Join Julian Velard for an in-depth discussion in this video The importance of song form, part of Music Theory for Songwriters: The Fundamentals.
- I can't sit here in good conscience at this piano…and talk about the music theory of songwriting…without discussing song form.…The study of any art leads to the analysis of form,…and music is no exception.…Form in music is how we structure melodic,…harmonic, rhythmic, and in the case of…a song, lyrical content.…It gives our ideas shape and provides them with function.…Songwriting is a tradition that is subject to culture,…and the values of a culture at a given time…contribute to the estimation of what makes a song great.…
Now when I say great, I'm not using the word…to describe whether I like something or not.…I'm using it to describe a song as being effective.…The goal of most songs, and therefore most songwriters,…is the same regardless of genre,…to present a coherent musical experience…that transports the listener from beginning to end.…Great songs are the bridge that bring the listener…into the world of the songwriter.…By using culturally reinforced song forms,…we are able to build the best bridge possible.…
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
Next steps1m 16s
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