Must be SATB (do not divide parts)
At least 16-24 measures
Must be scored in Finale
Include words to poem entered with Lyric tool
Must include entire melody (even if melody repeats in ternary form, etc.)
For first assignment (melody only) hide the bass clef staff - instructions in Finale page
Must be a complete composition; partial assignments will not be accepted.
Must be scored in Finale with nothing hand-written
Number every measure Number measures
Must include harmonic analysis (use Lyric tool below bass note), form indicated, and cadences marked (use Text tool)
Format in 4 parts on two staves (hymn style)
Do Not turn in open score
Put the lyrics between the bass and treble clef. Make sure notes do not collide with lyrics.
Stems direction must correspond to voice part; i.e. soprano and tenor stems up/ alto and bass stems down (use layers to make this easier). Flip all stems
Format to fit on complete pages. Use % tool if necessary. Resize score
All lyrics divided properly (no division of one-syllable words; word extenders present where applicable) Syllable dictionary
Choose a poem from the website link above. Keep in mind:
Long poems with a regular rhythm can be structured in verses
Short poems can be repeated in part or entirely
Repeated phrases can be used as a chorus
Choose a formal structure for your composition
Based upon the structure of the poem, anticipate the overall form of your piece
Consider binary, rounded binary, ternary, strophic
There should be a balance between repetition and contrast. Do not simply let the piece evolve as it wants to. Avoid the tendency to fill each piece with idea after idea, while not sufficiently exploring ideas already presented. This composition is not intended to be programmatic, although the poem can certainly guide the mood.
Write a rhythm to the poem
Say the poem aloud to get a sense of the rhythm
Circle the most important words in each line of your poem
Make sure that you make the important words important in your melody also (on accented beats, long notes, syncopated notes, etc.) There is a hierarchy of accents within a measure that should correspond with the words of the poem
Write a melody to the poem
The melody should be expressive of the words (whether fast/slow, major/minor, high/low, conjunct/disjunct, long notes/short notes, etc.)
Use a proper proportion of steps/skips, and repetition/contrast
Make sure the phrases of the poem correspond with the phrases of your melody (where the cadences are); Antecedent/consequent phrases are a good place to start
Do not go outside the vocal ranges given (to your right). The soprano is your melody. Confine that voice to about an octave.
Choose a harmonic progression
Use the typical progressions as a guide (strict adherence is not required, but some adherence is strongly advised)
Use a functional progression (forward motion instead of static)
Do not change keys in the composition (even to relative major/minor)
Harmonize the melody in 4-part vocal harmony (SATB)
Follow "hymn-style" harmonization (no solo/duet sections, etc.)
Use proper voice-leading
Make sure the voice parts remain in their ranges
Be careful with inversions (6/4 chords used correctly) Review here
Include at least one secondary dominant or secondary leading tone chord
|Listen to the chords one at a time for unintended dissonances or incomplete chords|
No "Ah's" or "Hm's" or "Mm's" in the voice parts
Prepare the score. It must be submitted as a Finale file. See Finale link for help with requirements below.
Submit the assignment.
Save your Finale file as Yourname_FinalComp.mus
(substituting your name)
Submit as instructed in the Course Outline
Print a paper copy to turn in
Be SURE to save your file for revision
Robert Louis Stevenson
Under the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie:
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he long'd to be;
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.
|Remember: Good melodies use repetition and variation. A melody with no repetition sounds unfocused and weak, as if it's wandering around with nowhere to go. Listeners quickly lose interest and tune out. A melody with too much repetition is boring. Good melodies use both.|
Voice Range Guidelines
Note: I do not care if YOU can sing outside these ranges -
keep to these guidelines!
Follow these links for some choral examples:
How Calmly the Evening
The Blue Bird
THINK YOU'RE FINISHED???
Not if you're interested in making a GOOD grade!
CHECKLIST For PART-WRITING
All voices in range
Octave or less between soprano/alto and between alto/tenor
No augmented intervals in any voice part
No parallel 5ths
No parallel 8ths
Proper use of all 6/4 chords
Not too many root position chords
CHECKLIST For HARMONY
At least one secondary chord included
Traditional harmonic progression
Traditional cadences at the end of each phrase
CHECKLIST For FORMATTING
Large-scale form marked (above the first note of each section)
Cadences marked (above the line)
Harmonic progression indicated with Roman Numerals and inversions (under bass line)
Every measure numbered
No notes colliding with any words (lyrics or analysis)
Words divided correctly (use a dictionary! Syllable dictionary)
Word extensions present where appropriate
Sop/tenor stems up; alto/bass stems down
Pages come out even (no extra lines on the next page)
Measures well proportioned (nothing looks crowded or too much space)
More sample poems
TO D. ——
In thee, I fondly hop'd to clasp,
A friend whom death alone could sever,
But envy with malignant grasp,
Has torn thee from my breast for ever.
True, she has forc'd thee from my breast,
But in my heart thou keep'st thy seat;
There, there, thine image still must rest,
Until that heart shall cease to beat.
And when the grave restores her dead,
When life again to dust is given,
On thy dear breast I'll lay my head,
Without thee! where would be my Heaven?
Percy Bysshe Shelley
On A Faded Violet
The odour from the flower is gone
Which like thy kisses breathed on me;
The colour from the flower is flown
Which glowed of thee and only thee!
A shrivelled, lifeless, vacant form,
It lies on my abandoned breast,
And mocks the heart which yet is warm,
With cold and silent rest.
I weep,--my tears revive it not!
I sigh,--it breathes no more on me;
Its mute and uncomplaining lot
Is such as mine should be.
The Little Boy Lost
‘Father, father, where are you going?
O do not walk so fast!
Speak, father, speak to your little boy,
Or else I shall be lost.’
The night was dark, no father was there,_
The child was wet with dew;_
The mire was deep, and the child did weep,_
And away the vapour flew.
The Sick Rose
O rose, thou art sick!
The invisible worm,
That flies in the night,
In the howling storm,
Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy,
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.
Heinrich Heine (trans. Hal Draper)
Nightly I see you in dreams - you speak,
With kindlyness sincerest,
I throw myself, weaping aloud and weak
At your sweet feet, my dearest.
You look at me with wistful woe,
And shake your golden curls;
And stealing from your eyes there flow
The teardrops like to pearls.
You breathe in my ear a secret word,
A garland of cypress for token.
I wake; it is gone; the dream is blurred,
And forgotten the word that was spoken.
Created and maintained by Vicky V. Johnson