Melody (TV series)

Summary

Melody
GenreChildren's television series
Created byLuke Howard[1]
Directed byLuke Howard
StarringAngharad Rhodes
Laura Bacon
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series2
Production
Executive producersMichael Towner (CBeebies)
Katy Jones (BBC Learning)[1]
ProducersWill Brenton[1]
Luke Howard
Running time7 minutes
Production companiesLAAH Entertainment[1]
BBC Music
Wish Films[1]
Release
Original release2 December 2013 (2013-12-02)[2] –
2015 (2015)
External links
Website

Melody is a British preschool mixed-media music childseries created by Luke Howard,[3] and produced by Wish Films and LAAH Entertainment for the BBC. Designed with disabled children in mind, it features a little girl with a visual impairment as the main character.[4] Melody is also available on BBC iPlayer.

Melody was developed with help from the RNIB Pears Centre in Coventry, which supports children with sight problems and additional needs. While helping to create the programme, the Pears Centre conducted research into animation and soundtracks that are easier for blind and partially sighted people to follow.

Premise

Melody introduces pre-school children to classical music through the main character's imagined stories, and specially created animations that are more enjoyable for visually impaired viewers.[4]

In each episode Melody undertakes an everyday activity with her mother. The fun she has, or the frustrations or difficulties she experiences, prompts her to want to listen to a piece of music. Her mother suggests a piece and gives Melody some headphones and an MP3 player to listen to it. Through animation, we are taken on an adventure through Melody's imagination as she listens to the music.

Cast and characters

Name Cast[5] About
Melody Angharad Rhodes A girl with an incredible imagination, who is partially sighted. Melody is played by 10-year-old partially sighted actress Angharad Rhodes, who was cast after being spotted at UCAN ("Unique Creative Arts Network"), a specialist theatre company in Cardiff for children with vision problems.
Mum Laura Bacon Melody's mum, who plays with her and presents her with music to listen to.
Fudge Himself Fudge is Melody's soft toy - a bright orange, and white, cat.

Production

The animations were produced by six different animation studios:[6]

  • Kingbee animation[7]
  • Keyframe Studios[8]
  • Finger Industries[9]
  • Tentacle Media[10]
  • Sea Monster[11]
  • Factory Transmedia

Character design was by the art director Keith Robinson who also oversaw the overall look of the animations.[12] He also designed the logo and branding for the series.[13][14] Lizzie Dyson designed the background.[15]

One of the show's producers, Will Brenton, explains that Melody's sight difficulties are never mentioned directly. "We often see her using her white cane, or placing her hand on top of her mum's whilst they cut something," he says. "It is never about what Melody can't do or needs help with, but always about what she can do and the methods she uses to do as much as most children."[4]

Broadcast

The first series of 20 programmes was broadcast on CBeebies, in the United Kingdom, in December 2013 and January 2014, with a two-week break after the tenth programme. These episodes are also audio-described; an additional vocal narrative track fills gaps in the dialogue with helpful information for those who can't see what's happening on screen.

A second series of 20 programmes started being broadcast in March 2015.[16]

