Counter-melody


Counter-melody

In music, counter-melody (often countermelody) is a sequence of notes, perceived as a melody, written to be played simultaneously with a more prominent lead melody. Typically a counter-melody performs a subordinate role, and is heard in a texture consisting of a melody plus accompaniment. In marches, the counter melody is often given to the trombones or horns (American composer David Wallis Reeves is credited with this innovation in 1876.[1]) The more formal term countersubject applies to a secondary or subordinate melodic idea in a fugue. A countermelody differs from a barbershop quartet-style harmony part sung by a backup singer in that whereas the harmony part typically lacks its own independent musical line, a countermelody is a distinct melodic line.

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