This chapter studies Mitchell's intricate melodic structures. The first section shows how she devises variations on standard popular song forms. The second section examines her nonformulaic approach to phrase structure. Proportions are often irregular due to harmonic extension and metric disruption. Phrases relate to one another through patterns of parallelism, contrast, and complementarity (“open/closed” pairings). The third section explores expressive effects made possible through melodic contour, and characterizes two dramatic paradigm shifts in her approach to melody.
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