Hope you enjoyed our Part 1 blog. In this Part 2 blog, we will dive a bit more about the structure of the song composition and arrangement of the melodies required.
Not always but generally, Desi songs have a distinctive structure. Each song could have the following sections in succession:
- An opening instrumental melody
- An opening verse (either full or part of which may be reused in the Chorus)
- Melodic instrumental interlude
- Several core verses (usually 2-3 in a typical song)
- Chorus (the melody of the verse-chorus combo may loop a few times)
- Melodic instrumental interlude between each verse-chorus loop
- An ending melody (some sort of instrumental crescendo)
- Background melody arrangements for the vocal sections
This structure means that a typical song would need between 7-12 unique melodies to be composed. Adding background melody arrangements could easily double the number, given the number of layers one might add to the song.
In terms of how we came up with the structure, we first composed the main vocal sections which were the opening verse (#2), the core verses (#4) and the Chorus (#5). Then we wrote the lyrics for these vocals (a topic for another future blog). Once the melodies and lyrics were in place for the main vocal sections, the melodies and the percussion rhythms for the opener (#1), Interludes (#3), Background arrangements (#8) were put in place. Lastly, came the interludes between the verse-chorus loops (#6) and the song ending (#7).
Then came the process of stitching together all these different sections. We practiced each section individually, then started playing them collectively - adding and subtracting as we went along. For instance, there was a point in the song where it felt too heavy with many layers seemingly competing with each other. So we went with just the vocals and just the background percussion forming the foundation.We also liked incorporating stops in the middle.
Stops and breaks can be an effective way to transition from one melody to another or to change the beat. While we have not attempted this yet, spoken word (rap) can also bring uniqueness to a song, so the melodies in the song do not get too repetitive. We plan to explore this in our future attempts. Lots of fun, creativity, and learning for the band as part of the process!