G7 U1 – Melodic Analysis


Melodic Analysis

You will be asked to analyze a melody in the following ways:

Range of a melody (the generic interval between the lowest and highest pitches of the melody)

– Phrase/Slur marking
– Motive 
– Intervals (melodic/harmonic) (the numeric distance between two pitches)


– Step, Skip and Leap – Melodic movement

Antecedent and Consequent – the first question phrase of 4 bars is answered by the second which uses some of the same material to start and then changes or answers

                      *Try this online game quiz on Skips, Steps, and Repeat by MusicTechTeacher


  • MELODIC MOTION: Conjunct and Disjunct Movement

– Conjunct (moving in steps/skips) and Disjunct (moving in leaps) melodic movement – 


  • Contour of Melody

    If we just played the same notes over and over music would be very boring. As music progresses, the melody rises and falls, slowly or quickly. This creates a visible shape on the page.Shape-Contour-MelodyWe can see that the shape of this melody rises with the notes on the staff, and then slightly falls, creating an arch shape.
    Terms that we can use to describe the direction or shape of a melody are: rising or ascending, falling or descending, or an arch-shaped phrase.

  • Melodic Motion

    Step/Skip/Leap – Conjunct/Disjunct: In music, a step, is when the melody moves between two consecutive scale degrees. If a melody misses a note it is called a skip . If it skips more than one note it is called a  leap. Many melodies have a mixture of motion.

  • Melodic Movement by Intervals

    (Generic Interval – distance between melody notes, 1st unison, 2nd, 3rd… 8th octave)

  • Melodic Range

    refers to the distance between the lowest and highest note of a melody. The range of songs is notated by a Generic Interval such as a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc.

  • Phrase

    Melodies are often described as being made up of phrases.
    A phrase in a melodic sentence and express a definite idea, but the phrase is not a complete sentence by itself. A melodic phrase is a group of notes that make sense together and express a definite melodic “idea”, but it takes more than one phrase to make a complete melody.Melody-phrases

    – see if you can mark the phrases on the melody London Bridge below


  • Motive

    a Motive or motif is a short musical idea, a notable 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” or a short melodic idea that is repeated throughout the song.


  • Sequencing 

In music, a sequence is the restatement of a motive or longer melodic (or harmonic) passage at a higher or lower pitch in the same voice. It is one of the most common and simple methods of elaborating or developing a melody 

  • Antecedent and Consequent Phrases


Play the following melody ‘London Bridge’ on the Piano

London Bridge Melody

For the quiz you will need to identify the following:

  • contour – a line drawn representing the shape of the melody
  • range – the numeric interval given to the lowest to highest pitches of the melody
  • steps, skips/leaps, – find one example of each type of movement
  • sequencing – melodic motives that are played starting on varying pitches
  • generic intervals – melodic and harmonic intervals of specific movement which are given a number indicating the distance from one note to the next – circle all the 4th interval
  • motive – A short melodic idea that is used in a melody which repeats throughout the song
  • phrase  – a melodic passage that is to be played is to be performed as one melodic sentence or idea in one breath
  • conjunct and disjunct melodic movement  – In music, a step, or conjunct motion, is the difference in pitch between two consecutive notes of a musical scale. Movement of a skip or leap is disjunct motion.
  • consequent and antecedent phrases OR question and answer phrases




Name the melody or tune below

Create a contour : above the melody below draw a line which mirrors the melodies movement.



Melodic Analysis

PRINT and Analyze the following melody:

  • circle two motifs
  • use a phrase marking arc above the staff to show phrases
  • put squares around two measures that use repetition

Click to download worksheet – twinkle-twinkle-melody

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WORKING in Small Groups 

How many melodic techniques did Mozart use in the melody Twinkle Twinkle?

SHARE with class




  1. Twinkle Twinkle Melody
  2. MELODY for ANALYSIS – melody only
  3.  MELODY for ANALYSIS  in 3/4 – melody only


1. Repetition

2. Rhythmic Cadence – Phrase

3. Anticedent & Consequent

4. Embellishments & Grace Notes

5. Sequencing

6. Theme and Variation

7. Inversion / Retrograde

8. Augmentation / Diminuation

9. Melodic Permutation

10. Rhythmic Displacement and Augmentation