Definition of monody in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmänədē/

noun (plural monodies)

1An ode sung by a single actor in a Greek tragedy.
Example sentences
  • I've mentioned the Easter monodies glowingly sung by Catherine King.
  • Many times, and particularly when combined with texts, the melodies are presented as extended monodies, carefully controlled so that Messiaen's words can be clearly heard.
  • Its regretful, transfiguring ending, built out of a wonderfully orchestral monody, is remarkable, and the clarity of the textures is quite startling.
2A poem lamenting a person’s death.
3Music with only one melodic line, especially an early Baroque style with one singer and continuo accompaniment.
Example sentences
  • Percussion and even the early harp played no part in the great development from monody to polyphony.
  • For me, one of its most interesting quotations was when he was introducing monody and the transition into the baroque.
  • Among the different vocal and instrumental styles that characterise the medieval period, monody plays an essential part.



Pronunciation: /məˈnädik/
Example sentences
  • Tuesday's performance is part of the group's desire to live a musical adventure ‘within the framework of a country which has a great monodic tradition’.
  • His secular vocal music, monodic and polyphonic, is mainly contained in five volumes of Musiche, and ten volumes of madrigals and villanellas.
  • The musical treatment ranges from monodic to polyphonic; there are antiphonal passages, most notably when high and low voices alternate in the Christe eleison section.


Pronunciation: /ˈmänədəst/


Early 17th century: via late Latin from Greek monōdia, from monōdos 'singing alone'.

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