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Questions tagged [melody]

A succession of notes which comprise the principal part in harmonized music.

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49
votes
10answers
21k views

Why can't drums produce melody?

A note is a vibration at a certain frequency. A drum produces a tone with a certain pitch much like a string percussed with a mallet. Why is a drum unfit for playing a melody while a string inside a ...
30
votes
7answers
32k views

What is the relationship between the melody line and the rhythm chords?

Let's say I've written a song with the chord progression I-IV-V in the key of A (just as an example). So, the chords I'm playing are A-D-E. When playing a lead over this rhythm, what notes do I need ...
28
votes
9answers
23k views

How to dramatically change the feeling of a song while keeping the melody largely the same?

How to dramatically change the feeling of a song while keeping the melody largely the same? Let's say we have a happy, upbeat pop song and we want to turn it into a sad song (or vice versa). Is it ...
27
votes
12answers
22k views

Learning to create melodies

I've researched my question on Google before and came across a few threads which I've read a couple of times. So far I've got into music theory and understand scales, how chords are formed, I know ...
22
votes
5answers
15k views

Is it possible to find the correct chords from melody notes alone?

I'm caught up in this thought. My friend gave me just the melody notes of a song. Here it is, So, here is the problem: "without having the chords supplied, there is no way of knowing what the chords ...
21
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do melodies have harmonies?

It seems to me that every melody can be assigned chords. Although different people may assign different chords, in many cases, only certain chords (a small subset of all possible chord choices) seem ...
19
votes
7answers
10k views

How to make melodies effectively?

Are there any tricks that help make melodies besides just experimenting until you find something that sounds nice?
18
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4answers
7k views

What are the most common ways to “decorate” a melody?

Yes, I know, there are way too many possibilities and it depends on the style of the music... I would be happy with an incomplete list for beginners (like me). Here is what I have so far: ...
13
votes
7answers
3k views

Can chords be inferred from melody alone? [duplicate]

Some vids about arranging on fingerstyle guitar say to figure out the chords first either by ear or through tabs, then to play the melody on top of them. But that seems like too much work. For one, ...
13
votes
5answers
22k views

How do I become a better electronic music producer?

I am 18 years old. I love music and I would love to make it and maybe become a music composer. However I do not know anything about music theory or anything. I can't play any instrument or so. When I ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

How to make C lydian not sound like G ionian?

What are some concrete melodic and harmonic tools to establish the correct tonic center in a lydian melody? The reason for asking about lydian specifically is that there is no minor seventh for the ...
11
votes
7answers
6k views

Techniques for creating melodies

I've posted this question: Learning to create melodies I've got a few ideas of techniques towards creating melodies but wanted to ask if there are any specific methods to help get better. I've read: ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Melodic Minor - Uses

The one problem I have with the Melodic Minor is that I just don't know how and where to use it. From my comprehension, it is the Minor scale when descending and when ascending it has a maj6 and maj7. ...
11
votes
6answers
40k views

Any quick way to know if my tune is already used?

When I come up with a lick/melody, there always lingers that question of "Has this melody already been used?" Should I worry about it or is there a way to find out without too much hassle?
10
votes
2answers
861 views

Melody for haiku poem?

Are there any popular melody or tune to sing a haiku poem?
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Would the melodic leap of the opening phrase of Mozart's K545 be considered dissonant?

The Complete Musician by Steven Laitz states that melodic intervals larger than a fifth are considered dissonant and should be avoided. It also states that two leaps of a third are fine, provided you ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

What do you call this alternating melodic pattern?

I hear the following in string parts a lot in intense movie scenes or certain styles of music. I don't think that this falls under the categorization of Alberti Bass since it's functioning as a ...
9
votes
7answers
7k views

Why do some arrangements of notes make a good melody and some don't?

A note by itself is not always particularly pleasant to hear. Why do some specific combinations of notes make a good, pleasant melody? Why are some people good at coming up with such pleasing ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

I can't produce songs

I'm a guitarist, playing with 3-4 bands 4-5 days a week. I also study Sound Engineering and doing recording, arranging and mixing. My literature is not bad, and I have a good music education. ...
9
votes
2answers
201 views

How to make the dominant preparation less boring?

This is one thing that I have always noticed when I compose a sonata. Even if I can get through most of the development section in sonata form, the dominant preparation sort of grinds my gears. I'm ...
9
votes
2answers
528 views

How can whole tone melodies sound more interesting?

How can one make melodies made from whole tone scales sound more interesting & appealing? Unlike melodies based in a certain mode or a key, whole tone scales use only tones as the intervals. This ...
9
votes
6answers
718 views

What causes notes to appear to follow a progression of melodic expectations? How does this work?

If I play a single note, it by itself doesn't evoke a melody or tune. But if I play a sequence of notes, suddenly relationships spring up between them. For instance, if I play CDEFGABC, I don't hear ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Do all jazz musicians [in a band] need to know a song's melody?

[As a bassist] when I learn a new jazz song, I try to learn the melody as well as the harmony. That way [I believe] I can improvise better and sound that I improvise on the song and not just on the ...
8
votes
3answers
176 views

Unintentional plagiarism while composing

I have recently started composing using some knowledge that I got after a few months of studying counterpoint and harmony (well it is more like trying to compose). And I have mentioned that quite ...
8
votes
2answers
288 views

Eartraining: What to learn after mastering interval recognition?

