Assignments

Assignment #20
  1. 1
    Base your song off of a dream you’ve had—recurring or otherwise.
  2. 2
    Feature two interweaving musical elements.
  3. 3
    Involve your subconscious by including some amount of improvisation in your recording.
Assignment #19
  1. 1
    Set your song at a motel during a meteor shower.
  2. 2
    Feature a “cascading” melody.
  3. 3
    During your process, spend some time outside at night alone.
Assignment #18
  1. 1
    Pulling from any three songs on the all-time Billboard Year-End Chart, borrow a lyric from one…
  2. 2
    A melody from another…
  3. 3
    And the vibe from a third, to bring a new original song to life.
Assignment #17
  1. 1
    Without being ironic, write in a genre you’ve never written in
  2. 2
    Address something new in your life
  3. 3
    Include a breakdown of some kind
Assignment #16
  1. 1
    Start your song with a chorus.
  2. 2
    Take lyrical inspiration from the Jurassic Period.
  3. 3
    Include some kind of primitive percussion.
Assignment #15
  1. 1
    Introducing them one at a time, create a stack of four equal-length, non-drum loops.
  2. 2
    With the loop stack running, add a fifth element on top—lead line, melody, whatever you please.
  3. 3
    Allow the fifth element to end and remove the loops, avoiding the reverse order in which they were added.
Assignment #14
  1. 1
    Write a theme song for an imaginary TV show.
  2. 2
    The show’s premise is equal parts your real life, and very much not your real life.
  3. 3
    Feature an instrument you have never featured before.
Assignment #13
  1. 1
    Borrow a phrase or line from Poetry Foundation’s Poem of the Day.
  2. 2
    Before considering any music, write all of the lyrics, including the borrowed line.
  3. 3
    Include at least one a cappella moment in the song.
Assignment #12
  1. 1
    Set a drone note to B2 (the resonant frequency of the Earth transposed up 5 octaves).
  2. 2
    Write over the drone—allow it to sustain throughout the piece.
  3. 3
    Derive inspiration from a specific geographic location on Earth.
Assignment #11
  1. 1
    Write a new main theme for any well-known movie (replace the score)
  2. 2
    Use a freakin’ huge dynamic range (quiet quiet parts, loud loud parts)
  3. 3
    Have the main melody appear in at least 2 distinct ways
Assignment #10
  1. 1
    Cover another chef’s NCBC song from weeks past, and do not tell that chef.
  2. 2
    Identify what you think the main instrument is, and replace it with something else.
  3. 3
    Use a piece of the song’s lyrics as your title.
Assignment #9
  1. 1
    Fictional product
  2. 2
    Fictional brand
  3. 3
    Must include a phone number or website
Assignment #8
  1. 1
    Write in a mode other than Ionian or Aeolian
  2. 2
    Use the rhythm of a vocal refrain to influence the rhythm of the instruments.
  3. 3
    Include at least two alliteration groupings of three [for instance: "bad backyard barbecue"]
Assignment #7
  1. 1
    Find the inspiration for this piece in a childhood memory that affected you emotionally in some way
  2. 2
    Lyrically, write a metaphor or an allegory to represent this memory
  3. 3
    Musically, include a hypnotic element
Assignment #6
  1. 1
    Compose your piece backwards (i.e. from outro to intro)
  2. 2
    Incorporate walking sounds into your piece—footsteps, stomping, etc.
  3. 3
    Include a modulation in either key or tempo.
Assignment #5
  1. 1
    Retell an existing fairy tale
  2. 2
    Use a Shakespearean sonnet rhyme scheme: ABAB CDCD EFEF GG
  3. 3
    Only use instruments that don't require electricity to function
Assignment #4
  1. 1
    Wiki: On this page, click the random article generator three times, and let one of those articles inspire your piece.
  2. 2
    Wind: Incorporate a non-vocal instrument that uses air to generate its sound.
  3. 3
    Waltz: Write this song in triplet time.
Assignment #3
  1. 1
    Write a lullaby
  2. 2
    Keep it under one minute
  3. 3
    Include a melody from a song that came out the year you were born
Assignment #2
  1. 1
    Feature a palindromic melody
  2. 2
    Make the title of your song a palindrome
  3. 3
    Structure your song as a palindrome (ex: verse, chorus, chorus, verse)
Assignment #1
  1. 1
    Use only one chord
  2. 2
    Feature sounds made with non-musical objects found in your home
  3. 3
    Write about a place you miss