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Melody in Songwriting: Tools and Techniques for Writing Hit Songs [Paperback]

Jack Perricone
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 17 2000 Berklee Guide
(Berklee Guide). Melody is a subject too often neglected in the teaching of music. This unique resource gives melody that attention it deserves, and proves that melody writing is a skill that can be learned. Through proven tool and techniques, you will learn to write interesting melodies, how melodic rhythm influences rhyme, what makes harmony progress, and the many dynamic relationships between melody and harmony. This clear and comprehensive approach to songwriting unlocks the secrets of popular songs, revealing what really makes them work. Examples of great songs by such notable songwriters as Lennon and McCartney, Diane Warren, Robert Palmer, and more, provide a close-up illustration of the songwriting techniques employed by these masters of the industry. This is the book used in Songwriting classes at Berklee College of Music. The exercises provided make it a wonderful self-teaching manual and a great addition to any general theory course of any level. Use the tools presented in this book to help fine-tune your craft and start writing hits!

Frequently Bought Together

Melody in Songwriting: Tools and Techniques for Writing Hit Songs + Writing Better Lyrics + Songwriting Without Boundaries: Lyric Writing Exercises for Finding Your Voice
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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The two basic elements of music that define melody are pitch and rhythm. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great book on melody May 28 2004
By Jack
This is a good book, well written , and clearly laid out. It offers the reader a methodical approach to writing better melodies by showing you that good melodies are the result of contrast, balance and fluidity. It also covers harmony and its relationship with melody giving examples from popular songs. The book is a refreshing change as it does exactly what it says on the cover; it looks at melody within song writing, and approaches it as a serious subject to be studied and learned. If like myself you get slightly lost every now and then, read the chapter through, go back and read it again, its really worth it because once this stuff begins to sink in, you go away and see what he's talking about as soon as you turn on the radio or listen to your favourite music. I say a refreshing change because it differs from other song writing books that I have recently purchased with titles such as "How To Write That Hit!" etc which seem to spend about 3 pages telling you how to write songs then divide the rest of the book between telling you how to "Pitch that song in the market" or patronising the reader with little cute stories about how they wrote their half a hit that came out 200 years ago "Oh and then Bruce, as in Springsteen, called up asking how the song was coming along, it was all so hilarious". We don't want cute stories , we want guide lines to the craft of writing beautiful songs. Lastly, in this book, Perricone does not attempt to suggest that technique is more important than inspiration, indeed he says that both work hand in hand, each one necessitating the other. As an aspiring young song writer myself I have often heard this debate between those that believe in the dreaded technique, and those that believe in inspiration alone. Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I got this book about 5 years ago shortly after it was released. It was the first book specifically dedicated to melody writing that I'd ever read but since then I've read a number of others (including Berklee Press' own Songwriter's Workshop: Melody). I must say, "Melody in Songwriting" is still the best book on the subject that I've seen!
It covers an awful lot of ground and goes into greater depth and detail than many other books on the subject of songwriting. In fact, this is a valuable resource for composers in any style of music, not only songwriters. Granted, beginners will likely feel a little intimidated at first, but I say, 'just reread it again', what you'll learn is more than worth the effort.
Melody in Songwriting includes about half-a-dozen well known songs as examples plus a greater number of unknown but insightful examples. This brings up the books' one weakness, which is that no CD of the examples is included so in order to hear and fully appreciate the given examples you'll need above average music reading and keyboarding skills. Perhaps Berklee Press will consider releasing a CD addendum to this excellent book.
Bottom line; if you read this book and do the exercises, you'll be able to write a reasonably good melody every time you sit down, even without inspiration. Add inspiration and you just may write a great melody.
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5.0 out of 5 stars TRIPLE-A FOR "STUCK" SONGWRITERS! June 12 2000
Jack Perricone is a great admirer (and practitioner!) of the pop song, and in this book he outlines successful strategies for songwriters to get back IN the groove, or to break OUT of their writing "ruts". Granted, this material may seem rather "heady" at times, and less intuitive than we like to think creativity is, but when you need a jumpstart to get back on track, you'll be glad to have this assortment of options at hand. Although this book is nominally about Melody only, the author includes all other song components as they interact, and provides a fresh perspective and analysis on how and why certain songs reach us and connect with the public. There's as much respect shown toward rock and blues songs as more traditional pop, and a lot of very valuable stuff for writers of ALL styles of songs.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good but needs a CD Sept. 17 2006
This book has a lot to offer. However, if you do not sight read (and play piano)and already have a understanding of musical theory. The exercises in this book will be long an tedious to go through. I understand musical theory, I don't normally play piano trhough sheet music. This book would have been better with a CD. A word of advice, if you play guitar and only use TAB notation THIS BOOK IS NOT FOR YOU, save your money
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