What is a Melody?

Melody on Music Staff

A song’s melody is perhaps the most important element of the song.  Writing a good melody should not be difficult. However the songwriter must understand certain principles associated with writing a good melody.

The bedrock of music belongs to the melody.  This is one of the most important aspects that make a great song.  It is what makes a song memorable.

A melody is a sequence of single notes that is musically satisfying.  Any series of single tone creates a melody. The human voice, the flute, horn,—all instruments capable of emitting but one tone at a time.  Each of these instruments produces a melody. It constitutes, then, a line of tones. The quality of the melody depends upon the choice and duration of each successive tone.

A good melody is one that appeals to the music lover as tuneful, pleasing, and intelligible. It is one where each successive tone and each successive group of tones stands in a rational harmonic relation to the one before it, and even, usually, to several preceding tones or groups. To say it another way, the tones are not arranged haphazard, but with reference to their harmonious agreement with each other.

The melody needs to be simple. This makes it easy for the listener to remember.  A complicated melody may alienate the average listener.  Make melodies simple in a way that even a child could sing or hum it.

The key to writing a great song means making a memorable impact on the listener.  There are certain aspects that go into composing a song.  Including these elements is the job of the composer and helps make the listener remember the song.

Practical Application

To compose great melodies for your songs you will need to know several things.  Your assignment is to pick songs from different eras and genre.  Listen to these songs with your primary focus on the melody.  Create a journal of what you hear.  Here are some questions to answer to help you with your observations.

  1.  Is the melody simple?
  2.  Is the melody easy to remember?
  3.  What instrument carries the melody?

Review

Melody is a major element in every song ever written.  It is made up of a combination of pitch and rhythm.  It is important that a it be memorable and simple yet at the same time be interesting.

To help stimulate ideas in your songwriting use the Melody Shape Generator found here:

Random Melody Shape Generator

 

Posted in Songwriting Melody Techniques and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. RSS feed for this post. Leave a trackback.

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please Read Comment Policy

  • Free Special Report

    Inspire Your Songwriting Fun and Practical Tips
    Inspire Your Songwriting Book Cover
    Get this free special report with information that will help inspire your songwriting.

    arrow arrow arrow


    By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Mediatunes, 445 N Cuyamaca St, El Cajon, CA, 92020, http://learnhowtowritesongs.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
  • Songwriter Tip:

    You’re last line is your ‘punch line ‘of your stanza. Make sure it is the very best it can be. The 1st line of the stanza needs to be very good and draw them into wanting to hear the rest of the stanza. Consider those lines 1st and write them the best you can. Fill the middle, the lines in between with interesting details that follow out from line 1 and lead right into your punch line, your last line that is so remarkable.