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Contours


A contour is the shape in which the pitch of a melody travels.

There are four basic contours: arch, wave, inverted arch, and pivotal.

Arch

In an arch contour, the pitch goes up then down:

Figure 1: An arch contour.


Wave

In a wave contour, the pitch goes up and down repeatedly:

Figure 2: A wave contour.


Inverted Arch

In an inverted arch contour, the pitch down then up:

Figure 3: An inverted arch contour.


Pivotal

In a pivotal contour, the notes remain stationary around a certain pitch:

Figure 4: A pivotal contour.


Also see Phrase | Lyrics.


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