Christian Songwriting - Melody Writing

People frequently wonder where melodies come from, and I suppose the real mystery is, if a tune just pops into your head, seemingly from nowhere, where did it originate? How did it come to exist? Is it merely the result of the subconscious mind at work?

Unfortunately, that's not a question I think I can answer fully. But I can say that if the Creator made us all in His image, then the spark of creativity exists within us all. Music may not necessarily be the strongest way that spark is exhibited in each one of us, but still, we all have a creative streak.

Assuming the creative nature you have is strong in the music area, you will normally have no difficulty producing a tune. It should be as natural to you as flying is to a bird - natural, but not effortless. Like any other art, your musical creativity should flow from the ability God has given to you. That doesn't mean it will never be hard work to write. Writing can be as demanding as any other discipline. Even God's acts of creation were described as work! But, by and large, you should be writing out of the ability you have within. However, there may still be times when you get stuck. Try as you may, nothing seems to come.

Methods of overcoming "writer's block", as it is called, are presented elsewhere. Nevertheless, it would be helpful for you to review the chord progressions we listed in our section on harmony in the last chapter, because a chord progression will often suggest a melody you may be able to use.

But for those who need a more analytical approach to writing a melody, or are just starting out, or plain stuck, this section is devoted to techniques you can use to develop a melody to match your lyrics (assuming you've already got them), with a few hints on how to write a melody from scratch.

Now read: Melody Writing - Imitation

Lyric Writing - Rhyme | Lyric Writing - Lyrical Hooks | Song Content - Song Plan | Song Structure | Musical Elements | Rhythmic Devices | Melody Writing | Writer's Block