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  • WordNet 3.6
    • n melody the perception of pleasant arrangements of musical notes
    • n melody a succession of notes forming a distinctive sequence "she was humming an air from Beethoven"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Daniel Butterfield was the author of the melody "Taps," and it was the only song he ever wrote.
    • Melody (Mus) A rhythmical succession of single tones, ranging for the most part within a given key, and so related together as to form a musical whole, having the unity of what is technically called a musical thought, at once pleasing to the ear and characteristic in expression.
    • Melody A sweet or agreeable succession of sounds. "Lulled with sound of sweetest melody ."
    • Melody The air or tune of a musical piece.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n melody In general, a succession of agreeable musical sounds; sweet sound; song; tune; music.
    • n melody Specifically In music: A succession of tones, whether pleasing or not. In this sense melody is coördinate with harmony and rhythm as the three necessary constituents of all music. It depends essentially upon tones of relative pitch, successively arranged.
    • n melody The underlying relationship may be variously established: by any particular rhythmic arrangement, as in some popular dance-tunes; by the intervals of a single chord, as in arpeggio phrases; by a diatonic order, as in scale passages; by the harmonic connections between successive chords of which the melody in question forms one of the voice-parts, as in simple choral writing; and by innumerable modifications and combinations of these and similar principles.
    • n melody A melody is authentic when its compass extends about an octave upward from its key-note or final, plagal when its compass extends about a half-octave above and below the key-note and final. It is diatonic when it uses only the proper tones of the scale in which it is written, chromatic when it uses other tones, foreign to that scale. It is concrete or conjunct when it proceeds by single degrees, upward or downward; discrete or disjunct when it proceeds by steps of more than a single degree. It is syllabic when but one tone is given to each syllable of the words; slurred when more than one tone is given to a syllable. A melody may be further described as popular, national, artistic, etc.
    • n melody A melodious or tuneful poem; a poetical composition suitable for singing.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Melody mel′o-di an air or tune: music: an agreeable succession of single musical sounds, as distinguished from harmony or the concord of a succession of simultaneous sounds
    • v.i Melody to compose or sing melodies
    • ***


  • John Keats
    “Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter.”
  • Irish Proverb
    Irish Proverb
    “A silent mouth is melodious.”
  • C. Fitzhugh
    C. Fitzhugh
    “Sorrow has produced more melody than mirth.”
  • Dorothy Parker
    “Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song, / A melody of extemporanea; / And love is a thing that can never go wrong; / And I am Marie of Roumania”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. melodie, F. mélodie, L. melodia, fr. Gr. a singing, choral song, fr. musical, melodious; me`los song, tune + song. See Ode


In literature:

A deep, rich glow plays over these melodies.
"Musical Portraits" by Paul Rosenfeld
His great rival, Welhaven, was soberer, clearer, more gravely melodious.
"Essays on Scandinavian Literature" by Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen
No word, no name had ever seemed to him so sweet, so melodious so caressing.
"The Child of Pleasure" by Gabriele D'Annunzio
The latter Wagner fondly imagined were but prolonged melodies.
"Old Fogy" by James Huneker
He tuned for fifteen minutes, and it was like a melodious frog pond during a shower of rain.
"Gov. Bob. Taylor's Tales" by Robert L. Taylor
In the one case the melody would be in the key of C, in the other of C sharp minor.
"A Popular History of the Art of Music" by W. S. B. Mathews
This one plays a melody I do not know, a melody plaintive and ingratiating, of clarinet arpeggios all compact.
"Europe After 8:15" by H. L. Mencken, George Jean Nathan and Willard Huntington Wright
I do not find so much 'Melody' in it as you do: understanding by Melody that which asserts itself independently of Harmony, as Mozart's Airs do.
"Letters of Edward FitzGerald in Two Volumes Vol. II" by Edward FitzGerald
In 1846 she ventured at last to issue some piano melodies and vocal works, in compliance with flattering offers from Berlin publishers.
"Woman's Work in Music" by Arthur Elson
Really, I don't know a thing about their business, Miss Melody.
"In Apple-Blossom Time" by Clara Louise Burnham
The art of Davies is the art of a melodious curved line.
"Adventures in the Arts" by Marsden Hartley
His melody ceased as abruptly as it began.
"Doom Castle" by Neil Munro
His voice, lusty and clear as a bell, was ringing out a strange melody.
"My Brave and Gallant Gentleman" by Robert Watson
Simply, they are without real melody: they have only a well manufactured imitation of melody.
"The Galaxy, June 1877" by Various
They are melodious with the sustained melody that delights the modern ear.
"How to Appreciate Music" by Gustav Kobbé
This beautiful songster, singing at Heaven's gate, pours forth a flood of melody.
"An Australian Bird Book" by John Albert Leach
Between her clenched teeth she zimmed strange oriental melodies.
"The Song of Songs" by Hermann Sudermann
I wonder if you could get hold of Guerilla Melody.
"The Rider of Golden Bar" by William Patterson White
After this overture, one might listen to the melody of the waters.
"Menotah" by Ernest G. Henham
The tender melody of the Miller's Song soothes his sore heart as if by a caress.
"'O Thou, My Austria!'" by Ossip Schubin

