Completed Along Comes A Bard... IV

Tazrae continues her lessons in songcraft.

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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Along Comes A Bard... IV

Postby Tazrae on July 18th, 2020, 9:01 pm

Timestamp: 50th of Summer, 520 A.V.

Continued From: Along Comes A Bard... III


Tazrae nodded, adding those things to her notes. "You said there were other parts besides the core three?" Xander nodded and continued speaking. "There are five other types of song structure. The refrain, the climb, the instrumental break, the instrumental solo, and the coda." Xander said. Then he gestured to Tazrae to explain them. This part of the course was easy for her. She complied.

She smiled as she spoke, making notes as she answered him. "A refrain is a kind of chorus, and I think you can use the two terms interchangeably. But, while a chorus begins a distinctively new musical section, a refrain consists of one or two lines repeated at the end or beginning of each verse. This is especially the case with many folk and hearth songs. Refrains can also rarely come in the middle of verses. The refrain usually contains the title." The bard said, then instead of moving on to the next thing, she frowned.

Xander jumped in at that point. "The climb is the pre-chorus section, which musically and lyrically seems to pull out of the verse and rise towards the chorus. A climb serves as an aural foreplay to extend the song’s emotional tension by delaying the arrival of its climactic section. At its simplest, a climb is a couplet. An extended climb may need no bridge for more contrast. Let your intuition tell you." Tazrae blushed at that point, deep down to the roots of her black hair. "Uh.. alright. I will trust you on that one, Xander." She said smiling, then rushed on with the next explanation, which she did indeed know. Xander motioned for her to go on. She did.

"Many songs have pauses in them that are like musical wanderings. Although most instrumental interludes are created as an afterthought by a song’s arranger or performers, a few are central to the structure of a song. They often time come in the middle of tavern recitals or impromptu practice sections. An instrumental break may occur at the song’s beginning, middle, end... thought its most common in the middle. It is usually designed to lead neatly to or from a vocal song section." She added, then piped in the definition for an intro. "An intro is an extended musical piece that sets the mood and introduces the theme for the song." Xander looked thoughtful, then gestured for her to continue. "I don't know what a coda is." Tazrae admitted.

Xander nodded. It was common that students didn't know the terminology. "A coda is an end tag that reinforces the hook of the song via repetition of it. The coda will usually express the theme of the song, and letting the listener know the outcome of the story. Coda's often consist of a build-up and a fade-out. Sometimes it is a fading repetition of the chorus." He admitted.

"Okay, so that's the additions. I understand. But how do we put it all together?" She asked.

At that question, Xander Kaltran smiled. "Patience Tazrae. You can't just soak up Songcraft like a sponge." And then he looked thoughtful. "There were patterns in music, in all songcrafting.... You have to understand the patterns. We will talk about them next, alright?" He added with a smile, glad for once to have a pupil that wanted to learn for the sheer joy of learning.

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Tazrae
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Along Comes A Bard... IV

Postby Tazrae on July 18th, 2020, 9:09 pm

Xander shifted and stretched his long legs up onto the counter. Tazrae had moved to the floor and was lying flat on it, staring at the ceiling, trying to absorb all of this. She occasionally sat up to jot down notes, but all in all, the absorption of this depended upon her understanding, not on the depth of her notes. Xander continued.

"Songs form patterns. So does song structure. Good musicians write the patterns out as a sort of shorthand code. When I teach you this code, we will refer to a verse as an A. B always refers to the Bridge, and we will just simply call the chorus what it is... a chorus, along with all the extra goodies. So sit up girl, take notes, this is where your going to need them." Xander gently chastised.

Tazrae sat up, grabbed fresh parchment, and struck a pose as if ready to write. She took notes as Xander spoke.


Types of Patterns



  • The AAA Pattern is the simplest musical statement. It consists of a series of verses with a refrain at the beginning or end of each verse. The number of verses ranges from 3 to 5 or more. Often folk ballads follow this form. Also story songs are ideal for creating characters changing time frames and settings.


  • The second type is The ABAB Pattern . That consists of a Verse, Bridge, Verse, Bridge type pattern. This form can be extended to make a longer song e.g. ABABAB where the last A section is an instrumental section.

