1. Melody & Harmony

The Ingredients (or Elements) of Music

There are several elements of music. Every song or piece of music you listen to has a set of rules it follows, like the recipe for a cake. If you take away some of the ingredients, or "elements", you will change the sound of the music, much like changing a recipe will change the taste of a cake.

Today, we'll be learning about two of these ingredients - or elements; Melody and Harmony.

Subway Performers

Watch this video of street performers singing "My Way" by the Beatles.

In the very beginning, the two performers are singing the melody together.

Shortly after, one of them switches to another part and sings the harmony.

How would you define melody and harmony?

Beatles Buskers BLAC RABBIT “We Can Work It Out” 14th Street Subway 41918.mp4
Melody vs. Harmony.mp4

Melody vs. Harmony

Watch this video about the difference between melody and harmony. As you watch, try to remember the definitions for these musical terms:

  • Melody
  • Harmony
  • Chords


A memorable sequence of notes - the main tune

(the part that gets stuck in your head)


The notes that make up the rest of the music

(the part that supports the melody)

Violin street performer

Watch this video of a violin-playing street performer. Listen to how he layers the melody, harmony, and rhythm elements one at a time. This is called looping; talented street performers will sometimes do this to give their performance a fuller, "complete" sound.

What order does the performer add in the different elements of music?

Street Musician + Violin + Looping Pedal Awesome Video.mp4

Pentatonix - A Capella Singing & Beatboxing

Pentatonix is an a capella group that consists of five members. Four of the members sing while the fifth member beatboxes. Beatboxing is when you simulate percussion sounds with your mouth. Watch the video below and try to identify which members of Pentatonix are singing melody and harmony, and which member is beatboxing.

Gold – Pentatonix (Kiiara Cover).mp4
Melody and Rhythm cross word search.docx


Complete the melody & harmony definition crossword puzzle. Print out the PDF if you need another copy.

When finished, click the link below to go to incredibox.com. Incredibox is a music creation website in which you can create a looping song that includes melody, harmony and rhythmic elements.

Click on version 2, 3, or 4. For today, play around and try to make a neat song. Tomorrow, we will record songs and identify the melody, harmony and rhythm.