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Music contains notes in succession and notes in combination. A linear sequence of notes is called a melody.


An interval is the distance in pitch between two notes. The smallest interval is a semitone. This is the distance between, for example, C and C#.

Click on the play button to hear the sound of the interval. All these intervals use C as the lowest note.


A musical phrase is like a spoken sentence. When you talk, you take a breath after each sentence. With a musical phrase, you can almost hear a 'breath' at the end of the phrase, even when the music is played by non-wind instruments.

Listen to this extract which is taken from a traditional Welsh song Suo Gan. There are two repeated phrases in the music. Can you hear them?

Back to Elements of music index

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