School of Rock – Week 8 – Melody

“music” by Robert Couse-Baker is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness. – Maya Angelou


  • It took me a while, but this week has blessed me with some important musical knowledge and tools for the future.


  • Notes are like rungs on a ladder
  • False relations were once very popular
  • The blues notes didn’t fall on the typical western ladder
  • Classical composers began to incorporate folk music into their work
  • Slave trade and migration caused new expanses in music
  • Jewish melody became the bedrock of the American musical


  • Hookpad is an excellent tool for music experiments and creations
  • I learned how to place chords, single notes, and the basics of navigating the UI and tools


  • It was interesting to hear about how others judge the present work of an artist as compared to their previous work. I oviously new this was a thing but never took the time to think about it and how it affects the individual
  • The different ways different artists talk about there creative process was very facinating to me, especially the poet who lived in rural virginia


Melody Composition Terms

  • Theme – A long melodic idea
  • Motive – A short rhythmic idea
  • Period – 8 Measures
  • Phrase – 4 Measures
  • Antecedent (Question) Phrase – The first phrase
  • Consequent (Answer) Phrase – The second phrase
  • Scale Degrees
    • Tonic –Stability and resolution
    • Supertonic, Mediant, Submediant – Moderate tension
    • Dominant, Subdominant, Leading Tone – High tension
  • Steps – Any movement using half or whole steps
  • Leaps – Any movement using intervals larger than a whole-step
  • Conjunct motion – Melody built primarily out of steps
  • Disjunct motion – Melody built primarily out of leaps
  • Repetition – Use repeated material to create a link between the two phrases of a period
  • Contrast – Write two phrases that contain contrasting material to create tension and interest
  • Variation – A mix of Contrast and Repetition

Melody Resources

Mr. Le Duc’s Key of C Major Notes and Chords Chart (PDF)


  • I learned how to use some important tools as well as solved my problem of not knowing the structure of how to write a melody. After watching the video on the topic I feel a lot more prepared and motivated to do so.

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