For those that have been following this series on Contemporary Composition, I premiered the song we’ve been constructing here at a concert on 9/24/12. The video of that performance is below. If this your first time visiting this site or series, please feel free to have a look around. If you go to the pull-down menu (categories) you can find our other posts.

In part 4 we will look at the overall form and creating contrasting sections. There are almost an infinite number of choices in deciding your overall form. Do you want an intro? AABA? ABA? ABAC? Intro-A-B-interlude? etc. For Back and Forth I wanted to keep it simple. I knew I had a 12-bar A-section. I personally like the AABA form because the melody gets repeated so the audience can remember the melody. This makes my B-section my contrasting section.

To create a contrasting section, you can go through the whole writing process (part 1-3) again or you can do something else. My A-section was already built with a non-traditional/non-functional way of writing. So I decided to make the B-section traditional/functional harmony. When I think of AABA forms…the most famous that comes to mind is the rhythm changes form. So I decided to make my B-section the equivalent of the rhythm changes B-section (Back and Forth is in Db, so that makes the first chord of the B-section an F7). I wont go into the “how-to” write B-sections of rhythm changes because they’re explained very well on other sites you can check out (here is pretty decent explanation on Wikipedia).

My B-section now looks like this: F7, Bb7, Eb7, Ab7.

In part 5 we will finish putting the chart together by tweaking chords and creating rhythmic hits. If you haven’t already, please be sure to check out my books (Breaking the Monotony and Targeting: Improvisation With Purpose) at my Digital Store.


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