Tip #123 – Conceptualizing a Thematic Bridge

Just as the name would suggest, a thematic bridge is somethings that acts as a connection between two fairly different themes in a piece of music.

It would help if the two themes are connect is some way to begin with – being fragmented developments of each other, or whatever. However, it is possible to do so with very different themes.

First thing to do would be to point out where in the composition you need the thematic bridge to be – obviously between the two contrasting parts. From there look at the measures before and after it to note what are the characteristics of the opposing themes.

Finally, (and this may be the hardest part) attempt to make a “natural sounding” combination of the two themes. Be like Dr. Frankenstein and mix-n-match different characteristics of the two to form one complete idea.

Of course, this is a tip on how to create smoothness between to sections IF smoothness is desired. It is your composition – do what you want!

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Tip #8 – Finding That Melodic Pair with Contrary Motion

Have you ever noticed that when we ask a question, our voices tend to wander higher in pitch? Even as you were reading that pervious question, the voice in your head must have had direction in their tone, contour, and phrasing. When someone answers a question, the voice goes in the opposite motion and lowers in pitch.

Sure, can you find examples where this does not happen? Yeah, but it is a phenomenon of a natural occurrence of contrary motion in contour.

Say you have a melodic fragment, and idea, that needs some kind of “answer” to it. First, observe the melodic intervals, direction, and shape of the melodic line.

Now, flip that shape upside-down in your head. For example: if it went up, have the melody go down now in roughly the same interval area. This adds a complemental structure to the melody.


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