  • The AABA Pattern or Verse, Verse, Bridge, Verse is one of the most readily used forms for propaganda. Sometimes this style can be extended to AABABA.

  • The A Chorus Pattern is a Verse, Chorus combo. Neither ABAB or AABA have a chorus nor a bridge. But in A Chorus, there is no bridge... none whatsoever. This form lends itself to story songs fairly well. Sometimes the story requires two or three verses before the statement of the chorus. This is the single most popular form in Aelyria.

  • The A Chorus Bridge Pattern or VERSE , CHORUS, BRIDGE This is the same as above but with a bridge. The bridge usually occurs after the second chorus. This form may be extended or the pattern repeated with a bridge that is the same or varies or is a second bridge lyrically.

  • The A Climb Chorus Pattern or VERSE, CLIMB, CHORUS. This form has a pre-chorus climb, which musically and lyrically seems to pull out of the verse and rise towards the chorus. Sometimes just a couplet but often longer. Longer ones replace the bridge as the contrasting section. Shorter, more dynamic lyrics in this section to raise the temperature for the chorus. These songs work out well because people tend to remember them longer.

  • The Heart & Soul Pattern is a classic form of the passionate lyric in which a rhyming couplet with the first line repeated twice, then rhymed.

My Svefra doesn’t love me, treats me awful mean
My Svefra doesn’t love me, treats me awful mean
He’s the lowest Svefra I’ve ever seen.


Each verse fits a twelve-bar pattern. This leaves space around the lyric for instrumental and vocal ad-libs. The third, often ironic or humorous, line releases the tension of self-pity built up in the previous two lines.


As Tazrae wrote her notes, she'd already picked out, mentally, which pattern she was going to use. It was as clear as day to her. She'd use the pattern that allowed for some flexibility, plus a bridge. Every song, in her opinion, had to have a bridge. But she still had questions.

"Xander, in these Verse Chorus Bridge patterns, can you vary the pattern within the song as long as all the elements are there, and repeating in a pattern form?" She asked thoughtfully, her brow wrinkling in concentration.

Xander smiled and nodded. "Of course. The importance is a pattern, and that they have a cadence to them." He quickly answered.

Tazrae nodded, actually understanding this.

"Then how about a AA Chorus AA Chorus Bridge AA Bridge Chorus Pattern?" She asked.

Xander nodded. "That's just a modified Verse Chorus Bridge. Depending upon the song, you may want to add to the tag, but in this case, if your Chorus is good enough, which it is.. we already wrote it, you can use it as a coda and it changes its job. So that works out just fine." He added, musing it over. Then Xander started talking again, breaking song structure down even further, like a writer would an essay.

Tazrae once more took notes.

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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
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Along Comes A Bard... IV

Postby Tazrae on July 18th, 2020, 9:20 pm

The old bard launched into a lecture about the structure of songs which had Tazrae dipping her pen continously and writing furiously. She momentarily lost what he was saying in her need to get the notes down. But when he paused to let her catch up, she was able to re-read what he'd said and it made more sense.


The Structure of a Song

  1. Exposition (or beginning) – exposes all the essential information
  2. The Screw Up – Section two adds to the tension. Makes the conflict still more painful.
  3. Contrast – Section B adds a new idea that contrasts or comments on the rest of the lyric.
  4. Pay-Off – Last A section ends story and loosens tension. Answers our questions, satisfies us at the end.


"Songs have to have stories that grip you at the beginning and holds you to the very end. It has something held back as well. There always needs to be conflict, and something dealt with during the song." She mused, watching Xander to see if he agreed. He did. That was when he quoted her something.

"Amateur lyrics put a dull story into elaborate words...Professional lyrics put an interesting story into ordinary words. So let me give you some last-minute tips.. then we are off and writing..." He said, then smiled with a look that said "Ready to write a song for Syka?"

Tazrae laughed and nodded... she was ready.

Xander was talking again. Tazrae found herself writing once more, taking notes. She understood that he wanted her to have the core fundamentals, but she already knew what she wanted her song to be. However, this... this was something for future songs. And so, as the old bard with the soft voice started speaking, she once more opened up and started listening.

