In the melodic lines of both late romantic and popular music, upward leaps of both minor and major 7ths are common—the latter is a particularly striking expressive feature.
andRichard Strauss favoured it too, such as this glorious passage in Ein Heldenleben, where the massed horns hijack the recapitulation, with a repeated phrase ending in a minor 7th leap, then—amidst heady modulation—yet another one, culminating in a blazing major 7th:
I’ve already offered you Carlos Kleiber‘s version (with the above passage from 23.39); here’s Mengelberg and the New York Phil in 1928 (from 25.00):
And a gorgeous major 7th leap adorns the glowing string melody of the slow finale (from 35.40, in three flats):
In the Four last songs, Beim Schlafengehen is animated by the leap—as at the opening, in the gorgeous dialogue between violin and singer, and the final horn solo. Here’s the beginning of the violin solo (in five flats):
and the climax of the vocal part, with leaps of first a minor and then a major 7th:
The leap of a minor 7th can be highly expressive too, as in Billie Holiday’s extraordinary You’re my thrill.
Further instances welcome…
At the other end of melodic movement, see Unpromising chromaticisms.
Meanwhile, undistracted by the harmonic element, Indian raga is a classic locus for exploring monophonic pitch relationships, mostly based on conjunct intervals…