How Music Works: Melody

Why does melody affect us so deeply, from the moment we are born? Tunes touch our deepest emotions, and are capable of inspiring love, sorrow, faith, and hope. But how does a melody actually work?

In this film composer Howard Goodall looks at melody's basic elements. Why are some melodic shapes common to all cultures across the world? Can successful melodies be written at random? If not, what are the familiar melodic patterns composers of all types of music have fallen back on again and again, and why do they work?

Setting out on a journey that moves through the centuries, Howard looks at the curious link between Tudor England and the Mississippi Delta, and uncovers melodic shapes common to all cultures across the world. Following a trail of diverse musical sources from Gustav Mahler to Paul Simon, Shaker hymns to Bulgarian folk songs, medieval choral music to the Broadway showstoppers he reveals the tried and tested tricks of the composer's trade.

Tags:   Enrichment    Music History    Music Theory    melody    music writing    composing    music theory