Why can we hum / sing a melody, when the original has chords?

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When humming a melody from, for example, a piano piece. It doesn’t have one single note, but several playing at the same time. Why can I hum a melody that sounds like the piece?

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6 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Because every chord has (usually) a root note which stands out more than the others. If you are humming something based from only chords then you are probably humming the root notes.

When there is melody and chords togethere the melody is often in a higher register than the chords, or otherwise it is written in a way that is more pronunced and easily stands out from the rest of whats going on in the music. The melody is the most important aspect of the music, everything else is made to support the melody. Rhis will make you as a listener easily able to pick out the melody from the context.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The chords are built around that melody (or the melody is derived from it ^^dontactuallyme )

While we can hum the melody we don’t have to add the accompanying notes that form the chord.

Futher, you can change the notes of the chord to change the *feel* of what’s playing without necessarily changing the melody.

This is way grossly oversimplified and I am no expert

Anonymous 0 Comments

Most music is a combination of chords and a melody. You’re most likely just humming the melody. On a piano the chords are usually played with the left hand on the lower notes, while the melody is usually played with the right hand on the higher notes. On a guitar you’re usually playing the chords on the guitar and then singing the melody. Often a band will have 2 guitarists, where one is playing “rhytm” which is the chords, and another can play the melody or a solo. The bass player is typically playing notes based on the chords, instead of strumming the entire chord at once, like the rhytm guitarist.

The melody is usually made up from notes from the scale of the key of the song. The key of a song, is the note that the song rests on. It might be the beginning and/or end chord of the chord sequence.

A scale is a list of notes that harmonise together based on the root note. There are many different types of scales. Most commonly the Major and Minor scale, that each have a different feel to them.

When someone is playing a solo they are typically playing notes from a scale in the key of the song, which makes them able of jumping quickly between notes that all fit with the song. Musicians will practice scales and know them instinctively, to how how melodies are made up and play along with songs they don’t know yet.

Anonymous 0 Comments

A chord is made up of several notes played together, but it has a ‘root’ note, the note the chord is named for, depending on the key the song is in.
Typically, when humming or singing, we find the root note, or at least one of the commonly recognizable notes for a given chord.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Brain is just good at remembering sounds and pattern, which is essential to understand speech. And melodies are patterns of sounds.

And we are all standard issued an instrument (our throat, to produce sounds), so we have the hardware to replicate melodies.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Songs are built of 2 parts- harmony and melody.
The harmony is the sounds of the chords, the melody is the actual “song” you recognize.
The harmony is more of the background that gives context to the melody.
One analogy to this could be a painting – you can surely recognize the Mona Lisa from just the face – but, if you changed the color pallet/ background the whole feeling of the painting will change.