~ Notation Exercise ~

Write a Melody to Fit a Chord Progression

You will write a four-measure melody, ending on the first beat of a fifth measure, that fits this common chord progression: I, V, vi, IV, I.

  • Requirements for this exercise:
  • A title centered at the top of the score, the text of the title is up to you.
  • Your full name should be placed in the composer field, below and to the right of the title.
  • Your piece should use the Grand Staff (piano staff) and will have chords in the bass clef and your melody in the treble clef.
  • You will need a 4/4 Time Signature.
  • The Key Signature for one of the following keys: C, G, D, A, F, or Bb.
  • Your Chord Progression must be I, V, vi, IV, I in the key you chose. For example, if you chose C, your chords will be C (I), G (V), Am (vi), F (IV). Here is an example of what your chord progression might look like.
  • Melody: The first note of every measure must belong in the chord that is below it. I.e. if your chord is C (which contains the notes CEG), then your melody note must be C, E, or G.
  • Melody: Keep your rhythm interesting by including at least two eighth notes in every measure.
  • Melody: Your melody should be mostly steps, however you are required to leap at least twice. Leaps/skips (anytime your notes skip a letter) MUST be to and from a note that belongs in the chord below it. For example, if your chord is C (CEG), you can skip between C and E, C and G, and E and G, but NOT between C and F (because F is not in the chord!). Any note is allowed when you step, as long as beat 1 of every measure belongs in the chord below it.
  • End your piece in the fifth measure with a whole note in the melody and a whole note chord. The chord in the fifth measure must be I, in C this would be a C chord. The melody note in the fifth measure needs to belong to the chord below it, as in the rules above, but to really sound finished it should be the tonic note (the name) of your chosen key.
  • If you are using MuseScore, you might want to use this template file to get started. Here is a PDF template if you prefer to print.
  • Always try to submit assignments early so that the instructor might be able to give you some feedback. That way, if there are any problems you can resubmit a corrected version.
  • When using a notation program for one of these assignments, you will need to export your score as a PDF. Most notation programs will have an "Export as PDF", or "Print as PDF" option. If it doesn't, consider changing programs. Once you have your score saved as a PDF, upload it to the assignment in your course. Here are instructions for exporting a PDF in MuseScore. And here are instructions for exporting a PDF using Flat.io.