“The Songwriting Kit” is a workbook to help you acquire basic musical knowledge and to use it practically. An understanding of harmonic and melodic progressions, and the formal structure and style of songs will enable you to confidently interpret in the appropriate musical style, to accompany, and to develop your own compositions. Songwriting and composing are skills that need learning. Musical eras and genres have similarities and peculiarities. Whether you write children’s songs, pop, jazz or rock songs, or you would like to sing and accompany operatic arias, folk songs, art songs, or choral melodies, with the necessary theoretical knowledge your blues will not sound like Mozart and your accompaniment to a choral melody will not sound like pop music. Music theory is not an end in itself, but it will help when composing and interpreting.
This book is available in German only.
Understanding, interpreting and composing songs
Following on from his books “240 Songs for Piano”, “More Songs for Piano” and “Dance Course for Piano” the author now presents a new book on the subject of music theory. In “The Songwriting Kit”, he provides children, young people and adults with the theoretical understanding of how musicians interpret and accompany songs and how they develop their own compositions.
The book is split into three large sections. Firstly, students are made familiar with harmonic and melodic progressions. In the following chapters, the author addresses basic musical knowledge, from the simple cadence up to modulation.Michael Schäfer also discusses the characteristics of harmonic cadences (deceptive cadences, seventh chords and other chords) which can be used to create a Klangfarbenmelodie (sound-colour melody). Students will learn all about interpreting melodies and the forms of songs, as well as how to compose songs independently. All concepts are illustrated and practised with specific examples of songs. As such, the author alternates between theoretical and practical sections, so that students can practise what they have just learned in the exercises that follow.
This book is ideal for children over 10 years, as well as for adults and young people. In a simple manner, it explains the most important elements needed to compose and understand songs, so that a blues accompaniment does not sound like Mozart, and a choral melody does not sound like pop music.
Beginnings – Harmonic Series
Melodic – Melodies with the tones of the pentatonic
Harmonic – Triads and there inversions
Medieval – church modes
Melodic – Melodies in the old church modes
Major and minor System – the simple cadence
Simple minor cadence
Useful – Circle of fifths
Harmonization of Melodies
Enlarged minor cadence
Harmonic final phrase
Broken or evaded cadence
Seventh as timbre
Dominant seventh none chord
Dominant seventh none chord with diminished none
Augmented fifth sixth chord
Neapolitan sixth chord
Chords as timbre – variations and mediants
Rising and descending bass line
Metric – Time signatures and time change
Harmonic minor scale and her variations
Melodic – analysing melodies
Formal – form of songs
Melodic – invent melodies
Formal – Prelude, interlude, postlude
Styling – modern styles
Literal – Writing lyrics
Medieval – basso continuo
Suggested solution Index of tunes