Course 17: Melody

The melody makes most songs, even in hip hop. A melody is a single line progression of notes which the listener perceives as a singular part. In other words, in thinking about your song, the listener will likely hum that part of it. The melody is memorable and as such it should be simple. In a song’s arrangement, the melody is in the foreground. The accompaniment, whether it’s a solo piano or a huge, texture filled orchestral arrangement, is in the background. When there’s a melody present, it’s important to make sure that it’s not being covered up by your background.

We’ll get into what makes a good melody including sing-ability, tessitura, the presence of a “money note,” the hook as melody, background as melody, and more!

Objectives:

  • Be able to define melody as a result of a basic understanding of music production.
  • Be able to demonstrate the use of MIDI editing tools as a result of using a digital audio workstation.
  • Be able to create a simple melody line as a result of a basic understanding of music production.