What is a Melody of a Song?

Knowing what is a Melody of a Song, might seem like a simple question, but not everyone knows the answer!

In easy-to-understand terms, the melody of a song is the main part, or the most memorable part of a piece or music. Another way to know what is a melody of a song, is to think of the part that you sing or hum along to. This part, often performed by a singer, is the melody line, and it is the part most listeners can easily identify.

Another way of thinking about what is a melody of a song, is to think about what features of the melody make it unique compared to other pieces of music. It is the melodic line that people can easily pick out to identify the artist, and often each artist will have signature style when performing the melody in a piece of music.

But what is it that makes a melody different to another? The answer is it is features of the melody that make it unique. The features of a melody will be explained further in this article, but if you want to deepen your understanding of What is Melody in Music, read this blog post first and come back to find out how you can describe and write about the features of a melody in detail.

Link to Melody Blog post here.

If you would like a copy of the FREE Elements of Music Mind Maps that are used in this blog post, simply click this link here and add your details to get a copy sent straight to your in box today!


What is the Melody in Music?

Before you and your students can know how to describe what is a melody in music, they need to know the meaning of melody in music. The process of knowing how to what is a melody of a song is much easier when your students know the meaning of melody and can define each term as they hear it in the music they are listening to.

The simplest definition of melody in music is “a series of pitches that forms a tune”.

If you would like to learn all about the terms used to define in music, then read the blog post that has all the melody in music definitions explained in a simple and easy to understand way.

What is Melody in Music?



How to Describe Melody in Music in 3 Steps

The how to describe melody in music lesson uses the Elements of Music Mind Maps. You can get a FREE printable version by clicking here OR you can purchase the 7 different Elements of Music Mind Maps sets by clicking here.

Before completing this lesson with your students, it is assumed that they have a good understanding of the music terminology associated with Melody in Music. This is not a beginning lesson, but a lesson that will help your students to apply the knowledge that they have learned to a piece of music that is selected for study and analysis.

Some resources to help both you and your students learn about Melody in Music are listed below

  1. Elements of Music Melody Listening Worksheets- includes all melody terms and definitions plus listening questions of varying difficulty
  2. Melody Music Memory Card Games– music terms and definitions in printable card form, great for games and lost of other class activities
  3. Elements of Music Melody Terms – music terms and definitions as a colorful display, either printable or using the IWB.


Step 1 – listen to the music

The first step to complete in this lesson, is the easiest one. Simply listen to the music.

To help your students focus on what to listen for in the music, display the Melody Mind Map and discuss each aspect of melody. It is important to note here that you do not have to discuss every aspect of what is a melody of a song, but you can pick and choose which areas to focus on in the lesson. You will see in the example, that this was the case with this lesson.

The song that is being discussed in this melody in music example is by Dido – Thank You. Please watch and listen before reading further – it will make more sense that way!




Step 2 – Complete the Melody Mind Map

After listening to the music, look at the Melody Mind Map and ask questions about each aspect of the Element of Music – Melody.

Some simple questions you could ask include:

  1. What instrument is performing the melody?
  2. Is there any use of ornamentation in the melody?
  3. What instruments support the melody? (melodic accompaniment)
  4. What is the melodic contour? (shape)
  5. What is the main melodic motion? (steps/leaps)
  6. What is the range of the melody?
  7. What is the register of the melody?
  8. Is there any use of articulation?
  9. What is the phrasing?

You can see in the completed Melody Mind Map above, that not all aspects of the Element of Music Melody have an answer – that is OK! The ability and skill level of your class will determine what you focus on.

The questions and answers that are being focused on in this lesson are shown in the image below.


Step 3 – Write the What is a Melody of a Song Analysis using M.U.S.I.C.

Knowing write about what is a melody of a song in music is easy with the process developed by Jooya Teaching Resources using the Writing About Music scaffold – M.U.S.I.C.

Insert M.U.S.I.C. image here.



M.U.S.I.C. is a simple to use writing about music scaffold that stands for

M- Main Music Idea

U- Understanding of the main music idea

S- specific sample that supports the main musical idea

I – in depth information about that specific sample

C- connect to the question or Element/Concept of Music

To use the Writing About Music scaffold – M.U.S.I.C. is easy when you follow the music paragraph writing structure

  1. Write an introductory sentence about the Main Musical Idea, in this case, Melody, then show your Understanding of the Main Musical idea by defining it.
  2. Introduce the song name and the performer and the Main Musical Idea being discussed in the analysis
  3. The next few sentences should state a Specific Sample and supporting In depth Information about that sample. Write a sentence for each Specific Sample.
  4. Complete the paragraph by writing a statement about how the Main Musical idea Connects to the Element of Music.


The images below show both the answers and questions in a paragraph, color coded with each different part of the Writing About Music framework – M.U.S.I.C.




If you prefer to watch a live demonstration of this M.U.S.I.C. writing process in action, watch the video linked below. The video explains the process in more detail and shows you how it is written in real time.


You can also join me, every Tuesday night, at 7 p.m., Australian Eastern Time, over on the Jooya Teaching Resources Facebook page, where there is a live demonstration of the Writing About Music process, music lesson ideas and more. Use the link here to join me!

Until next time

Happy listening and teaching

Julia from Jooya

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