I've studied direct modulation and I understood it.
I've tried searching about "melodic modulation", but I couldn't find the meaning of it.

Could you please explain to me what "melodic modulation" is in music?

  • could it be that melodic is referring to melodic minor alternately to harmonic minor? Apr 15, 2020 at 20:16
  • I think a little more context would help. For example what motivated you to search for "melodic modulation"?
    – user50691
    Apr 15, 2020 at 20:42
  • 2
    I've never heard of direct modulation or melodic modulation. I wonder if a dodgy website's involved. Apr 15, 2020 at 23:47

2 Answers 2


That’s what I’ve found about Modulation in the melody

In many folk songs or chorales, modulation is already predetermined by the melody.

and the this example:

enter image description here

(German wiki)

It shows how the melody is “modulating” from D to A-major and B-minor using melodic segments and leading tones(by augmentation = sharp -> lead-tone).

Wiki e says:

Melodic: recognizable segment of the scale of the quasi-tonic or strategically placed leading-tone


'Direct modulation' is a widely-used term for when you reach a cadence in one key then directly set off in a different one. No pivot chord or modulatory passage.

As you have discovered from your lack of search results, 'Melodic modulation' is not a standard term. So its definition is whatever you want it to be! (Where did you encounter the term? If in a textbook, THAT'S where you should look for the writer's definition of what he means by it.)

What MIGHT 'Melodic modulation' mean? Well, obviously there's going to BE a melody, not just a chord sequence. If you're playing in C major and start introducing F sharps, the melody could be said to be taking us on a melodic modulation into G major. (Presumably the chords will follow. Which might explain why describing 'Melodic modulation' as a separate thing doesn't happen much.)

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