I've been playing piano for 10 years, and I've never really thought of it until now, but it seems as if the right hand almost always plays the melody, and the left hand plays the accompaniment. Similarly in an orchestra, the lower end always accompanies the violins and such.

What is the reason for this? Why is it that if I play the accompaniment on the right hand and the melody on the left, it oftentimes sounds bad?

  • There is definitely cases of of polyphony where there is multiple melodies of equal importance that may very easily be in both hands. You may just have been playing Homophonic pieces for the longest while. – Neil Meyer Sep 1 '15 at 6:39
  • But in homophonic pieces, the melody is still usually played by the right hand. – michaeljan Sep 1 '15 at 6:51
  • 2
    Because sopranos would go on a Diva-rant if they didn't get the melody – Carl Witthoft Sep 1 '15 at 11:40