Melody and Harmony

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Zahid Malkana
Music Appreciation-1306
Mr. Maydwell

The Relationship Between a Melody and Harmony

Music is a form of art whose characteristics come together to give it form that includes rhythm, texture, dynamics and pitch. The two main components are melody and harmony, which gives music its real meaning. Melody is defined as the soul of music, whereas harmony is an add-on which gives music its beauty. Homophonic texture, where one main melodic line accompanies harmony, and homorhythm texture, where all the voices and lines move in the same rhythm. Even though these are two separate components, they do play an important role in a way to compliment and support each other. One of the music explorers of the 20th century, Alan Hovhaness, once said that “the composer… joins Heaven and Earth with threads of sound”. These threads that he refers to is the texture of the music which results from the combination of the melodic lines and harmony. The mere definition of melody is the linear continuation of musical tones which can be recognized as a single unit. Melody can stand alone with itself, it is what catches the listener’s attention the most, but the addition of harmony to the piece makes the music more detailed. Even though most of the textures are of melodies alone, homophony is a type of texture which is commonly heard. It is a result of the joint contribution of melody and harmony in which the listener is “directed to a single melodic line, but this is conceived in relation to harmony” (Forney and Machlis). Homorhythm texture is also an example to the relation of melody and harmony, which results from the synchronization of the two contributions. In homorythm, all the voices move together with the same rhythm and the relationship between them creates chords while in homophonic texture, one voice , often the highest, plays a distinct melody, and the accompanying voices work together to articulate an underlying harmony. For example, a person...
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