In poetry:

--Bright was thy fame in Bara's isle,
Sweet bard! where many a rival sung;
Oft hadst thou wak'd the tear and smile
As soft thy harp melodious rung:
"The Harp. A Legendary Tale. In Two Parts" by Hector MacNeill
Who back return'd, a wanderer drear,
Urged by the spirit's restless pain,
Sang his wild melodies in vain—
Sang them to ears that would not hear. . .
"Ralph to Mary" by Amy Levy
Oh! gentlest nightingale,
Once more thy plaintive tale
Repeat—repeat to me;
It will be passing sweet
My own sad thoughts to greet,
In thy soft melody.
"The Love-Sick Girl And The Nightingale" by Peter John Allan
And when beneath some lofty pine,
I muse on Nature's loveliness,
As oft it seems something divine,
Places a rare peculiar stress,
Of melody in the pines.
"My Delight" by Samuel Alfred Beadle
The moon went up in a cloudless sky,
Silently but melodiously;
And the glitter of stars and the patter of rain
Were notes and chords of an endless strain.
"The Poet And The Muse" by Alfred Austin
I heard a sound of melody—
Sad and sweet as thy tender sigh;
'Twas the night-bird's tone, but it smote my ear,
For I thought thy own soft voice to hear.
"Spirit's Song" by Louisa Stuart Costello

In news:

Heritage Ensemble Plays BAM Café, Blends Jewish Melodies with Jazz Beat.
I'm pretty sure that outer space is alive and well, but whatever, I'll play along — the beats are slick, the tones solid and melodies strong in an ambient sorta way.
The new record from Ghosty is drenched in melody.
Wayne Warren, Melody Henry and Thomas Neault at The Katy Trail Ice House in Uptown on September 15, 2012 in Dallas Texas.
How do they go from words and melodies to something more.
Melody Gardot overcomes life-threatening accident to make beautiful music.
'Quartet' strings melodrama together with melodious ensemble performances.
Lakewood's Black Puddle Noise proves rock 'n' roll without screams makes good, melodious music.
The melodious sounds of patience.
Underwood is known for her worldly songs with powerful melodies and thoughtful lyrics.
Handel 's Flood Of Melodies: 'Water Music'.
Melody, Harmony, Rhythm And Projections.
Foster the People make melodies disappear into your ear sockets.
Call The Bee's Melody Gutierrez, 916 326-5521.
Melody Thompson, Financial Beginnings, Portland, OR.

In science:

Short music files of 50 notes each are first generated and given random characteristics of rhythm (durations of notes), melody (frequencies of the notes) and loudness (intensities with which the notes were played).
Analysis of music: controlled random music and probability distribution function of recurrence time of amplitude peaks
The role of melody, loudness variations, and rhythm in giving rise to these correlations is studied.
Analysis of music: controlled random music and probability distribution function of recurrence time of amplitude peaks
The results seem to indicate that randomness characteristics of melody and loudness variations contribute more to the origin of the power law behavior than randomness of rhythm (or durations).
Analysis of music: controlled random music and probability distribution function of recurrence time of amplitude peaks
Nigel Nettheim, On the spectral analysis of melody Interface-J.
Analysis of music: controlled random music and probability distribution function of recurrence time of amplitude peaks
Several themes—recurring melodies, as one participant later blogged, that played as background music throughout many of the presentations—emerged over the course of the four days of the meeting.
Computation in Large-Scale Scientific and Internet Data Applications is a Focus of MMDS 2010
Despite of cultural differences, music from different civilizations seems to consist of some building blocks that are universal: melody, harmony, rhythm, etc.
Music in Terms of Science
Those equally spaced 12 semitone notes, if all used in a melody, do not cause us to feel varying amounts of tension and resolution necessary for invoking a sense of motion.
Music in Terms of Science
Thus, a subset of seven (or less often, five) of those twelve tones is used instead in musical melody composition.
Music in Terms of Science
It is helpful in understanding tone relationship, in composing and harmonizing melodies, building chords, and shifting to different keys within a composition.
Music in Terms of Science
A musical unity comes from an (intelligent) organization of a few basic elements such as rhythm, meter, tempo, melody, harmony, timbre, dynamics, etc.
Music in Terms of Science
To the movement of the melody, harmony adds another dimension—depth. “Harmony is to music what perspective is to painting.” It introduces the impression of musical space, and clarifies direction and creates meaning.
Music in Terms of Science
Just as the vaulting arch rests upon columns, the melody unfolds above the supporting chords, the harmony.
Music in Terms of Science
Melody constitutes the horizontal aspects of music; harmony, the vertical.
Music in Terms of Science
Although the triad is a vertical block of sound, its three tones often appear horizontally as a melody.
Music in Terms of Science
The melody and harmony actually do not function independently of one another; on the contrary, the melody implies the harmony that goes with it, and each constantly influence the other.
Music in Terms of Science