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MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help

Author Topic: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help  (Read 18119 times)

Offline AlexanderLaBrea

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Re: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2015, 03:48:51 AM »
A more specific example of some of the fundamental ideas - "I knew you were trouble" by Taylor.

Verse: (melody starting on the first beat, lyrics in "you"-form, dragging the listener in, first couple of sentences explaining the gist of the song)

Once upon a time (5 syllables)
(a) Few mistakes ago (5 syllables)
I was in your sights (5...)
You got me alone (5...)
etc.

Pretty "busy" melody in the verses, many words, 8th notes primarily (given the fast BPM).

Pre chorus: (note: melody NOT starting on the first beat)

And he's lo o o ong gone (7 syllables)
When he's ne-ext to-o me (7 syllables)
etc.

Very laid back melody here to balance out the busy verse. Focusing on long notes.

Chorus:

Starting on the first beat again. Characteristic "odd melody part", in this case "I KNEW you WERE trouble...", the weird interval choice. Repeating the title and "Trouble" often.


The basic principles are all there.


Offline jelfmusic

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Re: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2015, 01:03:27 PM »
Thank's everyone for posting. Lets keep it going as this subject is very interesting as a writer and just as a general Max fan.

AlexanderLaBrea I never noticed that with 'Trouble'

I think 'Scream' by Usher is a classic Max Martin song as he uses the Melodic Math throughout and the song only has 3 sections (verse,pre and chorus) the bridge are ad libs and repeats of the title line. This is departing the melodic maths side of things but I also have noticed on the production side of Max that he has no more than 3-4 melodies production wise going on at the same time for example in Scream there is that synth part that gets introduced at the very start and they just control it with a high pass filter in the verses and it is continued on a loop for the whole song but on the chorus they just add a synth bass, pads and high hats.

notice how the first 2 lines completely mirror each over by having 10 syllables each

I see you over there, so hypnotic
Thinking 'bout what I'd do to that body
Then he goes to 4
I'd get you like
Then he goes to the refrain which is also repeated in the chorus but an octave higher so it doesn't get boring for the ear but is still memorable, giving the illusion that you've already heard the chorus before the chorus has actually happened
Ooh baby baby, ooh baby baby,
Ah-ooh baby baby ooh baby baby

he then repeats the whole thing again
Got no drink in my hand but I'm wasted
Getting drunk of the thought of you naked
I'd get you like
Ooh baby baby, ooh baby baby,
Ah-ooh baby baby ooh baby baby

This is the pre-chorus, they completely mirror each over with 9 syllables
And I've tried to fight it, to fight it
But you're so magnetic, magnetic
Got one life, just live it, just live it
The last line stops the repetition of syllables with 8 instead of 9. I find that Max does this in a LOT of his songs, the last line of every pre chorus is a different amount of syllables to what has previously come..... I think this is to break the cycle and to add suspense for the BIG chorus
Now relax, and get on your back

If you wanna scream, yeah
Let me know and I'll take you there
Get you going like
(this is the refrain from the verse but a octave higher)
Ah-ooh baby baby ooh baby baby
Ah-ooh baby baby ooh baby

This is the second cycle of what has just happened but with different lyrics.....genius.
If you wanna turn right
Hope you're ready to go all night
Get you going like
Ah-ooh baby baby ooh baby baby
Ah-ooh baby baby ooh baby
If you wanna scream


Has anyone else got other examples for all of us that are interested? I think 'Can't feel my face' by The Weeknd is a classic Max formula as well just from listening on the radio

Offline georg_e

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Re: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2015, 04:23:51 PM »
I've always been the most fascinated by the chorus of "Since U Been Gone", because it's a really unusual structure. It STARTS to "mimic" the first phrase in the expected way, but then goes off in a completely different direction with the "yeah yeah" line, and then closes with another new idea. Plus, the whole chorus is just 12 bars, but packs energy like a bomb going off!
« Last Edit: August 01, 2015, 04:53:22 PM by georg_e »

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Re: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2015, 05:18:26 PM »
Interesting stuff here.

Offline j.fco.morales

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Re: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2015, 06:50:48 PM »
I've always been the most fascinated by the chorus of "Since U Been Gone", because it's a really unusual structure. It STARTS to "mimic" the first phrase in the expected way, but then goes off in a completely different direction with the "yeah yeah" line, and then closes with another new idea. Plus, the whole chorus is just 12 bars, but packs energy like a bomb going off!