Episodes

Series 1

# Title[17] Composer Piece Original UK air date[17]
1"Let's Race[18]"Sergei ProkofievRomeo and Juliet, Dance of the Knights2 December 2013 (2013-12-02)
Melody imagines two dinosaurs having a race. One is fast and the other is slow.
2"Muddy Melody[19]"Aaron CoplandFanfare for the Common Man3 December 2013 (2013-12-03)
Melody imagines she is a jungle explorer who has found a baby elephant playing in the mud.
3"Red Riding Hood[20]"Camille Saint-SaënsDanse Macabre4 December 2013 (2013-12-04)
Melody imagines the story of Little Red Riding Hood when she hears some dramatic music.
4"Fast Little Train[21]"Sergei ProkofievFinale: Molto vivace, fourth movement, from Symphony No. 15 December 2013 (2013-12-05)
Melody imagines a story about a little train who wants to make his journey go faster.
5"Promises[22]"Ralph Vaughan WilliamsFantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis6 December 2013 (2013-12-06)
Melody imagines a princess in a castle who breaks her promise to a frog.
6"The Lost Bee[23]"Nikolai Rimsky-KorsakovFlight of the Bumblebee from Act 3, The Tale of Tsar Saltan9 December 2013 (2013-12-09)
Melody listens to Flight of the Bumblebee by Rimsky-Korsakov and goes on a bee adventure.
7"Melody and the Snowman[24]"Pyotr Ilyich TchaikovskySugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier, from The Nutcracker10 December 2013 (2013-12-10)
Melody imagines a story of a lonely snowman and a little girl.
8"Best Friends[25]"Gustav HolstJupiter, from The Planets11 December 2013 (2013-12-11)
Melody listens to Jupiter by Holst and imagines the story of friends who are separated.
9"The Elves and the Shoemaker[26]"John AdamsShort Ride in a Fast Machine12 December 2013 (2013-12-12)
Melody listens to Short Ride In a Fast Machine composed by John Adams.
10"Butterfly Ball[27]"Luigi BoccheriniMinuet, third movement from String Quintet in E13 December 2013 (2013-12-13)
Melody imagines that she and Fudge are playing chase through a field of flowers.
11"Ugly Duckling[28]"Pyotr Ilyich TchaikovskyScène: Moderato, Lake in the Moonlight, the opening to Act II of Swan Lake30 December 2013 (2013-12-30)
Melody hears some music from Swan Lake and imagines the story of the ugly duckling.
12"Coat of Leaves[29]"Antonio VivaldiAllegro, third movement, from The Four Seasons, Concerto No. 3 in F major (Autumn)31 December 2013 (2013-12-31)
Melody listens to The Four Seasons - Autumn by Vivaldi, and imagines the seasons changing.
13"Flying High[30]"Ralph Vaughan WilliamsThe Lark Ascending1 January 2014 (2014-01-01)
Melody listens to The Lark Ascending and imagines a world of birds flying high.
14"Selfish Shellfish[31]"Camille Saint-SaënsAquarium, from Le carnaval des animaux (Carnival of the Animals)2 January 2014 (2014-01-02)
Melody listens to watery music and imagines a story about a selfish shellfish.
15"Tiptoe Troll[32]"Edvard GriegIn the Hall of the Mountain King, from Peer Gynt, Suite No.13 January 2014 (2014-01-03)
Melody imagines a story about trolls stealing treasure – including the king's crown.
16"Unlikely Partners[33]"Edward ElgarAdagio, first movement, from Cello Concerto in E minor6 January 2014 (2014-01-06)
Melody imagines a story a dancing hippo and mouse.
17"A Royal Stink[34]"George Frideric HandelOuverture, first movement, from Music for the Royal Fireworks Suite7 January 2014 (2014-01-07)
Melody asks for royal music, and Mum finds Music for the Royal Fireworks, by Handel.
18"When the Cat's Away[35]"Johann Strauss the YoungerAnnen Polka8 January 2014 (2014-01-08)
Melody accidentally leaves Fudge at Grandma's house.
19"Boat Ballet[36]"Erik SatieGymnopédie: 1. Lent et douloureux9 January 2014 (2014-01-09)
Melody imagines a beautiful boat ballet with dancing swans when she goes to the park.
20"The White Whale[37]"Edward ElgarNimrod, from Enigma Variations10 January 2014 (2014-01-10)
Melody listens to Nimrod by Edward Elgar and imagines some graceful dancing whales.

Series 2

# Title[17] Composer Piece Original UK air date[17]
1"Owl"BeethovenMoonlight Sonata ()
2"Gingerbread Man"Mikis TheodorakisZorba's Dance ()
3"The Fox and the Chicken"Dmitri ShostakovichJazz Suite No.1 III.Foxtrot ()
4"Wooden Horse"Jacques OffenbachInfernal Galop ()
5"Emperor's New Clothes"George Frideric HandelThe Arrival of the Queen of Sheba ()
6"Friendly Shadows"Benjamin BrittenSimple Symphony - Movement II. - Playful Pizzicato ()
7"Clever Magpie"Gioachino RossiniThe Thieving Magpie Overture ()
8"Princess and the Pea"Dmitri ShostakovichTahiti Trot ()
9"Balloon Ride"Johann Sebastian BachAir on the G String ()
10"Imagination"Camille Saint-SaënsThe Carnival of the Animals - Le cygne (The Swan) ()
11"Noisy Elephant"Wolfgang Amadeus MozartHorn Concerto No. 4 in E-flat major ()
12"Firebird"Igor StravinskyThe Firebird ()
13"Up the Hill"Modest MussorgskyNight on Bald Mountain ()
14"Storm"Benjamin Britten'Storm' Interlude from 'Peter Grimes ()
15"Rocket Trip"Gustav HolstTHe Planets - Mars, the Bringer of War ()
16"Who's at the Door"Ludwig van BeethovenSymphony No. 5 ()
17"Music Box"Claude DebussyClair de Lune ()
18"Little Blue Butterfly"George GershwinRhapsody in Blue ()
19"New Bell"John Philip SousaThe Liberty Bell March ()
20"Tallest Towers"Johann Sebastian BachToccata and Fugue in D Minor ()

Reception

Reaction from the partially sighted community has been "very exciting" according to Brenton. "They can really connect with an aspirational, capable character overcoming the same or similar obstacles."[4]

On the CBeebies Grownups blog,[38] one parent writes: "I find it difficult to find TV programmes for my visually impaired son that are easily accessible. I love the idea of having a young girl starring that is visually impaired, these sort of programmes are great in helping children that have additional needs feel less isolated."

