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Vixen Need ideas for prosody workshop (28) RE: Need ideas for prosody workshop 02 Mar 07

What Dan said--the marriage between the melody and the lyric must be "speakable!" That *is* a function of meter, and knowing the different metrics of stressed and unstressed syllables in "naturally spoken" language (English is the only one I'm competent to write in...) and how they translate musically is *very* important. Just that aspect of meter alone would be a workshop in itself--an exemplar of this kind of work is the translation of "Aura Lee" to "Love Me Tender". This would be the aspect of prosody that deals with iambs (stressed/unstressed), anapests (unstressed, unstressed, stressed), etc. There's trochees, spondees, and a mess of others.

However, if your audience is a bunch of lyricists who are not necessarily the melody composers or the harmonic arrangers, some of them might not be interested in this kind of "metrical" prosody (just like they might not be interested in finding an appropriate key or mode for a lyric). Songwriting is a manifold venture, and some people focus more on words, some focus more on music, and some focus on both more or less simultaneously.

After reading Dan's post, I'm thinking you probably want to prepare two or three exercises that focus on the different aspects of prosody in songwriting, just in case you get a group of composers or arrangers, instead of lyricists.

Good luck!


PS, a good "take-away" to prepare for this kind of thing is a handout with the definitions and examples of the prosodic terms you cover.

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