your musical ‘questions’. Use the last 4 notes in the scale to improvise the musical
TIP: Two important pitches in melody writing are the tonic and the dominant notes. In the key of B minor:
- the tonic note is B - the dominant note is F#.
It may be a good idea to use these pitches at the beginning and end of your phrases.
Can you record your ideas?
Write them here:
Now compose a succession of at least 16 pitches, using just the 4 notes and repeating them as you please [Tip: Start and end on the note of B].
In a time signature of your choice, add rhythms to create at least 8 bars of music. Play your ideas, or record into Sibelius (or similar) to hear what they sound like.
Now write the pitches out again, with different note-values and in a different time signature. You can repeat any of the pitches.
Next, create some different melodic ideas in the same way, using a different combination of notes, with different rhythms [You could start on a B or an F#, and end on a B or an F#].
Let’s examine some of Bach’s melodic ideas a little more closely.
The pitch range of these melodic ideas is mostly high – remember that the melody in this piece is played on a flute. The instrument (or voice) that you are composing for must be taken into consideration.
1st main idea, bars 1-2 2nd main idea, bars 2-4 3rd main idea, bars 6-8
Pedal note idea in phrase extension, bars 12-14
a) b) c) d)
Note that this little fig at the end of the 2nd idea goes from the mediant note to the tonic note in B minor to close the phrase i.e. 3→1.
By adding a passing note here, the outcome is 3→ 2→ 1. The melody falls by step to the tonic note.
This is how the same idea would look in the dominant key of F# minor.
Bach decorates this idea when he modulates to F# minor at the end of Section A (flute part).
The decoration includes a lower auxiliary note, this is known as a mordent.
Now try writing some melodic patterns of your own, still in the key of B minor.
Type of idea Sketches
Idea using a repeated note and an interval
Idea using a pedal note, or pattern
Scalic melodic pattern to complete a phrase
Idea using a sequence
Moving towards the end of the phrase (e.g the 3-2-1 idea)
Further tasks 1. Still working in the key of B minor, compose a 2-bar musical question.
Play it and refine it until you are happy with your ‘musical question’.
2. Now copy it out four times and add a different ‘musical answer’ to each of the questions.
3. Create a melodic idea which is completely conjunct / stepwise.
4. Now adapt your idea to include a defining feature e.g. interval of a 3rd.
How can your ideas be ...adapted...varied...developed?
Choose a 1-bar motif from one of your melodic lines (already composed above). Write it below, then continue the idea in two ways:
• As an ascending sequence
• As a descending sequence.
5. Compose a melody which uses a mix of various intervals and stepwise movement.
6. Compose a melody which features one particular interval and stepwise movement.