is a kind of music
distinguished by having a single melodic
line and accompaniment. Although such music is found in various cultures throughout history, the term is generally applied to Italian song of the early 17th century. It is contrasted with polyphony
, in which each part is equally important. The term is used both for the style and for individual songs (so one can speak both of monody as a whole as well as a particular monody).
Monody is sometimes used equivalently with homophony, where the accompaniment would not be rhythmically independent.
An important early treatise on monodies is contained in Giulio Caccini's song collection, Le nuove musiche (1601).
See Texture (music)