Join Julian Velard for an in-depth discussion in this video Through-composed song forms, part of Music Theory for Songwriters: The Fundamentals.
- The through-composed song is a form…where each verse is different,…exhibiting no melodic similarities to the previous verse.…The concept of through-composition is carried over…from classical music and can be seen in the…Lieder of Franz Schubert and the Tone Poems of Franz Liszt.…Using this technique with songs can be very complicated.…It involves serious effort to keep…the listener from losing their focus.…Typically a strong lyric or melodic sense is required…along with innovative production elements.…A lot of the progressive rock bands of the 1970s…like Yes and Genesis used through-composed forms.…
Some more famous examples of songs…that could almost be considered through-composition…are the Beatles' Happiness Is a Warm Gun,…Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody,…and Radiohead's Paranoid Android.…All three have repeated sections,…but there is not an identifiable verse or chorus to them.…Meaning once a section is finished, it's never revisited.…Most popular songs today utilize one or more elements…from these forms whether it's a pop rock song,…
Professional musician Julian Velard starts the course with the building blocks of harmony: notes, scales, intervals, chords, inversions, and basic chord progressions. He then goes into voice leading—showing how to move from one chord to another by changing just one or two notes—and reviews common song forms, from the familiar verse/chorus/verse of pop to the simple verse of the blues. At the end of each chapter, Julian explains the songwriting techniques shown in the chapter within the context of his own original commercially released songs.
- Understanding scales, intervals, and keys
- Triads or three-note chords
- Triad inversions
- Common major-scale chord progressions and cadences
- Voice leading
- Song form elements such as verse, chorus, bridge, hook, and more
- Using common song forms in songwriting
Skill Level Beginner
1. The Building Blocks of Harmony
2. Triads and Chord Progressions
3. Chord Progressions and Voice Leading
4. Song Forms
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