I agree with you.

Offline soundoffhear

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Re: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help
« Reply #20 on: August 03, 2015, 10:39:20 AM »
                     ^     ^    ^

              Yeah but no -- Max did NOT call it that.  The original poster was asking specifically about number of syllables etc per section.   A technique Max uses. Bonnie McKee talks about it in the New Yorker profile of Dr Luke. It's there.  That's what the original poster's question was about --it's a real thing, whether you want to use that method or not.

                Intervals are a different subject.

There is enough space for us all to contribute but you and the La Bra fellow are very territorial over this concept. Syllable relationships to song structure are like elementary school in songwriting. Bonnie McKee is a lyricist, she had to get schooled on melody writing 101, because you can't just cram in any words you wish if the melody doesn't allow it.

Sing the ABC's and break down the syllables, it's common sense. It helps the listener organize what they are hearing and keep track. Hence how the hell kids remember their ABC's

Beginning: A-B-C-D-E-F-G
End: Now-I-Learned-My-A-B-C's

7 to start
and 7 to end
Well gee-whiz will you look at that? Must have been some genius that sculpted those syllable choices.


In theory you could have a single note melody with no intervals and just differing syllables. That melody would suck. The intervals are the crucial element of what bring the song to life. The "Weeee-eaahh" in Swift's Never Getting Back Together would be nothing without that very simple 2 note interval.

It is easier and smug to believe you understand how professional songwriters churn out quality consistently by focusing just on the number of syllables and how many melody parts are playing. In melody composition, the rhythm of the notes is secondary to interval choices.

To your point on syllables being paramount: I can assure you with all multi-decade successful songwriters it has everything to do with interval choices and knowing how to keep the melody alive with those tweaks. Syllables are implied with the style of the melody and rhythm in the writer's head and are very easy to spot for needed rhythmic tweaks (add a word here, elongate a word there, make the chorus choppier/slower, etc.) That shit is easy. The intervals are where the hammering of craftsmanship comes to bear.

To your point on arrangement (rule of no more than 3 melody parts in a song): I have said before that Max Martin's strongest skillset is subtractive producing and mixing. He has a real gift to only concentrate on instrumental elements that lend to the melody and vibe of the song and he doesn't add a touch more than those parts. He knows when to stop.

Here are just a few words from the people themselves involved with the music making. BTW I noticed you all tend to debate on almost every post you have on this forum. So I spared you no room, but try if you wish.

Max Martin: "We started to talk about mathematics in music. I come from a traditional songwriting background - I like nice melodies."

hmmm Max Martin didn't mention mathematics?

Shellback: "Max Martin knows how to make music that alludes to many different genres, he's really good at melodies"


Making music that alludes = using familiar intervals, not just syllabic rhythm

Studio background singer: "There was an 'A-chorus' and in the bridge a 'B-chorus' emerged. That was a new melody put over the music of the A-chorus. It was a certain type of formula"

Different melody= different intervals
« Last Edit: August 03, 2015, 11:36:56 AM by soundoffhear »

Offline AlexanderLaBrea

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Re: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help
« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2015, 02:26:22 PM »
This is getting kinda funny. And once again... The original poster wasn't asking for YOUR take on Melodic Math, it was about what principles Max and his "crew" uses that fall under the banner "Melodic Math", and it is NOT intervals. My god. We're talking about western music here, and 7 notes give or take in any given key in the standard pop song. They are working with intervals in an interesting way sometimes, but when they do, the geniality (is that a word?) lies in the use of non-common intervals.

Just to make a point. You can have a great melody without intervals, but all melodies need to have rhythm. Which is something Max has utilized SO many times. Teenage Dream? It's all about the clever use of syncopation and straight notes. The melody is pretty much built on only one note until the "tail" (Don't ever look back...). Max is a genious at this one note thing and creating interesting things with rhythm and clever choices of tension and release. "Falling Slow", "Release You", "Rung Away With Me" (Shellback), etc. This is where the math of it all comes in. If you're singing a straight E over an C#m, B, E, A progression, the same note will have vastly different functionality over all 4 chords. And it will create tension over the B chord which is then released over the E etc.   

