Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Of Design, Tone and Stroke

Following this slow and questionable selfsourcing attempt to develop my own studies, I’ve had some new thoughts on the making of music, which isn’t much of a great theory, but hey, that’s what I have and I have to keep sowing these little seeds and so maybe it’ll naturally grow into something someday (or maybe not, who knows).

So it seems to me a nice melody is made of three elements. First one, design is about the way notes are displayed. The original design for a melody makes it be recognized without the tone, it’s the ups and ups and downs and leaps between tones and semitones. One classic type of design is making some proto-riff and then finishing in a high note and then repeating that pattern again and finishing in a lower note. Or then it could be the buildup of a fairly balanced structure and somehow bringing an element out of the expected tempo or something that will create a tension as the melody almost seems to fall out of the compass and out of control, and then using the conclusion to fix it back to normal rhythm.

Tone gives the song the aura and soul as it’s about combining the notes in a handmade way, and exploring music outside the C scale, and adding accidents and breaking the TTstTTTst design. Gypsy and arabic scales give some spicy tones that add an extra feeling to the songs, but be moderate.

Third, stroke is more about the tempo, speed, stress of notes and vigor. It’s mostly the emotional part, to add the feeling and groove, aggressiveness or tranquility. It can be the gentle touch of fingers or nails, or then using the pick and thrash the hell out of the strings. It can also be about textures and other experimentations with the instrument.

It’s important that the melody is strong in all three aspects, though it will stand out if at least one is present (preferably not rhythm, it seems to me). And one more thing, with the due limitations, I feel this can be analogized to the other craft gems. Texts and illustrations and stories also seem to follow a similar pattern.

So, this is what I could find so far. Quite silly and simply so I hope it can grow (or keep it solid and short like this, I’d like it better). But I really think this seems enough to experiment now with some music playing and test to see if the songs I listen to fit in this system, and I hope it thrives on as it really would help making the Tankobon III thoughts a more sealed, tight and organized place.

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