Repeating cycles of melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic patterns are at the very heart of folk music, dances, marches, and jazz. Melody especially provides the listener with the opportunity to comprehend longer spans of time that would otherwise be impossible to grasp. We follow a melodic “line” to make sense of these longer spans. In a way, it can be said that meter hands over to melody the responsibility of maintaining the quality of measuredness at slower levels of pulse. Harmony also plays a part, though it does not always change when melodic motives are repeated or varied.




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