One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An ode sung by a single actor in a Greek tragedy.
- ‘Its regretful, transfiguring ending, built out of a wonderfully orchestral monody, is remarkable, and the clarity of the textures is quite startling.’
- ‘I've mentioned the Easter monodies glowingly sung by Catherine King.’
- ‘Many times, and particularly when combined with texts, the melodies are presented as extended monodies, carefully controlled so that Messiaen's words can be clearly heard.’
2A poem lamenting a person's death.
3mass noun Music with only one melodic line.‘the Italian masters of monody’
- ‘Among the different vocal and instrumental styles that characterise the medieval period, monody plays an essential part.’
- ‘For me, one of its most interesting quotations was when he was introducing monody and the transition into the baroque.’
- ‘Percussion and even the early harp played no part in the great development from monody to polyphony.’
Early 17th century: via late Latin from Greek monōdia, from monōdos ‘singing alone’.
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