Previous           Contents          Index           Next

BASIC PATTERNS

The purpose of this program is to illustrate patterns or repeating elements of music found in "Top 40" pop tunes.

Drum Beats are the easiest patterns to recognize because they are short and repeated often. This program has only one drum beat.  [To hear the drum beat, click the Drums button and the Play button in the Main window.]

Bass Lines are also easy patterns to recognize, for the same reasons. This program changes Bass Line patterns every four bars by default.  [To hear a bass line, select a chord progression for use in the Chord Progression window and then click the Bass button and the Play button in the Main window.]

Chord Progressions are easy to recognize because they do not usually exceed four chords each and are normally repeated often. This program has several pre-written forms chord progressions and allows for new ones to be generated as well.  [To hear a chord progressions, select a chord progression for use in the Chord Progressions window and then click the Play button in the Main window.]

Melody Phrases are the hardest patterns to recognize because they often appear with variations that obscure the basic pattern. [To hear a melody, make a phrase in the Melody (Phrases) window and then click the Play button in the Main window.]

The program illustrates the following basic patterns.

BASS LINES

Bass Lines have a length of 4 bars.

Bass Line types are:

Root root held throughout the bar
Dotted Root root repeated in "dotted" rhythm i.e., a dotted quarter note followed by an eighth note followed by a half note
Root Fifth root on the first beat of each bar and dominant on the third beat of each bar
Dotted Root-Fifth root and fifth as in Root-Fifth (above) but in "dotted" rhythm as in Dotted Root (above)
Walking Scale bass moves in quarter notes up and down the notes of a scale
Walking Chord bass moves quarter notes up and down notes of a chord (presently, triads only)

Bass Lines are set automatically by the program unless manually set in the Bass Lines window.

CHORD PROGRESSIONS

Chord progressions have a standard length of 4 bars (typically one chord in each bar).

The standard length can be compressed to 2 bars (by inserting 2 chords in each bar) or expanded to 8 bars (by inserting 1 chord in every other bar) or expanded to 16 bars (by inserting one chord in every 4 bars).

Chord progressions can be "phase shifted" beginning on any chord in the sequence, e.g.:

example sequence I VI IV V
phase shifted one position,
beginning on the second
chord in the sequence
VI IV V I
phase shifted two positions,
beginning on the third
chord in the sequence
IV V I VI
phase shifted three positions, 
beginning on the fourth 
chord in the sequence
V I VI IV

Chord Progressions are generated in the Chord Progressions window.

MELODY (PHRASES)

Phrases have a standard length of 2 bars. A phrase can be divided into smaller 1-bar units (either the first bar or the second bar of a 2-bar unit) or grouped together into larger (4-bar, 8-bar or 16-bar) units.

A phrase normally starts on the first beat of one bar and usually ends on the first beat of the next bar. However, phrases can be shifted up to 3 beats ahead (i.e., pick-up notes) or 2 beats behind the first beat of the bar.

Phrases have these features:

Contour the shape of the phrase (flat line, rising line, falling line etc.)
Duration  the time between the onset of the first note in the phrase and the release of the last note. Duration may vary between one-half a beat (a single eighth note) and 16 half beats (8 beats).
Range the interval (musical distance) between the highest and lowest pitches in the phrase
Spread notes within a phrase can be spread out in different ways. Think of spreading your fingers on a table top; fingers can be spread evenly or clustered in the center or clustered (with difficulty) to either side with a gap in the middle.

Melody Phrases are made up in the Melody (Phrases) window.