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in ancient Greece, solo singing to the accompaniment of an aulos, cithara, or lyre. The term also denotes a style of solo singing with homophonic accompaniment that originated in Italy in the 16th century and gave rise to such new forms and genres as aria, recitative, opera, and cantata. In a broader sense, “monody” designates any vocal music for a single melodic line (solo, ensemble, or choral in unison or octave) or the vocal part of a composition performed with instrumental accompaniment.
a musical texture consisting of a single melody performed by a singer or an instrumentalist, and frequently by two or more performers (in unison or an octave apart). It differs from polyphonic texture in that no harmonies (simultaneous combinations of nonparallel sounds) are formed. Monody is the only texture found in the folk music of many peoples. The concept of monody is narrower than that of melody, which also includes melodies, a concept that is inconceivable without accompaniment. Nonetheless, “monody” sometimes refers to a solo song with instrumental accompaniment.