I agree with you that syllable counting is elementary. Do we know that the original poster knows these principles? No. And Max is more anal about this than probably everybody else out there. But as I said before, their "math" is built upon when to start on the downbeat and when not to, when to use a melody with long notes and when to use shorter busier melodies, using syncopation to balance out a melody that is otherwise straight 8th/4th/16ths and so forth. The interval choices are not a part of the math. WHEN intervals should occur, yes, which intervals to use, no. At least this is what we can conclude from all the interviews, articles, and also what has been said directly to me by people having worked with him.

I just want to respond to your quotes. The first one I don't even understand. Here he directly confirms that they use "mathematics"? Him together with Shellback.

Quote two: Melodies are just as much rhythm as it is intervals. This doesn't prove your point even for a second? Rhythm + intervals = melody. Rhythm can be math, the intervals is common music knowledge. Knowing how to put them together is what makes Max the best songwriter in the world, and this "alludation" and his gut feeling is what cannot really be teached. Otherwise there would be more Max Martins out there. There really isn't.

Quote three. I just sighed at this point. If you have listned to ANY Cheiron songs at all you'd know the principles applied to the counter melodies in the end of the songs. The principle was pretty much to use the same melody as the chorus, but move i back (or front, but usually back a beat), and then puzzle it together note wise to work with the original melody so that they can work together in the climax of the song.

I think I need to summarize... That intervals are important is an even more "101"-ish fact than syllable counting. What you need to understand though is that the melodic math is everything in between. The rhythmic structures, the song structure, how many seconds before you get to the chorus, how long intro's should be, syncopation choices, even lyrics to a certain degree, fundamental note choices (thirds etc.).
And outside all of these factors there will always be a human factor, where you need your trial and error. THAT is largly interval choices. And that is also why we need to stop talking about it in this particular thread in regards to the original poster. Because it is irrelevant to the topic!


 

Offline soundoffhear

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Re: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help
« Reply #22 on: August 03, 2015, 10:33:11 PM »
This is getting kinda funny. And once again... The original poster wasn't asking for YOUR take on Melodic Math, it was about what principles Max and his "crew" uses that fall under the banner "Melodic Math", and it is NOT intervals. My god. We're talking about western music here, and 7 notes give or take in any given key in the standard pop song. They are working with intervals in an interesting way sometimes, but when they do, the geniality (is that a word?) lies in the use of non-common intervals.

Just to make a point. You can have a great melody without intervals, but all melodies need to have rhythm. Which is something Max has utilized SO many times. Teenage Dream? It's all about the clever use of syncopation and straight notes. The melody is pretty much built on only one note until the "tail" (Don't ever look back...). Max is a genious at this one note thing and creating interesting things with rhythm and clever choices of tension and release. "Falling Slow", "Release You", "Rung Away With Me" (Shellback), etc. This is where the math of it all comes in. If you're singing a straight E over an C#m, B, E, A progression, the same note will have vastly different functionality over all 4 chords. And it will create tension over the B chord which is then released over the E etc.   

I agree with you that syllable counting is elementary. Do we know that the original poster knows these principles? No. And Max is more anal about this than probably everybody else out there. But as I said before, their "math" is built upon when to start on the downbeat and when not to, when to use a melody with long notes and when to use shorter busier melodies, using syncopation to balance out a melody that is otherwise straight 8th/4th/16ths and so forth. The interval choices are not a part of the math. WHEN intervals should occur, yes, which intervals to use, no. At least this is what we can conclude from all the interviews, articles, and also what has been said directly to me by people having worked with him.

I just want to respond to your quotes. The first one I don't even understand. Here he directly confirms that they use "mathematics"? Him together with Shellback.

Quote two: Melodies are just as much rhythm as it is intervals. This doesn't prove your point even for a second? Rhythm + intervals = melody. Rhythm can be math, the intervals is common music knowledge. Knowing how to put them together is what makes Max the best songwriter in the world, and this "alludation" and his gut feeling is what cannot really be teached. Otherwise there would be more Max Martins out there. There really isn't.

Quote three. I just sighed at this point. If you have listned to ANY Cheiron songs at all you'd know the principles applied to the counter melodies in the end of the songs. The principle was pretty much to use the same melody as the chorus, but move i back (or front, but usually back a beat), and then puzzle it together note wise to work with the original melody so that they can work together in the climax of the song.

