Definition of melody in English:

melody

noun

  • 1A sequence of single notes that is musically satisfying.

    ‘he picked out an intricate melody on his guitar’
    • ‘Still, these are threads rather than a dialogue until the piano plays an infectious melody around which the music weaves a joyous romp.’
    • ‘As soon as his fingers hit the notes in the song, the melody seemed quite familiar.’
    • ‘Even if the basic chords are unchanged, the melody almost inevitably adds passing notes which effectively alter the chords.’
    • ‘Mendelssohn's melody forms a self-contained, cadentially closed unit, a little garden of its own.’
    • ‘Their repertoire included folk and musical hall melodies about daily life ending with a fun tongue twister as a finale.’
    • ‘The album's arrangements are uniformly awful, and its melodies are elevator music bland.’
    • ‘Singers will get the chance to sing in harmony, in single line melodies, in rounds and to experiment with varied vocal textures.’
    • ‘The first two songs use folk melodies which Durey heard a young shepherd sing during his stay.’
    • ‘It's a rather chirpy little guitar-pop song with a melody that is strangely reminiscent of the Postman Pat theme tune.’
    • ‘That said, you may not be able to remember a single melody to any one of these songs after a week, but maybe that's not the point.’
    • ‘That same, simple melody played by a single trumpet might be beautiful, but the message conveyed and resulting impact on the audience is not the same.’
    • ‘The majority of Obrecht's masses are constructed round either plainchant melodies or secular songs.’
    • ‘This is a language I can understand, music with a melody I can whistle.’
    • ‘It means he can hum a popular melody in the tune of other songs.’
    • ‘Her fingers danced skillfully on the taut strings, creating an intricate melody.’
    • ‘Her voice sounded like pure music, a melody he'd forever be joyful to hear composed.’
    • ‘Dedicated to Balakirev, this piece has a lyrical melody with light fingerwork in the right hand.’
    • ‘According to the liner notes, only three of the melodies come directly from Holst.’
    • ‘Rain beat against her window, and she could hear faint musical melodies drifting through the air to her from the ballroom.’
    • ‘It was just pure joy escapist music, sweet melodies played very sweetly by a small orchestra.’
    tune, music, air, strain, theme, subject, line, part, song, refrain, jingle, piece
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Musically satisfying sequences of notes collectively.
      ‘his great gift was for melody’
      • ‘Copland, of course, owed a lot to the Russian Stravinsky, but not his sense of melody, embedded in the American vernacular.’
      • ‘He's always had a gift for melody and texture, obviously, but how these components work against his drums is what I'm always listening for.’
      • ‘A song like ‘Oranges On Appletrees’ is a glaring advertisement for their gift of melody.’
      • ‘He has a fine gift for melody, and it would be fair to say that melodic considerations drive the piece.’
      • ‘Having said that, there is some evocative background to most of the mixes and they do show the plain gift for melody that Reich has.’
      • ‘Shadows Collide with People marks the point at which Frusciante brings his gift for melody and proper songs to his own work.’
      • ‘Not only has he inherited his father's gift for effortless melody, but his tenor is also imbued with Caetano's sturdy character.’
      • ‘Stock is stronger with structure, rhythm, harmony and tonal effect than he is with melody.’
      • ‘They've got such a strong grasp of melody, rhythm and harmony and every single song on this latest album withstands repeated plays.’
      • ‘In addition, David says melody and rhythm are most important to him in composing music.’
      • ‘She possesses a powerful voice, intelligent lyrics, excellent musicianship (particularly on keyboard) and a clear gift for melody.’
      • ‘Glass has stripped music down to a few bare parameters: repetition, simple harmony and little melody.’
      • ‘They do display a keen sense of melody and song arrangement, but being better than all the other emo bands still isn't saying much.’
      • ‘Consistently elevating each of these fourteen tracks above the clones are the pair's ear for melody and sense of musical humor.’
      • ‘His supreme gift for melody is readily apparent in his keyboard works, just on a smaller scale than found in his orchestral and vocal works.’
      • ‘The common threads are Jóhannsson's airy use of space and the fundamental simplicity with which he approaches melody and arrangement.’
      • ‘In terms of form, melody, and harmony, these works define the word ‘traditional.’’
      • ‘The Italians Rossini and Donizetti had a real gift for melody, a natural theatrical instinct and, more often than not, great wit.’
      • ‘He also has an uncommon gift for melody and thoughtful lyrics.’
      • ‘Also included is the Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodaly, a master of melody and of his country's folklore.’
    2. 1.2 The principal part in harmonized music.
      ‘we have the melody and bass of a song composed by Strozzi’
      • ‘Their meticulously crafted melodies and tight harmonies recreate that awesome sound of the seventies.’
      • ‘The haze of sound he creates actually does activate those harmonics and their subtle movement is the real melody of the music.’
      • ‘It is a gentle, almost languid waltz, with a simple melody, and even simpler harmonies and construction.’
      • ‘Possibly the lack of harmonic padding between the melody and bass lines meant that there was more inclusive space for other adjacent sounds.’
      • ‘As with the chord of the diminished seventh in the past, these bring a new colour to the melody and the harmony.’
      • ‘Andrew can pick out a lovely melody but his harmonies often seem out (perhaps deliberately so) and he's better with melodies than he is with rhythms, for the moment.’
      • ‘Voicing in many pieces is made more advanced by placing the melody in the same hand as many moving sixteenth notes or triplets.’
      • ‘Milhaud approved the work, made his comments, and then requested that Trimble write ten harmonizations of the same melody for the next week.’
      • ‘Only one, ‘I Love to Tell the Story,’ has the melody in octaves in the bass.’
      • ‘The band will probably branch out into new musical areas, like melody and proper chord progression.’
      • ‘When music is recognizable, as in a melody with a traditional harmonic accompaniment, we experience reassurance.’
      • ‘Today, it's very rare for the bass player to think he's only operating in the bass area of the sound spectrum and supporting the melody with harmonic changes.’
      • ‘I also encourage students to focus on how the melody and harmony interrelate, particularly in homophonic textures.’
      • ‘Accordingly, harmony becomes the fundamental texture of music, and melody a more superficial constituent.’
      • ‘Second, the student is able to play melody and harmony simultaneously.’
      • ‘Rachmaninoff indicates that the tenor carries the melody by placing accents over each of its notes.’
      • ‘It has been said that in Schubert's music the melody stands for life and the harmony for death.’
      • ‘We sang the chorus together - me trying my best to harmonize with his melody.’
      • ‘Also, in bar 5 the bass is in thirds with the melody while in all other versions it is in sixths.’
      • ‘Primary parameters include melody and harmony: aspects of music that are culturally shaped and recognizable as traditional forms.’

Origin

Middle English (also in the sense ‘sweet music’): from Old French melodie, via late Latin from Greek melōidia, from melos ‘song’.

Pronunciation

melody

/ˈmelədē//ˈmɛlədi/