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Kay Benbow. "CBeebies announces new shows - Media Centre". BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  2. ^ "CBeebies - Melody, Series 1 - Episode guide". BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Melody makers - BBC News – Ouch". 15 December 1013. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d "Melody makers". BBC News Ouch Blog. BBC. 15 December 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  5. ^ "IMDb - Melody". Retrieved 19 July 2014.
  6. ^ "CBeebies: Melody". Graphicmotion.co.uk. 19 March 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  7. ^ "Cbeebies Animated Childrens TV Series : London Animation Company UK". Kingbee.co.uk. 2 December 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  8. ^ "London Based Animation Studio - Animation. Games. Design". KeyframeStudios.co.uk. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  9. ^ "CBeebies new show 'Melody'!!! - Finger Industries". Fingerindustries.tumblr.com. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  10. ^ "Melody! |". Tentaclemedia.co.uk. 9 December 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  11. ^ "Melody • Sea Monster". Seamonster.co.za. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  12. ^ "Keith Robinson does work for CBeebies!". Brightgroupinternational.com. 6 December 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  13. ^ "CBeebies: Melody". Graphicmotion.co.uk. 19 March 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  14. ^ "CBeebies: Melody". Graphicmotion.co.uk. 19 March 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  15. ^ "Lizzie Dyson - Melody Cbeebies". Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
  16. ^ "Melody Broadcasts March 2015". BBC. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  17. ^ a b c d "Melody Episode Guide - bbc.co.uk". Retrieved 19 July 2014.
  18. ^ "CBeebies - Melody, Series 1, Let's Race". BBC.co.uk. 18 April 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  19. ^ "CBeebies - Melody, Series 1, Muddy Melody". BBC.co.uk. 17 May 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  20. ^ "CBeebies - Melody, Series 1, Red Riding Hood". BBC.co.uk. 1 May 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  21. ^ "CBeebies - Melody, Series 1, Fast Little Train". BBC.co.uk. 2 May 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  22. ^ "CBeebies - Melody, Series 1, Promises". BBC.co.uk. 25 April 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  23. ^ "CBeebies - Melody, Series 1, The Lost Bee". BBC.co.uk. 8 May 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  24. ^ "CBeebies - Melody, Series 1, Melody and the Snowman". BBC.co.uk. 24 April 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  25. ^ "CBeebies - Melody, Series 1, Best Friends". BBC. 10 April 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  26. ^ "CBeebies - Melody, Series 1, The Elves and the Shoemaker". BBC.co.uk. 9 May 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  27. ^ "CBeebies - Melody, Series 1, Butterfly Ball". BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  28. ^ "CBeebies - Melody, Series 1, Ugly Duckling". BBC.co.uk. 11 April 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  29. ^ "CBeebies - Melody, Series 1, Coat of Leaves". BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  30. ^ "CBeebies - Melody, Series 1, Flying High". BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  31. ^ "CBeebies - Melody, Series 1, Selfish Shellfish". BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  32. ^ "CBeebies - Melody, Series 1, Tiptoe Troll". BBC.co.uk. 6 March 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  33. ^ "CBeebies - Melody, Series 1, Unlikely Partners". BBC.co.uk. 9 March 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  34. ^ "CBeebies - Melody, Series 1, A Royal Stink". BBC.co.uk. 4 April 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  35. ^ "CBeebies - Melody, Series 1, When the Cat's Away". BBC.co.uk. 3 April 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  36. ^ "CBeebies - Melody, Series 1, Boat Ballet". BBC.co.uk. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  37. ^ "CBeebies - Melody, Series 1, The White Whale". BBC.co.uk. 13 March 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  38. ^ "CBeebies Grownups Blog". CBeebies Grown-ups. BBC. Retrieved 13 March 2015.

External links

  • Melody at BBC Online Edit this at Wikidata
  • Angharad Rhodes at IMDb
  • Luke Howard at IMDb
  • Laura Bacon at IMDb
  • LAAH Entertainment
  • YoungCalibre Chat with CBeebies Melody
  • UCAN (Unique Creative Arts Network)
  • MACS (The Micro and Anophthalmic Children’s Society)