I think I need to summarize... That intervals are important is an even more "101"-ish fact than syllable counting. What you need to understand though is that the melodic math is everything in between. The rhythmic structures, the song structure, how many seconds before you get to the chorus, how long intro's should be, syncopation choices, even lyrics to a certain degree, fundamental note choices (thirds etc.).
And outside all of these factors there will always be a human factor, where you need your trial and error. THAT is largly interval choices. And that is also why we need to stop talking about it in this particular thread in regards to the original poster. Because it is irrelevant to the topic!


 

I see your problem. You have fixed ideas of what an idea should be and are not open to being inclusive with other ideas. I see that in your posts on other forum topics, masquerading as an authoritarian on a given idea going to the mat with absolutes against other people's ideas. When in reality you are too insecure to adapt your mindset to other possibilities and be inclusive.

You speak like interval choices are a red-headed step child, like "yeah intervals exist, but you can have really great songs with just one note". Obviously you are not a successful songwriter yourself with this viewpoint.

It is you all that are giving your own interpretation on 'melodic math' and wanting it to be exclusive (devoid of interval study). I provided you the quotes from the people he works with and Max himself. When they use the term melody, they are not talking about syllables friend.

You assume the original poster was asking about syllables, bar measurements and total quantity of melodic ideas per song because you have decided that's ONLY what melodic math means. I have flatly provided proof that interval choices are paramount to the process of melody construction, not some happenstance process as you like to think of it.

You've missed the point that an interval of a fourth followed by an interval of a second from the tonic is indeed math and is the only thing that can be studied across genres as being effective in hit songs, beyond chord changes.

Rhythm is instinctive, interval crafting and instrument arrangement are craft. Every successful songwriter has picked apart the intervals of their favorite melodies and cataloged them.

The rhythmic treatment is a stylistic choice. And this is confirmed when you look at covers of songs that have a different syncopation.

The idea that melody is primarily about the number of words used is an idea that is easier for the public to grasp. Hence why you have taken that concept and ran with it like an end-all expert on "melodic math" deeming that "interval choices are not a part of the math". You are not going to hear Shellback or Max speak about interval choices because it would be lost on the public. You can barely even understand the importance of it and you are posturing like you know how a melody works. So why in the hell would they talk about it in an interview?

Interval choices are not trial and error, there are common intervals among hit songs that are used over and over again over the decades.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2015, 10:55:02 PM by soundoffhear »

Offline georg_e

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Re: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help
« Reply #23 on: August 04, 2015, 01:26:50 AM »
           ^   ^   ^

    "Brevity is the soul of wit"
     William Shakespeare, Hamlet


Offline AlexanderLaBrea

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Re: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help
« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2015, 01:54:34 AM »
I don't think you really grasped the point of this whole thread. I've NEVER said that intervals are not important. It surely is. And I would gladly discuss them in another forum where I (and you) are not responding to a direct question. This is a thread totally devoted to what we as outsiders (as I guess you're not either Shellback, Savan or any of the Wolf Cousins...) know about the melodic math. I'm sorry that you see me as some sort of evil mr. know it all, but given that I've studied Max's songwriting to unhealthy levels, and I circulate amongst the people either working with him now or have done so frequently in the past, I gladly share what I know to those who doesn't have the time or opportunity to take the time themselves. I'm no Billboard songwriter, and I spend time here because of my fascination with Max and that type of songwriting. I'm guessing the same goes for you?

There are only a select few that now all the ins and outs of the "Melodic Math". As I said before, some are public some are not as public and some I (and many of us in here) would give our left foot to know. But at least I can prove that time and time again, Max and his fellow companions have reused the same rhythmic structures, they continue to hit the chorus (amost exclusively) within 50 seconds, so on and so forth.
You sir on the other side, who are exactly as stubborn as you seem to think that I am, have not yet given any Max-related evidence of intervals that can be seen as a part of what they call "Melodic Math".

"Melodic Math" are helpful guidelines toward optimizing your song. If you have a cool chorus hook starting on the downbeat, then maybe it's a good idea not to start the verse and pre chorus on the downbeat as well. Same goes with rhythm. If the start of the chorus is chopped upp and syncopated, then a straight line to follow is the way to go to balance it out. If you havn't hit the chorus at 55 seconds, then maybe you should look at scrapping the pre chorus or whatever. There is a long list of things that are consequent in Max's songs, some 101'ish, some not, but listning to other writers, they are not nearly as consequent in using them. There seem to not be a silver lining in the use of certain intervals though, which is what we're looking for here. Maybe Elton John or some other really great writers have awesome theories on intervals, and I would love to hear them, but in this forum, we are focused on what can be purely pin pointed to Max's craft of songwriting.

