Melody

A melody (from Greek μελῳδία, melōidía, "singing, chanting"),[1] also tune, voice or line, is a linear succession of musical tones that the listener perceives as a single entity. In its most literal sense, a melody is a combination of pitch and rhythm, while more figuratively, the term can include other musical elements such as tonal color. It is the foreground to the background accompaniment. A line or part need not be a foreground melody.

A bar from J. S. Bach's Fugue No. 17 in A-flat, BWV 862, from The Well-Tempered Clavier (Part I), an example of counterpoint. The two voices (melodies) on each staff can be distinguished by the direction of the stems and beams.
Voice 1
Voice 2
Voice 3
Voice 4

Melodies often consist of one or more musical phrases or motifs, and are usually repeated throughout a composition in various forms. Melodies may also be described by their melodic motion or the pitches or the intervals between pitches (predominantly conjunct or disjunct or with further restrictions), pitch range, tension and release, continuity and coherence, cadence, and shape.


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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Melody, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.