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Melody Summary

General Description Range


Use general description as a starting point. Big / Wide / Unconfined
Always state, then expand and qualify. Small / Narrow / Limited
e.g. Childlike: through use of major
tonality; simple, predictable intervals;
lyrical, flowing contour; small range; Intervals
mid-to-high register. Leaps
Ornamented / Embellished Scalic / Stepwise
Complex / Simple Triadic / Arpeggiated
Improvisatory Chromatic / Diatonic
Speech-like Major / Minor / Diminished /
Meandering Augmented
Motivic Repeated notes or intervals
Virtuosic Sequential
Lilting / Lyrical
Catchy / Dramatic
Child-like Accompaniment /
Melody Relationship
Compliments/contrasts with main melody
Contour Plays elements of the melody
Is unrelated to melodic movement
Smooth / Legato
Provides chordal foundation
Singular / Jagged
Uses canonic movement
Arch-like
Uses stepwise walking bass/arpeggiated
Circling around a note
Mirrors the melody / plays in unison
Flowing / lyrical
Plays in parallel intervals
Fragmented
Continuously unfolding
Ascending / Descending
Climax
Dramatic / Anticlimactic / Subtle
Approached by ...
Tonality Resolved by ...
Major / Minor / Pentatonic
Modal / Atonal
Use of non-Western scale
Appears to modulate
Phrases
Chromatic / Whole tone Short / Long
Regular / Irregular Lengths
Contrasting
Repetition of phrases
Register No repetition of phrases
Upper / Middle / Lower part of the Form (AABB, ABAC etc)
instrument or voice Balanced
Comfortable / Uncomfortable Recurring

Page 18 Music Analysis: Listening Beyond Hearing


Jenny Gillan 2016. All rights are reserved.
Melodic Analysis - Question One
Composer: Hector Berlioz
Title: Symphony Fantastique: 2nd Movement, A Ball
Location: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMbWdkJAb9I (The first 1 min 45 secs)
Describe the melody of this piece.
(Generally Count to Regular Rows in a Climbing Phrase)

General Description: joyous, excited.


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Contour: Intro arpeggiated rising and falling accompaniment in lower strings is mirrored
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by harp. This gradually changes to only ascending contour. Arpeggios begin low with each
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successive arpeggio beginning higher and reaching higher. This occurs over a melody that has
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a chromatic linear contour in upper strings. Ascending more rapidly to a climax.


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Tonality: Major, though ambiguous in opening arpeggiated chords. Not clearly major through
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use of chromatic harmony.


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Register: Begins fairly low and ascends to higher registers though never really uncomfortably
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so.
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Range: Large in all instruments. From extreme low to fairly high over multiple octaves.
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Sections have quite limited range, for example chromatic rising and falling contour passages
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in introduction, but overall large and increasing over time.


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Intervals: Scalic main melody. Often repeated notes within the scale mr rd dt,. Chromatic
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notes often used as passing or auxiliary notes and are part of smooth scalic movement.
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Arpeggiated intervals not uncommon in accompanying lines and chromatic scale in slow
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moving strings.
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Accompaniment/melody relationship: Linear contour or slowly ascending contour of


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accompaniment contrasts with rapidly ascending and descending arpeggios of harp and
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strings in introduction. Bass seems rather static once main melody begins but outlines
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chordal notes often through chromatic movement. Parallel movement in thirds between first
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and second violins in descending melodic line at end of phrase.


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Climax: Introduction climax reached chromatically. Resolved largely by harp descending


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scalic passage.
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Phrases: Short two bar phrases with a break in introduction with a sense that these are
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extending as the piece progresses. Later, there is no break resulting in longer phrases.
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Even phrases in the main melody are extended through the use of ritardando near the end.
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Phrases are twice the length of introduction phrases.


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Melody: Previously Unheard Works Analysis Page 19


Jenny Gillan 2016. All rights are reserved.