In the abstract, melody is a succession of single pitches and silences forming a unified line in time. Melodies, like sentences, can be divided into smaller units or phrases, which themselves can be broken down into their component sub-phrases. Subphrases can often be broken down into still smaller thematic units, all the way down to motifs. A motif, or motive, can be described as a short thematic kernel. Usually it consists of a few notes in a particular rhythm. Let’s look at the motivic construction of “Frère Jacques.”
KeywordsFolk Song Musical Style Lead Sheet Melodic Interval Melodic Line
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