Southbank Sinfonia | Theme


Have a listen to this very famous melodic theme by playing the video for about 30 seconds:

That is the famous Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s spectacular 9th Symphony. We hear that theme first in the cellos, instruments which have a deep, rich sound very similar to the human voice. The theme is then picked up by the human voices and sung by the choir – try listening to this video for about 45 seconds:

We can easily hear it is the same theme. Now, listen to what Beethoven does in the middle of the last movement. He takes that same theme and turns it into a Turkish March!

It may well sound very different, but the basic shape and ingredients can be found in the march as the first time we heard the theme in the cello section.

So, melody is also about taking a theme and developing it through a piece of music.

What else is also part of what we know as melody? Find out more on the next page of our adventure.

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