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Page of hand written sheet music
Jazz LoungeMelody
Melody, A basic primer to key musical concepts Ella Fitzgerald
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Melody

In its simplest form, melody is a succession of single tones. Each tone (or musical note) has it own defined pitch and duration. The pitch, duration and the interval between each tone determine the flow of the music. The beginning of Mary Had a Little Lamb, for example, consists of a series of falling and rising notes in order of their pitch, or position in a musical scale. The beginning of the Star-Spangled Banner, in contrast, has a similar series of falling and rising notes, but skips over notes in the musical scale, covering a much wider range of pitches. Melodies are built by groups of notes, creating recognizable patterns, like sentences in a speech. The musical patterns are then repeated, altered or embellished to build a pleasing progression.