Difference Between Melody and Harmony
Melody vs Harmony
When one listens to a song on the radio, we often do not think of separating the melody and harmony, and compare which of the two is stronger. Â However, both melody and harmony play key roles in the development of any musical piece. Â It is the melody which we often focus on first, the vocal quality of a song or tune. Â However, it is the harmony, the notes and chords of the music, which holds up the melody and makes the song a success.
Melodies are comprised of the musical skills of the person who is singing the song. Â That person will utilize a combination of tone and pitch to compliment the harmony of a song. Â It is the harmony that creates the mood for any song. Â It is developed by one or any combination of instruments, using rhythm and chords, to set the tone for a song. Â Melody is often described as the horizontal portion of a song, whereas the harmony is the vertical portion. Â Horizontal, because the tone takes you through the song, and vertical as it can increase the tempo of the song or decrease it.
When creating a melody, it is important to incorporate three important parts: shape, range, and movement. Â These three characteristics allow for a tune to range among various notes, while flowing thoroughly becoming an independent expression of song. Â A harmony is created by different standards, rather than incorporating a large range, a harmony must maintain a fluid flow throughout a song. Â Harmonies may take two forms, subordinate and coordinate. Â Coordinate, the more commonly used, is the flow between notes on specific time patterns. Â Subordinate is the separation of notes from each other, not necessarily leading to one another.
A melody can be used to get any message across, as the lyrics can depict exactly what they are intended to. Â The lyrics can clearly draw the attention of its chosen audience. Â A harmony is able to do the same but in a less obvious manner. Â Harmonies are made up of various notes, C, D, E, G and A, which can create the mood and tone for a piece of music. Â There are even songs which are created without a melody, focusing on instruments to harmonize well enough together to tell a story to the audience.
The differences between harmonies and melodies are numerous, however when the two are created to complement one another, the results can be great.
- Harmony and melody partner to create a successful song. Â The melody is made up of the words or the main instrument in a song, the harmony is the background tone created by other instruments.
- Melody is the horizontal portion of a song and harmony is the vertical portion of a song.
- Melodies incorporate shape, range, and movement. Â Harmonies are either subordinate or coordinate.
- Melodies are often completed with lyrical music notes. Â Harmonies used musical instruments and a combination of notes to make a fluid sound.
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