Lyrics Assignment Music Composition Assignments   William Wieland
Composition Component — We will choose a text and each set it to music, then compare results.
  1. Please e-mail a SHORT text to me before class on Thursday. (This is 20% of your assignment grade.) It could be a poem, a tweet, a Bible verse, etc. I will collate them in one e-mail.
  2. When you read my collated e-mail, please choose your favorite text or texts and reply to me before Friday night.
  3. You may vote for one or more texts. I will even accept half votes.
  4. I will e-mail everyone our chosen text early on Saturday morning. Set the text to music for either Tuesday or Thursday of next week. Obviously we are writing for voice, but you may include others, e.g. an accompaniment, backup vocals, etc.

Consider the following:
  • Accents
  • Metered music versus Non-metrical music (music with a regular time signature versus music without a regular pulse)
  • Syllabic, Neumatic, or Melismatic (one, several, or many notes per syllable)
  • Word Painting
  • Melodic Contour
  • Conjunct versus Disjunct Motion (steps versus leaps)
Reading/Listening Component

Libby Larsen is a composer from the Twin Cities. Read her page entitled On Setting Text.

Setting Text in English to Music by Matthew C. Saunders offers excellent advice even if your text is not in English.  

Melodic Language & Linguistic Melodies: Text Setting in Ìgbò presents a number of interesting points.

Finally, listen to Puccini.