Melodic pattern

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Simple melodic pattern.
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Melodic sequence on the lines "Send her victorious," and "Happy and glorious," from "God Save the Queen"
Play  (help*info) God Save the Queen melodic sequence.png
Melodic sequence on the lines "Send her victorious," and "Happy and glorious," from "God Save the Queen" Loudspeaker.svg Play  

In music and jazz improvisation, a melodic pattern (or motive) is a cell or germ serving as the basis for repetitive pattern. It is a figure that can be used with any scale. It is used primarily for solos because, when practiced enough, it can be extremely useful when improvising. "Sequence" refers to the repetition of a part at a higher or lower pitch, [1] [2] [3] [4] and melodic sequence is differentiated from harmonic sequence. One example of melodic motive and sequence are the pitches of the first line, "Send her victorious," repeated, a step lower, in the second line, "Happy and glorious," from "God Save the Queen".

Music form of art using sound

Music is an art form and cultural activity whose medium is sound organized in time. General definitions of music include common elements such as pitch, rhythm, dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture. Different styles or types of music may emphasize, de-emphasize or omit some of these elements. Music is performed with a vast range of instruments and vocal techniques ranging from singing to rapping; there are solely instrumental pieces, solely vocal pieces and pieces that combine singing and instruments. The word derives from Greek μουσική . See glossary of musical terminology.

Jazz improvisation is the spontaneous invention of melodic solo lines or accompaniment parts. It is one of the defining elements of jazz. Improvisation is composing on the spot, when a singer or instrumentalist invents melodies and lines over a chord progression played by rhythm section instruments and accompanied by drums. Although blues, rock, and other genres use improvisation, it is done over relatively simple chord progressions which often remain in one key.

Repetition is important in music, where sounds or sequences are often repeated. It may be called restatement, such as the restatement of a theme. While it plays a role in all music, with noise and musical tones lying along a spectrum from irregular to periodic sounds,(Moravcsik, 114)(Rajagopal, ) it is especially prominent in specific styles.


Melodic pattern in C major. C major scale melodic pattern.png
Melodic pattern in C major.

"A melodic pattern is just what the name implies: a melody with some sort of fixed pattern to it." [6] "The strong theme or motive is stated. It is repeated more or less exactly, but at a different pitch level." [7]

Subject (music) musical melody on which a composition is based

In music, a subject is the material, usually a recognizable melody, upon which part or all of a composition is based. In forms other than the fugue, this may be known as the theme.

Motif (music) short musical idea, a salient recurring figure, musical fragment or succession of notes that has some special importance in or is characteristic of a composition

In music, a motif(pronunciation)  is a short musical phrase, a salient recurring figure, musical fragment or succession of notes that has some special importance in or is characteristic of a composition: "The motive is the smallest structural unit possessing thematic identity".

See also


  1. Berg, Shelly (2005). Alfred's Essentials of Jazz Theory, p.83. Alfred Music. ISBN   9780739030899. "Melodic sequence is the repetition of an idea transposed by some interval."
  2. Briggs (2011). The Language and Materials of Music, p.202. Third Edition. Highland Heritage. ISBN   9781257996148. "Melodic sequences are patterns that repeat at different pitches."
  3. Randel, Don Michael; ed. (2003). The Harvard Dictionary of Music, p.768. Harvard. ISBN   9780674011632. "Sequence: The repetition of a phrase of melody (melodic sequence) different pitch levels, the succession of pitch levels rising or falling by the same or similar succession of intervals."
  4. Giffe, William Thomas (1906). A Practical Course in Harmony and Musical Composition , p.107. T. Presser. [ISBN unspecified] "A melodic sequence may consist of a melodic design, or phrase, repeated in a symmetrical manner."
  5. Berle, Arnie (1997). Mel Bay Encyclopedia of Scales, Modes and Melodic Patterns, p.9. ISBN   0-7866-1791-8.
  6. Greene, Ted (1985). Ted Greene -- Jazz Guitar Single Note Soloing, p.42. Alfred Music. ISBN   9780739053843.
  7. Haerle, Dan (1993). Jazz Improvisation for Keyyboard Players, p.2-7. Alfred. ISBN   9781457493874.

Further reading

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

Related Research Articles

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Melody linear succession of musical tones in the foreground of a work of music

A melody, also tune, voice, or line, is a linear succession of musical tones that the listener perceives as a single entity. In its most literal sense, a melody is a combination of pitch and rhythm, while more figuratively, the term can include successions of other musical elements such as tonal color. It may be considered the foreground to the background accompaniment. A line or part need not be a foreground melody.

An altered chord is a chord in which one or more notes from the diatonic scale is replaced with a neighboring pitch from the chromatic scale. According to the broadest definition any chord with a nondiatonic chord tone is an altered chord, while the simplest use of altered chords is the use of borrowed chords, chords borrowed from the parallel key, and the most common is the use of secondary dominants. As Alfred Blatter explains,"An altered chord occurs when one of the standard, functional chords is given another quality by the modification of one or more components of the chord."

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A jazz scale is any musical scale used in jazz. Many "jazz scales" are common scales drawn from Western European classical music, including the diatonic, whole-tone, octatonic, and the modes of the ascending melodic minor. All of these scales were commonly used by late nineteenth and early twentieth-century composers such as Rimsky-Korsakov, Debussy, Ravel and Stravinsky, often in ways that directly anticipate jazz practice. Some jazz scales, such as the bebop scales, add additional chromatic passing tones to the familiar diatonic scales.

Lead guitar is a musical part for a guitar in which the guitarist plays melody lines, instrumental fill passages, guitar solos, and occasionally, some riffs within a song structure. The lead is the featured guitar, which usually plays single-note-based lines or double-stops. In rock, heavy metal, blues, jazz, punk, fusion, some pop, and other music styles, lead guitar lines are usually supported by a second guitarist who plays rhythm guitar, which consists of accompaniment chords and riffs.

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In music, a sequence is the restatement of a motif or longer melodic passage at a higher or lower pitch in the same voice. It is one of the most common and simple methods of elaborating a melody in eighteenth and nineteenth century classical music. Characteristics of sequences:

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