It’s interesting that music rhythm is rarely acknowledged in regards to piano melody when it plays a crucial role in creating the melodies. Many composing guides leave the melody music rhythm unexplored. I think most assume that the music rhythm comes naturally when composing the piano melody.
Melody music rhythm is as powerful accompaniment as the harmony. Like harmony, the rhythm of the piano melody can make a song sound upbeat, happy, or gloomy and slow. Music rhythm is so powerful, that changing the rhythm of a well-known song can make it unrecognizable to the listener.
How can you use music rhythm to enhance your piano melody? Music is all about creating tension, rising towards some sort of climax, and then releasing the tension. Music rhythm can be used to enhance this process. The purpose of music rhythm is the same as the purpose of harmony. It’s used to create tension, so that there can be relaxation. As discussed in *Unrestrained Melody Composition, there are some tones that are expected. Similarly, there are rhythms that are expected.
Unexpected Music Rhythm
|Expected Music Rhythm|
Expected Music Rhythm
In the relaxation process, you can use an expected rhythm to enhance the release. Notes that fall on the dots above are expected; the audience is more accustom to hearing notes played at that time. So when you are descending or relaxing from a climax, a regular beat can help the release. Twilight March is an example of one of our songs that reaches a climax with an irregular beat, followed with a very steady release and relaxation. The climax is towards the end of the song.
Next time you are stuck at the keyboard, attempting to compose, try varying the music rhythm of the notes. Your ears might be surprised at the unexpected piano melody.