noun \ˈme-lə-dē\

: a pleasing series of musical notes that form the main part of a song or piece of music

: a song or tune

plural mel·o·dies

Full Definition of MELODY

:  a sweet or agreeable succession or arrangement of sounds :  tunefulness
:  a rhythmic succession of single tones organized as an aesthetic whole
me·lod·ic \mə-ˈlä-dik\ adjective
me·lod·i·cal·ly \-di-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of MELODY

  1. He wrote a piece that includes some beautiful melodies.
  2. a composer known for his love of melody
  3. He sang a few old-fashioned melodies.

Origin of MELODY

Middle English melodie, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin melodia, from Greek melōidia chanting, music, from melos limb, musical phrase, song (probably akin to Breton mell joint) + aeidein to sing — more at ode
First Known Use: 13th century

Related to MELODY

Other Music Terms

cacophony, chorister, concerto, counterpoint, madrigal, obbligato, presto, presto, refrain, riff, segue


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Rhythmic succession of single tones organized as an aesthetic whole. The melody is often the highest line in a musical composition. Melodies may suggest their own harmony or counterpoint. As fundamental as rhythm and metre (and more so than harmony), melody is common to all musical cultures.


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