MELODY WRITING MELODY
The term melody is applied to all four voices. Each voice should stand alone as a melody rather than as a succession of chord tones. The Bass voice does not always follow melody guidelines as closely as the other voices because it supplies the harmonic foundation.
TYPES OF MOTION
Conjunct motion occurs when one pitch of a melody moves step-wise to another. Disjunct motion occurs when one pitch of a melody leaps to another. Conjunct motion occurs more often than disjunct motion.
FIGURE 2.1: Examples of Conjunct and Disjunct Motion
Disjunct motion greater than a fifth may be followed by any of the following, listed in order of frequency:
(1) Conjunct motion in the opposite direction.
FIGURE 2.2: Disjunct motion followed by conjunct motion in the opposite direction
(2) Disjunct motion in the opposite direction.
FIGURE 2.3: Disjunct motion followed by disjunct motion in the opposite direction
(3) Conjunct motion in the same direction.
FIGURE 2.4: Disjunct motion followed by conjunct motion in the same direction
(4) Disjunct motion in the same direction.
FIGURE 2.5: Disjunct motion followed by disjunct motion in the same direction
Two consecutive moves in the same direction which form a compound interval are forbidden. Generally, two or three consecutive moves in the same direction which form an octave or greater are rare. Melodies usually have a maximum range of an octave. This range may occasionally extend a step above or below. Some intervals in melodies require special considerations. They are as follows:
(1) Augmented intervals are forbidden.
FIGURE 2.6: Examples of Augmented Intervals
(2) Compound intervals are forbidden.
FIGURE 2.7: Examples of Compound Intervals
(3) Major sevenths are forbidden.
FIGURE 2.8: Examples of Major Sevenths
(4) Minor sevenths must be followed by conjunct motion in the opposite direction.
FIGURE 2.9: Use of Minor Seventh
(5) Diminished intervals should be followed by conjunct motion in the opposite direction.
FIGURE 2.10: Use of Diminished Intervals
Scale degree activity is discussed in Basic Music (TC 12-41/ NAVEDTRA 10244). Further explanation of those concepts is necessary for the proper construction of melodies.
Any number of stable tones may follow one another, but their overuse will emphasize the tonic triad.
FIGURE 2.11: Succession of Stable Tones
No more than two tendency tones may occur in succession.
FIGURE 2.12: Succession of Tendency Tones
When one active tone is followed by another which is more than a third away, the first active tone is disregarded.
FIGURE 2.13: Two active tones separated by more than a third
When two active tones surround a stable tone:
that stable tone may then follow,
FIGURE 2.14. a: Two Active Tones Surrounding a Stable Tone
the latter active tone may be considered for movement,
FIGURE 2.14. b: Two Active Tones Surrounding a Stable Tone
another active tone may follow.
FIGURE 2.14. c: Two Active Tones Surrounding a Stable Tone
When employing broken chords, scale degree activity may not apply.
FIGURE 2.15: Broken Chord