Introduction to Melody

Lesson 1

Melody, Defined

Melody is a succession of notes that move in a forward manner. As stated in other courses, melody should initially be conceived in a horizontal manner as compared to the vertical organization of harmony. We should learn harmony first because it provides the tonal context for melody. 

Melody inherently has rhythm. However, when we are first learning, it is advantageous to isolate the elements. That is to say, we will remove the rhythm from melody, and just focus on the building up of the pitches of the scale, step by step, in major and minor tonalities. 

Just as we did with harmony, we will learn using patterns. These Stepwise Acculturation Patterns are always step-wise, and contain no leaps or jumps within a pattern. The purpose of these patterns is to acculturate you to all of the diatonic pitches inherent in the scale of each tonality. By building the pitches up, step by step, the logic of the harmonic patterns becomes clearer, and will greatly assist when we begin to read music. 

Watch the video below for an introduction to melody.