This section will focus on the important aspects of Melody. It is important to know how to group musical ideas together.
Structural Line |
Melodic Thought |
e) 4-phrase period
The four phrase period is sometimes known as a double period. There is a large assortment of variations that can occur, however the same principle of ending with a stronger cadence than the previous ones still applies.
Motion refers to the changing levels of pitches, usaually high and low within the melody. Motion occurs in ascending and descending patterns. Motion can also be used to describe changes in pitch in two or more simultaneous voice parts.
Melodic thought is the organization of smaller and larger sections of music and how the composer puts them together. These sections will be discussed from smallest to largest
According to the Harvard Dictionary of Music a motive is a short figure of characteristic design that recurs throughout a composition or a section as a unifying element. The motive is much shorter than a theme or subject. Usually the motive is borrowed from a theme.
A phrase is a substantial musical thought. The phrase is generally four measures in length and usually ends in some type of cadence. Occasionaly the length of a phrase may be longer.
A period is two or more adjoining phrases. All periods have the follow guidelines:
1. A completeness is achieved at the end of the last phrase. The period achieves this by using a perfect authentic cadence.
2.The first phrase ends with a weaker cadence than the second. A half cadence tends to be weaker because it ends on the dominant rather than the tonic.
3.The two phrases must have some type of musical relationship to one another.
Antecedent - Consequent
This term refers to the relationship of the melodic phrase. It is similar to a question and answer or a statement and confirmation. Since the first phrase (antecedent)of the period ends on the half cadence making it weaker, it requires the second phrase (consequent) as answer for completion.
Antecedent-Consequent periods come in two types, parallel and contrasting.
1. The parallel period is achieved when the melodic makeup of the two phrases is similar.
2. The contrasting period is achieved when the melodic makeup of the second phrase is different from the first.
d) 3-Phrase Period
Three phrase periods consist of an A A B (antecedent, antecedent, consequent) or A B B (antecedent, consequent, consequent). Regardless of the makeup, the last phrase must end wtih a stronger cadence than the previous ones.
e) 4-phrase period The four phrase period is sometimes known as a double period. There is a large assortment of variations that can occur, however the same principle of ending with a stronger cadence than the previous ones still applies.