I recently had a long discussion with my supervisor regarding the musicology of melody, which I can sum up as follows:
- Musicological studies of melody are not as rich and comprehensive as, say rhythm and harmony. In general, the theory is scarce.
- Much of the existing analyses have been speculative and inconclusive.
- The one theory of which there have been successful follow-ups when it comes to the study of melody is Leonard Meyer's theory of musical expectation.
- There is no general agreement as to how melodic structures are perceived as there generally is when it comes to harmony.
He's yet to share some references pertaining to this with me, so I thought I'd ask around here as well.
I'm a bit confused now as to how I can pursue this subject. I'm not a music scholar but I'm interested in resources related to musicology of melody as my research is on computational modelling of melody. I'm mainly looking for background literature, firstly to know what sort of musicological analyses of melody exist/are possible, and secondly what are the difficulties one faces when it comes to the musicological analysis of melody that are unique to this musical dimension unlike harmony and rhythm?
I understand that this question is very broad and does not address the musical tradition, style, and so on. Anything thoughts ranging from specific to general from those who are familiar with this subject would be greatly appreciated! Also, please do suggest if I can phrase my questions more meaningfully.