In music, a melody is a sequence of notes, each heard separately.
The main theme is called the melody. It consists of one or more musical phrases, and is usually repeated throughout the song in various forms. Different musical styles use melody in different ways. For example:
- Rock music and other forms of popular music tend to pick one or two melodies and stick with them; most variety occurs in the lyrics.
- In western classical music, composers introduce an initial melody and then create variations. Classical music often has several melodic layers, such as those in a fugue. Richard Wagner popularized the concept of a leitmotif: a melody associated with a certain idea, person or place.
- Jazz musicians use the melody line as a starting point for improvisation.
- Indian classical music relies heavily on melody and rhythm, and not so much on harmony as the above forms.