The difference between Melody and Harmony

Sometimes you land into a new song on your radio station and it suddenly gets stuck in your head. For sure, there’s a part of that specific music that gives you goosebumps or makes you shake and you cannot help but dance and sing it out. That is what we refer to as the melody. The melody is the most important part of any music and it’s actually the part of the music that you can identify with ease. 

Your favorite musician knows that music has three key elements which include harmony, melody and rhythm. Melody and harmony are the main elements that are based on how the pitches are arranged. One mistake upcoming musicians and people make is to simply confuse melody with harmony simply because the two of them works in tandem. So, we understand that the two musical terms can be confusing and for that reason, we have listed 10 main differences between harmony and melody. 

1. Definition-Melody in music is the assemblage of musical tones that functions as a single entity. Most music you come across have different assortment of melodies that are working together. In some musical settings, the guitarist, the vocalist and the keyboardist are all playing the melody of the music. Harmony is when different musical voices group together forming a cohesive whole. This is where different experts i.e. a flute player, a violinist and a trombonist are all playing together. 

2. Harmony builds up a melody-One of the most noticeable differences between a harmony and a melody is that harmony builds an already existing melody. 

3. Harmony needs a melody to exist-For a harmony to exist, there must be several melodies. The difference here is that a melody doesn’t need a harmony to exist. As a matter of fact, a harmony is a group of melodies put together to result in some pleasing sound. 

4. Function-Melodies are the main focus of the song. They actually work as the communication from the musician to his target audience. What this means is that a lot of things can be told by just using the melody of the song. 

5. Emotions-The emotions in music are actually shaped and implied by the melody contour which is the shape of that specific melody. This is an indication that when you listen to a specific song and get emotional, it’s probably because of the melody of the song. I know you have come across that one song that’s gets your mood right even when you are bored. The reason for that specific mood is what we are referring to as the harmony of the music and not the melody. 

6.Melody is a product-Melody is made up of different notes. The notes in this case serve as the role materials and the melody serves as the end product. Melody is actually regarded as the end product of notes played meaningfully. Regardless of the music at hand, you will notice that there is a notable relationship between the notes and the melody. The purpose of a melody is actually defined by how well the notes are. For the melody to be meaningful, the notes should be played meaningfully as well. 

7. The nature of relationships between the notes-This is actually the characteristic difference between the two terms. The notes are heard separately in a melody relationship. On the other hand, the notes are heard simultaneously in case of harmonic relationships.

8. The reasons-Although the two terms are products of a note relationship, they differ greatly depending on the reasons why they are played. The melodies serve the purpose of passing the messages to the audience while the harmony serves another whole different purpose.

9. Harmony creates the mood for the song-Melody is produced depending on the musical skills of the person producing the song. On the other hand, harmony is created by a combination of different skills to set the right mood for the song. A couple of instruments using chords and rhythm also produce the harmony. 

10. Harmonies are coordinates-Unlike the melody which is all about shape, movement and range; harmonies are the coordinates that team with the melody to supplement it and create a surprisingly beautiful sound. As a matter of fact, harmony enhances mood, depth and the fluidity of the music. Regardless of the type of the music, this is what is going to set the mood of the listeners. Harmony is set by a combination of musical instruments. 

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