If you can prove in any way that there is a certain set of intervals that Max uses (and that others fail to notice) then please prove me wrong and let me bow my head in shame, which I will. To me, intervals are incidental and it takes ear and gut feeling to write good ones. This is what Max has, Dr Luke has, and some others as well, and with their sense of melody and with help of the statistics involved in the "math" helps them become the world dominating writers they are.

I will point out though that you are absolutely right in what you said about Max's strenght being subtractive producing and what not. With all the mathematics in the world, he could not have been as succesful as he his without knowing when to remove stuff, when to let spaces be spaces, and when something is good or not. In later days, I'd say that DJ Mustard is a good example of the same principles, even if the music is entirely different. He may be the most talentless producer to ever have 7 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time, but he KNOWS what'll work and what is a hit or not. Max does as well. Most of us will never have that ability. And that can never be written down in a formula as such.

Now, wine! 
« Last Edit: August 04, 2015, 05:21:52 AM by AlexanderLaBrea »

Offline soundoffhear

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Re: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help
« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2015, 05:27:17 AM »
I will make this as short and to the point as I can.

I don't see where, as you claim, the original poster was not asking about intervals.

I simply made a contribution to point out the black art of interval adjusting that every successful songwriter that lasts more than a decade uses.

I posited that interval adjusting is part of the melodic math approach. If you can refute that with evidence, rather than your false offense that I would dare contribute such a notion, I'm open to examining that evidence.

I study many great songsmiths and purposeful interval tweaking is just as much apart of Max Martin's melody craftsmanship.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2015, 05:35:42 AM by soundoffhear »

Offline soundoffhear

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Re: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help
« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2015, 06:48:55 AM »
For those asking for examples of interval interplay used across multiple hits...

These songs use the same intervals in the verse and chorus for hook effect:
Britney - Not Yet a Woman: First line "I used to think" trains the ear for the first line of chorus "I'm not a girl" (feels like you've already heard it, because you have)
Backstreet - Larger than life: Same exact thing
Britney - Lucky: Same exact thing

As far as arrangement of static intervals vs large jumps used repeatedly, compare these songs verse-chorus intervals side by side:
Backstreet - Shape of my heart/Celine - That's the way it is
Avril - What the Hell/ P!nk - U + Ur Hand/Cosgrove - Oh Oh
Katy - One that Got Away/Backstreet - I Just Want You to Know
Britney - U Drive Me Crazy/Backstreet - Larger than Life/Bon Jovi - It's My Life
Backstreet - The Call/Britney - Overprotected/N Sync - It's Gonna Be Me
Katy - Hot n Cold/Kelly - My Life Would Suck
Ke$ha - Blow/Britney - 3
Tao Cruz - Dynamite/Usher - Scream
Katy - California Gurls/Jessie J - Domino
« Last Edit: August 04, 2015, 07:24:20 AM by soundoffhear »

Offline jelfmusic

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Re: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help
« Reply #27 on: August 04, 2015, 06:21:35 PM »
This is getting kinda funny. And once again... The original poster wasn't asking for YOUR take on Melodic Math, it was about what principles Max and his "crew" uses that fall under the banner "Melodic Math", and it is NOT intervals. My god. We're talking about western music here, and 7 notes give or take in any given key in the standard pop song. They are working with intervals in an interesting way sometimes, but when they do, the geniality (is that a word?) lies in the use of non-common intervals.

Just to make a point. You can have a great melody without intervals, but all melodies need to have rhythm. Which is something Max has utilized SO many times. Teenage Dream? It's all about the clever use of syncopation and straight notes. The melody is pretty much built on only one note until the "tail" (Don't ever look back...). Max is a genious at this one note thing and creating interesting things with rhythm and clever choices of tension and release. "Falling Slow", "Release You", "Rung Away With Me" (Shellback), etc. This is where the math of it all comes in. If you're singing a straight E over an C#m, B, E, A progression, the same note will have vastly different functionality over all 4 chords. And it will create tension over the B chord which is then released over the E etc.   

