Maloney Department of Music & Theatre

Melody Writing #1


Compose a correct melodic line using Finale


  • Pick a key, time signature and tempo when you start in the Finale Setup Wizard
  • Begin and end on the same note. It needs to sound finished to you
  • Keep this in sections of 4. Phrases are rarely longer than 4 measures and most music you listen to has melodic ideas that are 4, 8 or 12 measures in length
  • While music can certainly be complex and can include complex rhythms, the melody is usually quite simple. If you can't sing it or sight read it on your instrument, it is too complicated. Famous songs are often popular because they are catchy and they can be easily sung by most people (in the shower, walking down the halls, etc). 
  • Notes in the melody need to have friends. If you leave a note away from other notes, it will sound disconnected. If you make a leap, connect it to the next set of notes. 


  • Diatonic (within a key)
  • Simple
  • Connected 
  • Resolved ending 
  • Attention to form (amount of measures)

This should take one class period. 

If you finish early, which you likely will, feel free to experiment with some harmony with your melody. Just make sure you copy and paste your melody below the original and experiment with the copy. This way you do not ruin your original melody. 

Be sure to save your work. 


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Department of Music & Theatre