Melody is a mystery that is not easily revealed. In it dwells a hidden but powerful force that operates inexplicably. We can penetrate to the sources of the rhythmic form; they lie concealed in our psycho-physical constitution and are explicable in rational terms. On the other hand, the nature of musical harmonics can be explained fully from the relationships of numbers, from physical proportions. But in melody there lies a certain fluidity which binds the tones among one another and lends to them a new, entirely unique character. For when one or more new tones are joined to a melody (this becomes the case most clearly in a short melodic thought), then all of a sudden the fluidity of the melody is stirred; it flows into the new portion and surrounds it. In melody the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Today one calls these structures “forms” [Gestalten]. They are not fully graspable logically, but are immediately and evidently meaningful. Thus in melody there lies an irrational, dynamic foundation, which raises music to a greater height, though also pushes it further into the distance.
Writer - Critic - Poet - Editor