His ear for melody was inferior to his sense of time, but that his overfacility and structural defects were due less to lack of taste than to early habit, Georgian models, disassociation from the schools, is indicated by his work as a writer of prose.
Master of a form of language peculiarly sweet and euphonical, and possessed of a delicate ear which instinctively suggested the most musical arrangement possible, he gives his sentences, without art or effort, the most agreeable flow, is never abrupt, never too diffuse, much less prolix or wearisome, and being himself simple, fresh, naif (if we may use the word), honest and somewhat quaint, he delights us by combining with this melody of sound simple, clear and fresh thoughts, perspicuously expressed, often accompanied by happy turns of phrase, and always manifestly the spontaneous growth of his own fresh and unsophisticated mind.
On the other hand, in a collection intended for synagogue use - and the second collection of psalms is as a whole far more suitable to a synagogue than to the Temple - where there would not be a large choir and orchestra of skilled musicians, it would obviously be desirable to state whether the psalm was to be sung to a Davidic, Asaphic or Korahite tone, or to give the name of a melody appropriate to it.
Before his time instrumental music was chiefly written for the Paradiesensaal, and its melody often sacrificed vitality of idea to a ceremonial courtliness of phrase.
In some of the flights of his muse he reminds us of Slowacki, in the melody of his verse of Zaleski.
But his own style was an individual one, marked by lightness and facility, sparkling vivacity, grace and elegance, clear and piquant melody - characteristically French.
There came to me in this case a melody which the air had strained, and which had conversed with every leaf and needle of the wood, that portion of the sound which the elements had taken up and modulated and echoed from vale to vale.
A famous and typical instance of Wagner's use of Leitmotif in tragic irony is the passage where Hagen gives Siegfried friendly welcome, to the melody of the curse which Alberich pronounced on the ring and all who approached it.
The stirring melody of the Marseillaise and its ingenious adaptation to the words serve to disguise the alternate poverty and bombast of the words themselves.
He coaxed one melody after another from the old piano, and then finally he folded the lid down.