(This is for relative pitch, absolute pitch gods please don't descend from heaven) I've been learning to recognize intervals for the past year or so, and I have to say I'm very good at it. (Mostly by ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

Why do these two songs seem impressive yet are easy to “sing”

Sorry for the snarky title, but I am genuinely curious if there is some fundamental musical properties to these songs that make them the "go-to" songs for their typical amateur performers. (Also, ...
8
votes
1answer
468 views

Musicology of Melody

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 ...
7
votes
2answers
14k views

Polyphony vs Homophony in Hymns

I understand that polyphony is multiple melodies, while homophony is a single melody with chordal accompaniment (in my own words). I've read that hymns are generally homophonic, yet I find that hymns ...
7
votes
3answers
138 views

Which notes are skeletal?

I have been told to figure out which notes in Mozart's theme are skeletal and which ones are just embellishments before I develop my Theme and Variations. But I don't know how to tell if a note is ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Sources of musical tension

I understand that harmonic tension occurs when you hang on a chord which "wants" to resolve, like a chord with a leading tone or certain dissonant intervals. Are there other sources of harmonic ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

How to convert what I'm singing to notes

I've been trying for months to get the songs in my head down to piano. But whenever I try none of the notes seem to fit what I'm singing. I'm guessing this is because I'm either A: out of tune or B: ...
6
votes
3answers
908 views

Writing a melody that forms second harmonies with a chord progression

When i write a melody over a chord progression, i notice that some of the notes from the melody, form second interval harmonies with the chord notes. Am i allowed, at least as a beginner, to do this ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Chords behaving as a melody

I've been learning some Christmas carols on the guitar and I noticed that the chord structure they have is very different from what I can usually see in popular/rock music. I noticed that the ...
6
votes
3answers
693 views

Are modes in jazz primarily a melody thing?

I was wondering when jazz cats talk about how they'd use a Lydian scale to improvise over a major chord, or a Dorian scale to improvise over a minor chord they're mainly talking about the melody? So ...
6
votes
3answers
932 views

Do you always play the melody louder than the accompaniment, unless specified?

The moonlight sonata 1st movement by Beethoven, for example, has a melody on top with an accompaniment with the left AND right hand (starts at measure 5). People usually say that you play the melody ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Why does a melodic half step resolve on the higher note?

What is so special about a melodic half step that makes it "want" to go up (As in the leading tone to the tonic). Why isn't there as much resolution in a melodic half-step downwards?
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Which notes are bass line, versus melody line, in a rock song?

I'm actually learning piano, and in piano i can play the bass with my left hand and the melody with my right hand. But it doesn't seem to be the case with guitars and i assume that one guitar should ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Average Melody Range

When it comes to melodies they may take on many different shapes, timbers, and rhythms based on style and instrument. The range however of a melody however it seems that certain ranges are much, much ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Melody Writing - Tension & Release

I'm back with a more specific question. I read in a book entitled 'Complete Idiots Guide for Music Composition' which has a detailed discussion on writing melodies and techniques to do so. As I have ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What are these aspects of song structure called?

In songs, we often have very similar melodies and rhythm patterns being repeated over and over again. The following is an approximate melody of one stanza of Willy O' Winsbury as performed by ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star used everywhere?

We've all heard the lullaby Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. It's madly famous. Today I noticed that the melody used in the piece is actually used in The Alphabet Song. ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ or ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Motifs in melody writing

I read in many books/teachings etc. that the first step for creating a melody is to come up with a motif, and use that for further development. Are all melodies created like that? I hear melodies that ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

What is it called when the accompaniment and vocal melody don't match?

I decided I would like to learn to chord an acoustic guitar, primarily to play classic country music for relaxation. I also wanted to understand the basis and structure of music, especially chords. I ...
5
votes
2answers
984 views

Why does O Little Town of Bethlehem have two melodies?

The version most familiar to us doesn't seem to be the original, and it is not favoured as the original tune. The one we are accustomed to hearing starts with the note on the third degree of the scale,...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Improving musical memory

I have weak musical memory. I hear a line and I can sing it back almost immediately, but I can't retain it back a few minutes later. It is not imprinted in my head, and I have to listen to it a lot. ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What methods can I use to work out the notes in an audio clip?

I would like to know how to work out the notes of an audio clip. Two examples: This seems a basic melody in which notes are played one after the other: https://soundcloud.com/mjohnson52/piano-1 This ...
5
votes
4answers
344 views

Singing along to guitar chords (harmony)

Recently I started writing songs and I started to wonder: Let's say I sing middle C (while playing open C chord on guitar) for a bar and then go to singing E, third higher in pitch. Should I follow ...
5
votes
1answer
5k views

Elements of a horror musical song?

When composing horror music for musical drama in general, what does one need to consider as in harmony, melody and rhythm, etc.? For harmony, I am especially interested in what chords are normally ...
5
votes
4answers
541 views

Counter-example of counterpoint technique?

I'm trying to fully understand the concept that "Counterpoint" entails... but I can't seem to think any situation in which a counterpoint is not present on a song/piece/whatever. If counterpoint is ...
5
votes
3answers
752 views

What's the point of connecting chords to modes when writing in an established key?

Let's say I am in the key of C and trying to write a simple melody over some chords on the piano. Chord progression: I (Cmaj) IV (Fmaj) V (Gmaj) I (Cmaj) Let's take the IV chord for instance. What's ...