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Bansaw
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145 posts since 19 Aug, 2008

Postby Bansaw; Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:27 pm Are the best melodies 4 bars long, and nearly always resolving on the root note?

Is a good standard melody nearly always a journey of four bars long, and resolving itself on the root note of the song key ?
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Michael L
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1827 posts since 25 Jan, 2014, from the End of the World as we Knowit

Postby Michael L; Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:33 pm Re: Are the best melodies 4 bars long, and nearly always resolving on the root note?

Yes! And the best songs nearly always use the same four chords:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pidokakU4I
Last edited by Michael L on Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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someone called simon
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439 posts since 24 Jul, 2008, from Quake central, New Zealand

Postby someone called simon; Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:33 pm Re: Are the best melodies 4 bars long, and nearly always resolving on the root note?

Yes, recent scientific studies have shown this to be the case at least 87% of the time.

Kidding. Most melodies of any interest are going to be longer than 4 bars. A phrase might be 4 bars long but that's not the entire melody. There is something innately pleasing though about melodies that resolve on the tonic. A sense of resolution or completeness.
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dark water
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577 posts since 2 Jun, 2016

Postby dark water; Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:59 pm Re: Are the best melodies 4 bars long, and nearly always resolving on the root note?

Bansaw wrote:Is a good standard melody nearly always a journey of four bars long, and resolving itself on the root note of the song key ?


I don't know if this thread is a wind-up, but I'll answer seriously.

Your questions are far too subjective - "good" - and cannot be answered objectively.
Secondly, personally I would become extremely bored quickly of such a melody: there are plenty of ways to make different and more sophisticated melodies.
Lastly, a melody should reflect what your music is saying. You are the artist. Forget about pigeon-holed limitations.
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melomood
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182 posts since 15 Oct, 2017, from U.S.

Postby melomood; Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:07 am Re: Are the best melodies 4 bars long, and nearly always resolving on the root note?

Wouldn't that all be entirely dependent on the tastes of the listener?
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AsPeeXXXVIII
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211 posts since 17 Aug, 2015, from Finland

Postby AsPeeXXXVIII; Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:19 am Re: Are the best melodies 4 bars long, and nearly always resolving on the root note?

No. The best melodies are at least 8 bars long and never resolve on the root note.
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jancivil
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13257 posts since 20 Oct, 2007, from No Location

Postby jancivil; Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:33 am Re: Are the best melodies 4 bars long, and nearly always resolving on the root note?

The question is so dumb one hopes it's a joke.
Jafo
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1792 posts since 20 Dec, 2002, from The Benighted States of Trumpistan

Postby Jafo; Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:53 am Re: Are the best melodies 4 bars long, and nearly always resolving on the root note?

The root note is often called the home toe, and both names exist for a reason. Same with four square beats to a bar, four bars per phrase -- also for a reason.

The reason is convention and conditioning. Nothing more, nothing less.

We've been so trained to hear the Major and Minor scales and the cadences designed to end on them, that having them land on anything other than the root note feels incomplete. But we forget that these are just a few possibilities. You can take the exact same notes, the exact same chords and treat other notes as the home tone (or chord). We forget that the Major scale is just the old Ionic mode, and that the (natural) Minor scale is just the old Aeolian mode. In fact, the medieval system of modes is just one possibility.

Of course, it's worth noting that the V7-I (or variants thereof) does feel like a resolution, because it is -- but of the tritone in the V7. Other chords can be treated as the home chord in a bar or any section of a song (and often are). But that is just a technique for forcing a feeling of resolution.

Similarly, melodies in other cultures can have odd numbers of beats per bar, per phrase, or whatever. Much of early European music, particularly religious, is based on threes. Or waltzes. Many musics you've never heard of are based on threes or fives or schemas that are actually interesting. We all need to take five, man. Or none; medieval European chant (of which Gregorian is just one type of many) had a free rhythm.

Then again, modern electronic dance music is pretty much monotonously four to the floor, four bars, supersaws all over, repeat until the drugs wear out. If that's what the OP means, then yes, absolutely. But only because the convention doesn't allow for anything else.
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Jafo
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1792 posts since 20 Dec, 2002, from The Benighted States of Trumpistan

Postby Jafo; Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:54 am Re: Are the best melodies 4 bars long, and nearly always resolving on the root note?

Edit failed. Please delete.
Last edited by Jafo on Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Jafo
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1792 posts since 20 Dec, 2002, from The Benighted States of Trumpistan

Postby Jafo; Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:55 am Re: Are the best melodies 4 bars long, and nearly always resolving on the root note?

nm, duplicate. My bad.
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Jafo
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1792 posts since 20 Dec, 2002, from The Benighted States of Trumpistan

Postby Jafo; Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:58 am Re: Are the best melodies 4 bars long, and nearly always resolving on the root note?

Sorry, editing failed. Please delete.
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dark water
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577 posts since 2 Jun, 2016

Postby dark water; Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:15 pm Re: Are the best melodies 4 bars long, and nearly always resolving on the root note?

^^ If it's any consolation Jafo, the best comments are always 4 posts long :p
sjm
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1037 posts since 17 Apr, 2004

Postby sjm; Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:26 pm Re: Are the best melodies 4 bars long, and nearly always resolving on the root note?

Yes, provided the root note is Bb. It doesn't work as well with A#.
deastman
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6479 posts since 6 Aug, 2003, from San Francisco Bay Area

Postby deastman; Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:43 pm Re: Are the best melodies 4 bars long, and nearly always resolving on the root note?

From what I can tell, most contemporary EDM is one bar long, repeated for two hours, with a filter sweep, some glitch stutters, and... the drop.

In other words, no, the OP is incorrect.
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Aloysius
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20880 posts since 11 Aug, 2008, from a computer

Postby Aloysius; Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:49 pm Re: Are the best melodies 4 bars long, and nearly always resolving on the root note?

D minor is the saddest of all keys.
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