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Composition and le-rythme

Relationships between le-rythme, melody and harmony

1. Introduction



le-rythme is the organization of  melody and harmony inside time. It includes different elements such as : the meter, the pulse, the tempo


It depends on the following parameters :


- The melodic motion, small, large or repeated

- The note quality

- The resolution of dissonances or melodic notes



2. le-rythme and melody


The notes that must resolve create a le-rythmeic strentgh and are more active. The le-rythmeic value of such notes also depends on the approaching motion :




The « B » leading tone is shorter than the previous « C » note because both notes are very close to each other




Here, the same note is longer because it is approached by a larger interval


A melody including repeated notes creates a strong le-rythme :




Natural                                                                                            Not natural


Often, the more a melody proceeds by short intervals and the closer are the values, and conversely :




Melody                                                 Avoid                                          Better




3. le-rythme and harmony



le-rythme also depends on harmony. When a melodic note or a dissonance is placed inside a chord, it has less le-rythmeic strength than outside a chord  :





When the note having to resolve is altered (not belonging to the chord), it creates more activity:



Altered note = D#



The le-rythmeic effect also depends on the harmonic frequency. When a melody is harmonized with 1 chord, it shows a loss of le-rythme. When the same melody is harmonized by "section" ( 1 chord per note ), the le-rythmeic strength increases.



Not dynamic                                                                      More le-rythmeic



The le-rythmeic consideration also depends on the quality of the harmonic interval. Consonances are more « passive » than dissonances (that must resolve) :



Passive 3rd & 6th  / Active dim.7th

Continue this lesson !