The Music Corner for Piano Lovers

Black Hole

25 Oct 2014 News

I've been working on a new song called, as you might have guessed from the title of this post, "Black Hole." I've had the idea for some time, but was having trouble putting it to sing-able words. I worried, in fact, that such a prosaic subject as the slowing economy, the difficulty of finding a job, and the frustrating experience job-seekers endure might just not be the right subject for a song.

Then, a few nights ago, a walk in the dark on a chilly evening helped me figure out what the problem was.

Music has a natural pattern of stressed and un-stressed notes. Any lyrics you want to set to music must follow that same pattern. My original words were hard-hitting. I used a number of consecutive accented syllables - a very effective poem, but a terrible song. The poem had rhymes, but it certainly didn't sound song-like. Changing the rhymes only made things worse; making the poem seem clichéd, with the childish, sing-song quality of a nursery rhyme.

When I went out on my walk, I had a rhythm in mind, and started speaking - in my mind, of course - some words for my song. Before long, I had a verse. I got out my iphone and typed it up. Back home, while my husband put the kids to bed, I thought up a chorus. This exercise of talking in rhythm -  a strategy I've learnt from Pat Pattison, who is a veritable lyric-writing guru - is very helpful, when you know what to say, but are still trying to figure out how to say it.

Yesterday, I began composing a melody for the verse and chorus, I'd written. Being able to set a poem to music is a true test of its lyric quality. It's easy enough to make up words to an existing piece of music. The rhythms and the rise and fall of the melody line helps you to think up appropriate words. I'm happy to say I succeeded.

I found A minor too flat for my taste, so experimented with playing the same melody in B minor. The change of key infused the melody with just the touch of emotion I needed. I haven't decided how many verses there'll be, whether there'll be a bridge or not, but I am quite pleased with what I've gotten so far. And once the song is complete, it will, of course, be up here on Musicaneo.



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