I agree with you that syllable counting is elementary. Do we know that the original poster knows these principles? No. And Max is more anal about this than probably everybody else out there. But as I said before, their "math" is built upon when to start on the downbeat and when not to, when to use a melody with long notes and when to use shorter busier melodies, using syncopation to balance out a melody that is otherwise straight 8th/4th/16ths and so forth. The interval choices are not a part of the math. WHEN intervals should occur, yes, which intervals to use, no. At least this is what we can conclude from all the interviews, articles, and also what has been said directly to me by people having worked with him.

I just want to respond to your quotes. The first one I don't even understand. Here he directly confirms that they use "mathematics"? Him together with Shellback.

Quote two: Melodies are just as much rhythm as it is intervals. This doesn't prove your point even for a second? Rhythm + intervals = melody. Rhythm can be math, the intervals is common music knowledge. Knowing how to put them together is what makes Max the best songwriter in the world, and this "alludation" and his gut feeling is what cannot really be teached. Otherwise there would be more Max Martins out there. There really isn't.

Quote three. I just sighed at this point. If you have listned to ANY Cheiron songs at all you'd know the principles applied to the counter melodies in the end of the songs. The principle was pretty much to use the same melody as the chorus, but move i back (or front, but usually back a beat), and then puzzle it together note wise to work with the original melody so that they can work together in the climax of the song.

I think I need to summarize... That intervals are important is an even more "101"-ish fact than syllable counting. What you need to understand though is that the melodic math is everything in between. The rhythmic structures, the song structure, how many seconds before you get to the chorus, how long intro's should be, syncopation choices, even lyrics to a certain degree, fundamental note choices (thirds etc.).
And outside all of these factors there will always be a human factor, where you need your trial and error. THAT is largly interval choices. And that is also why we need to stop talking about it in this particular thread in regards to the original poster. Because it is irrelevant to the topic!


 


Hi Alexander

I found this really interesting what you was discussing below.

If you're singing a straight E over an C#m, B, E, A progression, the same note will have vastly different functionality over all 4 chords. And it will create tension over the B chord which is then released over the E etc.   

Could you elaborate on why this is by any chance? I'm aware of perfect 5th's and root notes etc but is there any other reason?





Offline j.fco.morales

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Re: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help
« Reply #28 on: August 04, 2015, 06:36:27 PM »
This post is getting weird. Calm down your egos.

First, we need to agree that a good melody is built upon rhythm and intervals. It's not necessary to have multiple notes, you named yourself some examples.
Another step we need to agree is the Bonnie McKee one: counting syllabes and adding a tale if necessary.
To have some kind of juxtaposition between each part of the song: lots of syllabes in a verse = long notes in a chorus (Taylor Swift's We Are Never... and Katy Perry's Hot 'n Cold in the other way).

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A friend and I wrote a song with over C#m E Bb / F#m7 C#m G#m Bb progression with E and Bb being the lead melody notes in each part, all based in this Max math stuff.
If you want to listen and give me some feedback, would be great :D

Offline soundoffhear

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Re: MAX MARTIN MELODIC MATH. Help
« Reply #29 on: August 04, 2015, 07:11:19 PM »
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If you're singing a straight E over an C#m, B, E, A progression, the same note will have vastly different functionality over all 4 chords. And it will create tension over the B chord which is then released over the E etc.   

Could you elaborate on why this is by any chance? I'm aware of perfect 5th's and root notes etc but is there any other reason?

The E note is a 4th in relation to the B chord. The interval of a semi-tone (two notes right next to each other and in this case the 3rd of the B chord and the 4th in the melody) creates major dissonance (a severe type of interval tension). The ear goes nuts over dissonance, so a dissonant interval is well placed here and there. Typically using the 4th as an interval against a chord is considered a 'suspended 4th', because you would briefly play that note and then move it back to the 3rd to let the ear hear the triad (1st-3rd-5th). In this case it is not a sus4. This is because the melody note which is a 4th plays simultaneously with the 3rd in the chord = right next to each other (same-time semitone 3rd/4th) very exciting interval that needs resolution immediately!

Did you listen to those Max Martin examples I posted? Side by side you can find the intervals that he used to great effect to make already established songs that we were familiar with translate to boost new songs he put on the market, just by using similar intervals here and there.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2015, 07:18:23 PM by soundoffhear »