About This Chapter
Elements of Melody - Chapter Summary
Learn to detect errors in pitch and rhythm and to understand and build musical scales through this informative chapter on the elements of melody. Our brief, engaging video lessons also can teach you about melody vs. harmony and major and minor keys. Additional topics addressed in this chapter include the following:
- The circle of fifths
- The chromatic scale
- The minor scale pattern
- Degrees of scales
- The pentatonic, whole-tone, diminishing (octatonic) and blues scales
- Church modes: Ionian and Aeolian modes
- Melodic embellishments, including grand note, turn, repetition, sequence and transposition
- Melodic and harmonic contour
The knowledgeable team of educators who worked on this Elements of Melody chapter has expertise in the broad field of music. You can watch each of the video lessons in just a few minutes, and our convenient video tags allow you to return to main points in the presentations at any time. Watch the videos as many times as necessary, until you feel comfortable with the material.
To complete your learning experience, take the brief self-assessment quiz that accompanies each lesson. In addition to reinforcing what you've learned about the elements of melody, these short, multiple-choice quizzes can help you build your overall test-taking skills. Some learners even find it helpful to take the quiz once before viewing the video, to focus their learning.
1. Melody vs. Harmony: Definitions and Examples
What is a 'melody?' How are 'melody' and 'harmony' different? What kinds of harmonies are used in classical and current popular styles of music? Find out the basics of melody and harmony in this lesson.
2. Understanding and Building Musical Scales: Definitions & Types of Scales
What is a 'scale' in music? How do tonality, pitch, and accidentals play a role in making a scale? What kinds of notes make up a scale? What is the difference between a Major scale, minor scale, blues scale, and pentatonic scale? Learn all about scales in this lesson!
3. Chromatic Music: Definition, Scale & Harmony
This lesson will examine the history and theory behind chromatic music, which was once a symbol of insanity in the musical arts. Test your knowledge at the end with a short quiz.
4. Key Signature in Music: Definition & Concept
In this lesson, we're talking about key signatures. We'll learn how to properly write them, how to quickly identify them, and why they're used in the first place.
5. How to Determine Major Key Signatures in Music
What is a key signature? How can you tell the key of a song by just looking at it? Are there flats and sharps in all songs? What are some common key signatures in the Major tonality? Find out in this lesson!
6. How to Determine Minor Key Signatures in Music
Key signatures are useful in playing and understanding music, but how do you know if the key signature is for a Major or a minor key? Find out in this lesson!
7. Understanding the Circle of Fifths: Explanation & Chord Progression
The musical equivalent of the color wheel, the circle of fifths is an arrangement of musical keys that represents musical relationships between keys. This lesson will look at the how and why of the circle of fifths.
8. Major Scale: Definition & Intervals
You hear it in commercials, pop songs, film music, and even ringtones! Learn what the major scale is, why composers like to use it, and even the special formula you can use to make a major scale on any note!
9. Minor Scale: Patterns, Chords & Intervals
In this lesson, you will learn about minor scales, chords and intervals. You will also learn how music in minor keys sounds more dissonant than major keys because some of the notes are lowered a small amount.
10. Pentatonic: Definition, Scales & Songs
In this lesson, you will learn about pentatonic scales and how to build them. You will also learn the difference between major pentatonic and minor pentatonic scales, as well as what kind of music uses pentatonic scales.
11. Modality: Definition, Principle & Effect
Modality is the precursor to the modern musical scale; its origins can be found in ancient Greek music theory. In this lesson, we'll explore the principle of modality in relation to musical scales and discover how scale degrees build modes.
12. What Is a Tetrachord? - Definition & Examples
There are many ways to build a chord. In this lesson, we are going to explore tetrachords, and look at the many different ways that they can be built and used.
13. Melodic Contour: Definition & Examples
This lesson teaches you about melodic contour, which helps musicians understand how melodies rise and fall. Learn about the four types of melodic motion, and analyze the contours of some famous melodies to find out what makes them so special.
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Other chapters within the NYSTCE Music: Practice and Study Guide course
- About the NYSTCE Test
- Elements of Music Notation
- Meter & Rhythm
- Musical Forms
- Understanding Instruments
- Vocal and Instrumental Ensembles
- Opera and Orchestral Music
- Medieval Music
- Music of the Renaissance
- The Baroque Period in Music
- The Classical Period in Music
- The Romantic Period in Music
- Modern Era Music
- Jazz Music
- Musical Theater and Popular Music
- Music of the World