As far as Australian song-writers go, you cannot pass by Niel Finn and Crowded House for their spectacular contributions to our interesting music history. The following blog post is dedicated to year 7 song-writers everywhere. Get ready to dive into what makes a good song!
Sold on Song
BBC Radio 2 has a section entitled Sold on Song.
Here they talk about Crowded Houses’ famous track Don’t Dream it’s Over.
You can listen to the song with RealPlayer or with the video below.
After listening to the song Don’t Dream it’s Over answer the following questions in your books or on your laptops. You can email them to your teacher when you are finished.
Q1. Outline the Structure of this piece (verse, chorus, bridge etc)
Q2. When listening to the Melody (what is sung) does the melody move in steps or leaps?
Q3. When listening to the Melody is it sung in phrases? (you will notice pauses between lyrics)
Q4. How many times are these phrases repeated in a verse or chorus?
Q5. Listen carefully to the chords played on the guitar. How often do they repeat?
What is extremely interesting about this article is the interview with Neil Finn talking about song-writing (you will need RealPlayer installed to listen)
After you have watched the above clip, listened to the interview (or parts of it) click here to see the BBC’s Sold on Song ‘Song-Writing Guide.’
Using the headings in the BBC’s Song-Writing Guide, list songs you know of (or ones we have studied in class) that are good examples of each category.
• For example, Chorus: one of Crowded Houses’ songs Better Be Home Soon (linked below) with sheet music has other voices and layers joining in on the chorus
Now you are to answer the following questions based upon Better Be Home Soon.
The video of the piece and score is linked below.
Q1. Watch the video linked here of the score for Verse & Chorus.
How many different chords are used in the song?
Q2. Look at the melody and describe its shape or contour. Does it jump around by leaps? Move smoothly by steps? Repeat in phrases? Use long notes or short notes? Be detailed in your answers.
Q3. Click this link to download the PDF of the Melody and using Preview on your computers add your comments about the melody to the melody line (here is a video showing you how).
• Make sure you number the phrases
• draw in lines to show the shape of the melody going up and down
• circle any notes that have large jumps between them (that is, they don’t move by step from g to a etc)
Neil Finn – A good tune is always in short supply
This is a documentary on Neil Finn and his music. Enjoy
Cover image courtesy of http://www.frenz.com/crowdedhouse/veryverybest-summer.jpg
Video of arrangement made with Sibelius First.