The first thing Xander hammered into her was Development Techniques. These were rules she needed to follow. There were only four of them, so she wrote them in order.


DEVELOPMENT TECHNIQUES

  1. Look for a meaningful sequence in your lyric.
  2. Place the details of your story in a logical order or order of importance from small to big.
  3. Keep an eye on the plot’s clock. Arrange things in logical time.
  4. Put cause before the effect. The banana peel before the fall!


Xander started speaking again. This time she listened, only jotting down the occasional note. "Tazrae, you must think in terms of Imagery. Songs are only enriched if you can paint a picture in the listeners mind that appeals to all five of their senses. Make your words a canvas, and play with them as an artist would. Pull them from your heart and choose only those that breath life into your songcraft." The elven instrument maker said, eyes shining with the conviction of what he said.

Tazrae nodded. "Is it not true that you also need to present a scene with these words? Just like a backdrop to a portrait or a still-life painting, in your song you need to pick phrases and word combinations that flush out the song?" Xander nodded. "Thats called the scene method. Always use it along with imagery." Tazrae smiled, making a note.

"Next, we have the reversal, which is a thrilling turn of luck at the last minute of a situation. Each song is a situation. You can use reversal as a dramatic device and adapt it to the lyrics you pick in your song." Xander added. Tazrae nodded. "I can see where theat would be helpful...like a hook. Only it keeps them on their toes." She added, smiling.


Word Count: 635
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
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Along Comes A Bard... IV

Postby Tazrae on July 19th, 2020, 12:19 am

"Can we begin now?" She asked, eagerly.

Xander nodded. "Alright. You have a chorus and a pattern... Lay that pattern out for me. We will do the lyrics first in this case, and fill in the music afterward, deciding on how best to dress it up. After all, with this song, your lyrics are the key. You're attempting to call the lost home to Syka..." Tazrae nodded. She took a fresh piece of parchment and laid out her pattern.


V
V
C
V
V
B
V
V
B
C


"Easy enough.... " Tazrae said, since she already had the chorus. "So what I really needed is six verses and two bridges... one verse being an introduction, and the bridges being memorable.... designed to stick in the listener's brain." She nodded, and looked at Xander who practically beamed at her.

"Good... good.... Now lets start with your first verse, your intro... you need the title of your song there if possible.. the main idea of what the song is about, and the hook.... what will keep them listening?" He asked sincerely.

Tazrae thought a while. The intro would be the most important. She bent her head to think. Xander didn't bother her, but let her mind work. This was her song to write, not his. Syka was a home for the lost, adventuresome, those needing just more in their lives.

She'd write the song in the voice of the city... and put Syka's longing into it and maybe a little bit of herself. The city waited in Faylindar, one of the most breathtaking places on Mizahar. Slowly, she started writing. It seemed to come from deep inside.

"Oh gentle sea winds ‘neath moonlit skies,
Don’t you hear my heartfelt cries?
I’m lost and alone and drift at Sea
I’m wondering what and who I could be.
Then you Syka called to my heart so strong
And in my mind, I heard your song.

Forgotten in a city so proud
Its waterfall is too loud.
No direction, no passion, no flare
Enemies closing my mind to dare.
Dreaming dreams was all I had left
Until I fled away in a night of theft.

I heard…"




Tazrae looked thoughtful some more. She chewed on the end of her quill. Who was Syka? What did Syka mean to her? Why did she come here? Where did others want her to go? She tried to think like she was the settlement, though she knew it would be hopeless. But she wanted to feel what the settlement must feel in order to write its song... write its tale. The chorus wrote itself.

"Come to me in Falyndar wild
Oh, beautiful lovely musical child.
Your presence here I so desire
How I need to feel your fire.

These jungle wilds have been tamed
with gentle hands and a settlement named.
By lapping surf and palm-filled skies
This haven invokes a million sighs.
People from everywhere heard the call
And flock to Syka to avoid a fall."




Word Count: 541
Thread Count: 2614
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 426
Words: 500443
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)


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