Melody
(MEL-oe-dee)


[Eng.]


A tune; a succession of tones comprised of mode, rhythm, and pitches so arranged as to achieve musical shape, being perceived as a unity by the mind. In a piece of music where there is more than one voice, or where harmony is present, the melody is the dominant tune of the composition.


SUGGESTED LISTENING EXAMPLES:

Melody, Baroque:
Bach: Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C minor, BWV 1060, II
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 2, Track 53
Handel: Samson, "Let the Bright Seraphim"
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 2, Track 54
Monteverdi: L'incoronazione di Poppea, Act I, Scene 4, "Speranza tu mi vai"
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 2, Track 57

Melody, Classical:
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, K. 467, II (piano entrance)

W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 3, Track 6
Haydn: Concerto for Trumpet in E-flat major, III
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 2, Track 9
Mozart: The Magic Flute, Act II, "Oh Isis and Osiris"
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 1, Track 58

Melody, climax:
Strauss: Don Juan, Op. 20

W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 1, Track 3
Holst: The Planets, Op. 32, "Jupiter, The Bringer of Jollity"
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 1, Track 50

Melody, continuous, Baroque:
Bach: Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C minor, BWV 1060, II

W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 2, Track 53
Bach: The Art of the Fugue, BWV 1080. Contrapunctus I
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 1, Track 25
Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 in B-flat major, BWV 1051, III
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 1, Track 38

Melody, endless:
Wagner: Tristan und Isolde, Prelude

W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 3, Track 29

Melody, Impressionist:
Ravel: Boléro (opening, flute)

W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 1, Track 44
Debussy: Préludes, Book I, "La cathédrale engloutie"
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 3, Track 34

Melody, Medieval:
Gregorian chant: Whitsunday Mass, "Alleluia, Emitte spiritum"

W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 2, Track 37
Machaut: Nesque on porroit les estoiles nombrer
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 2, Track 39

Melody, Renaissance:
Josquin Desprez: Ave Maria . . . virgo serena

W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 2, Track 43
Weelkes: Welcome sweet pleasure
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 2, Track 45

Melody, Romantic:
Borodin: Prince Igor, "Polovetsian Dances" (main theme, B section)

W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 2, Track 5
Verdi: Rigoletto, "La donna é mobile"
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 1, Track 56
Wagner: Tristan und Isolde, Prelude
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 3, Track 29

Melody, singable, Romantic:
Borodin: Prince Igor, "Polovetsian Dances" (main theme, B section)

W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 2, Track 5
Chopin: Fantaisie-Impromptu in C-sharp minor, Op. 66 (bridge to second theme and opening of second theme)
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 3, Track 14
Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 (From the New World), II
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 1, Track 35

Melody, top voice:
Weelkes: Welcome sweet pleasure

W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 2, Track 45

Melody, 20th century:
Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring, "Sacrificial Dance of the Chosen One"

W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 3, Track 38
Bernstein: On the Waterfront, "Love Theme"
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 3, Track 74
Villa-Lobos: Bachianas brasileiras, No. 5, I
W. W. Norton - 4-CD Musical Example Bank -- Disc 3, Track 70

| Dictionary Home | Dictionary Appendix |