from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An ode for one voice or actor, as in Greek drama.
  • n. A poem in which the poet or speaker mourns another's death.
  • n. Music A style of composition dominated by a single melodic line.
  • n. Music A style of composition having a single melodic line; monophony.
  • n. Music A composition in either of these styles.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An ode, as in Greek drama, for a single voice, often specifically a mournful song or dirge.
  • n. Any poem mourning the death of someone; an elegy.
  • n. A monotonous or mournful noise.
  • n. A composition having a single melodic line.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A species of poem of a mournful character, in which a single mourner expresses lamentation; a song for one voice.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In music:
  • n. A style of composition in which one voice-part decidedly preponderates in interest over the others; homophony: opposed to polyphony, in which all the voice-parts are equally important.
  • n. A piece written in monodic style; a melody, tune, or air, usually for the voice.
  • n. A composition written in one part only; a solo. Also monophony.
  • n. Monotonous sound; monotonousness of sound.
  • n. A poem in which grief for the death of the subject of the poem is expressed.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. music consisting of a single vocal part (usually with accompaniment)


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Late Latin monōdia, from Greek monōidiā : mono-, mono- + aoidē, ōidē, song; see wed-2 in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin monodia, from Ancient Greek μονῳδία.


  • It is sometimes called monody, although the term "monody" can also refer to a particular type of solo song with instrumental accompaniment that was very popular in the 1600's.

    Archive 2009-05-01

  • Bach is essentially a "monody," a composition of one idea, which preponderates so decidedly as to enforce its character and individuality upon the work; nay, it is the work.

    The Masters and their Music A series of illustrative programs with biographical, esthetical, and critical annotations

  • There have been many histories of Jerusalem, from Jeremiah's sixth century B.C. monody to "For Jerusalem," a premature happy ending written in the 1970s by a successful mayor, Teddy Kollek.

    City of Peace—and War

  • What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!

    Oxford Must Reject Islamic Call To Prayer – Update « Unambiguously Ambidextrous

  • I have some music reading dates set up w/JmB and JO - medieval conductus, 17th century monody (Luzzaschi, anyone?), and hot, fresh compositions by JmB.

    Music on the horizons

  • Here the chant alternates between monody and three-part polyphony, following the method of twelfth-century Parisian discantus as it has come down to us in the only extant work of Master Albert of Paris precentor of the Cathedral of Saint-Étienne, preserved in the Codex Calixtinus: the Congaudeant catholici.

    Archive 2009-03-01

  • Bach had an unparalleled talent for assimilating disparate influences into an architecturally harmonious whole at a time when an unprecedented number of disparate influences — Renaissance polyphony, Lutheran chorale, Italian monody, French dance music, you name it — was ripe for assimilation.

    Archive 2007-07-01

  • In liturgical terms, an analysis of the monody in the Codex Calixtinus reveals several surprising features.

    Another early music site

  • With organ voice it has gloated over the joys of the moment, and its intoned monody on passing woes

    Last Leaves from Dunk Island

  • It is the art of monody, which flourished in the Aeolian islands in the seventh and sixth centuries B.C.E., that gives us our first lyric "personalities," poets who sang of their lives and loves and unrequited yearnings with a visceral intensity of feeling.

    Poetry Pages - 98.06.10


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  • Poetry or music where the poet or instrument laments another person's death.

    September 20, 2009

  • Don't blame yourself. You gave it the full monody.

    June 26, 2008

  • Was it a Monody when you did that, jenn?

    June 26, 2008

  • Ha! I kept reading this word as Monday, and then looking at the weirnet definition, then looking back at the word, misreading it again, then back at the definition....

    June 26, 2008