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melody type

according to 20th-century musicologists, any of a variety of melodic formulas, figurations, and progressions and rhythmic patterns used in the creation of melodies in certain forms of non-European and early European music. In these cultural contexts, musical inventiveness is manifested in imaginative combinations and recombinations of traditional elements within the framework of structural archetypes, rather than in the unique conception of original materials

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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