Melody & Rhythm
Look at this melody by W. A Mozart, it is the main theme from his Symphony Nr. 40 in G minor:
Now, if we remove anything that has to do with rhythm, we’re left with only the pitches:
This shows us the exact musical pitches of the notes, and you can see the melodic outline, or how the melody moves up and down.
You can also see two flats in the beginning of the staff showing us the key signature and what notes that has to be lowered in the melody for the correct G minor “color” in this piece.
If we from the first example do the opposite; take away all that has to do with the melody - we get only the rhythm:
This time you can see only the rhythm and how it is grouped on the beat that the also tells us in the start (4/4).
As you learn how to read music notes it is a good idea to first focus on learning and understanding each element separately, and then combine melody and rhythm for a complete melody.
You need to use at least one, or preferably two, tools for this:
- Your voice
- Your Instrument
Let’s take a closer look how you can learn to read melody and rhythm easily: