Ch 3: Elements of Melody & Harmony

About This Chapter

Do you want to arrange a beautiful masterpiece? Enhance your musical interests, talents, or composer instincts with this exploration of the various structures of melody and harmony.

Elements of Melody & Harmony - Chapter Summary

This chapter will take you through an in-depth study of melody and harmony. You can learn about melodic structures, contour, and embellishments, as well as study harmonic intervals. Further lessons guide you through the concepts of inversions, cadence, pitch collections, and tones. When you have completed this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Compare melody and harmony
  • Identify melodic and harmonic intervals
  • Demonstrate pitch collections
  • Describe types of melodic structures, embellishments, and contours
  • Analyze melodic contour
  • Explain interval and chord inversions
  • Describe musical cadence and embellishing tones

The lessons in this chapter include text and video lessons, which have been created by our professional instructors. You can use the Timeline feature of the video player to review the main ideas in the lessons or to skip directly to any topic you want to re-review. After each lesson, you will find a self-assessment quiz. Use these to monitor your understanding, and keep track of your progress on your Dashboard.

6 Lessons in Chapter 3: Elements of Melody & Harmony
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Melody vs. Harmony: Definitions and Examples

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.

Pitch Collections: Definitions & Examples

2. Pitch Collections: Definitions & Examples

This lesson introduces you to pitch collections, one of the most important concepts in music. You'll learn how to understand pitch collections you see in music and explore common collections.

Melodic Contour: Definition & Examples

3. 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.

Chord Inversions: Triads & Seventh Chords

4. Chord Inversions: Triads & Seventh Chords

Chords are the foundation of any composition, so it's important to know how to build them. In this lesson, we'll look at inverted chords and see how a composition is affected when chords are inverted.

Cadence in Music: Definition & Types

5. Cadence in Music: Definition & Types

How do composers ensure that the endings of their pieces sound right? In this lesson, we'll look at that question and see what role the cadence has in ending a musical composition.

Embellishing Tones: Definition & Examples

6. Embellishing Tones: Definition & Examples

Even technically perfect music can get a little dry at times. In this lesson, we'll look at one way to add a bit of ornamentation to help keep your compositions lively.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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