People who only love melody have no passion for music.

This is an interesting debate that I had with someone on the internet...


I hate melody. Whenever I hear a melody, I want to chop it up into little pieces and disembody it over huge leaps so that it is unrecognisably distorted. There is nothing worse than humming along to a 'little tune' completely oblivious of the depth of emotion contained in the rest of the music. Give me orchestration/instrumentation any day. A combination of careful tuning and an expert choice of instruments can convey a world of understanding that a bumbling tune would disguise as 'cheerful contentment.

Sounds like an incredibly reductive and primitive view of what can constitute a "melody". Not to diminish the value of expertly done orchestration, but both can co-exist, and the melody certainly doesn't have to be a "little tune", bumbling or cheerful. See: Ravel, Stravinsky.

I wouldn't regard that much of Ravel's or Stravinsky's music contains what I would call a melody.  I would call it melodic writing which I admire.  Ravel's only sustained melody is that awful piece Bolero which ironically is saved by its consummate orchestration. Stravinsky did exactly what I said I would do to melody; chop it up and distort it.(except for his ill-fated neo-classical period; the saving grace there was that the melodies weren't his own.) I am thinking of Tchaikovsky as a writer of 'bumbling little tunes'. As skilful as he was, he was over reliant on reducing music to its primitive element - the tune and its subservient accompaniment. If you ignore the futility of this aspect of his music, you may find the darkness that lurks inside some of his most cheerful apparel. I am not saying that tune writing is superficial; I am saying that it hides the REAL passion inside the music.

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