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Two New Books From Berklee Press

May 26, 2000

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Berklee Press has released two new books, Melody in Songwriting, a text used in Berklee's classes, and Music Notation, a reissue of a well used book.

Melody in Songwriting

Melody is a subject too often neglected in the teaching of music. This unique resource gives melody the attention it deserves, and proves that melody writing is a skill that can be learned. Through proven tools and techniques, you will learn to write interesting melodies, how melodic rhythm influences rhyme, what makes harmony progress, and the many dynamic relationships between melody and harmony. This clear and comprehensive approach to songwriting unlocks the secrets of popular songs, revealing what really makes them work.

Examples of great songs by such notable songwriters such as:

  • The Long and Winding Road by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
  • Because You Loved Me by Diane Warren
  • Killing Me Softly by Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox
  • Can't Take My Eyes Off of You by Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio
  • Addicted to Love by Robert Palmer
  • Come Rain or Come Shine by Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen
  • and lots more!

This book provides a close-up illustration of the songwriting techniques employed by these masters of the industry. This is the book used in songwriting classes at Berklee College of Music. The exercises provided make it a wonderful self-teaching manual and a great addition to any general theory course. Use the tools presented in this book to help fine-tune your craft and start writing hits!

Music Notation

The written language of music, notation is the only way for musicians to clearly express their artistic creations. Just as in any language, fluency is freedom. This reissuance of Mark McGrain’s classic Music Notation is a great way to learn this musical language, and learn the correct way to denote pitch and rhythm placement, intricate meter and voicing alignments, rhythmic subdivisions, complex articulations, and dynamics.

McGrain writes in his introduction, "The identification of concepts with graphic symbols permits both the tranference of ideas and the evolution of those ideas through reinterpretation; this is the fundamental basis of all written languages. Written music, as a communication of musical ideas, shares this function." This book is all about clear instruction, with plenty of examples, on how to make this all work. It all seems fairly simple after flipping through the pages of Music Notation, and the skills that it gives its students are essential and numerous. Plus, the lessons are relevant for both handwritten notation and computer software programs, making it a great resource for those musicians looking to enter the ever-expanding electronic industry!

This great resource includes:

  • examples of correct and incorrect notation practices
  • notation techniques used by professional engravers
  • applying proper rhythmic subdivisions with notes, rests, beams, dotted rhythms, and more
  • how to notate dynamics, articulations, and ornaments
  • how to write chords, voicings, and divisi parts
  • practice exercises after each lesson
  • a glossary of European musical terms
  • names of instruments and voices with abbreviations
  • instrumental transpositions
  • score layout
  • and more!

For more information, visit their web site at www.berkleepress.com.
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