Tuning Up

In the November issue, we take a closer look on what it takes to craft a memorable tune.

For the first two installments of a three-part series on songwriting which we started this October, we pared songwriting down to the two main components of lyrics and music. First, we offered tips on how to craft your own lyrics with October’s “The Art of the Lyric.” As a guide on how to write the accompanying music to your lyrics, “The Art of the Tune” focuses on three musical elements of songwriting: rhythm, harmony, and melody. (The final installment, due in December, will focus on arranging a finished song.)

Thinking about rhythm, harmony, and melody while listening can help you to better understand the music that appeals to you. It can also help you to find inspiration for your own songs. Here are three songs we feel are good examples of rhythm, harmony, and melody. Take a listen and see if you can tell why we chose them, and consider what you like (or don’t like) about them.