Learn to play harmonica. MUSIC 102 Put this video on pause and read these side-bar notes first! The way most music is played when you perform it is – you play the song (the melody) or perhaps you sing it – or vice versa – then you improvise – then you close off in whatever way you wish – by playing the melody or singing it again .. or some variation of this formula. It’s when it’s time to improvise that befuddles newbies. This need not be! There is a practical way to go about composing a song and improvising. It’s known as “call & response.” ‘Call and response’ – refers to an exchange of phrases. The phrase may be 2 bars long, – or 4, – or 8. It’s a structure that’s rooted in the folk traditions of choral singing of many peoples – and was used by African slaves and their descendants in the USA, when it became the backbone prescription for the blues. It’s heard in almost every 12 bar blues song! And you hear it, if you listen, in much rock and roll, gospel, jazz , etc.. Let’s examine how the 12-bar blues is structured and see how the call & response principle is employed – The 12 bar blues consists of THREE PHRASES. Each PHRASE is four bars long. The first phrase makes a statement {makes a call} ~ The second phrase {is a response} ~ it repeats the statement exactly (or with a variation) ~ The third phrase resolves or completes the statement. HOW TO GO ABOUT COMPOSING A SONG. One way is to compose the lyrics and then put a melody to it. Because of space constraints I’ll

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