A melody can be described as an abstract prototype built on a specific combination of key, tempo, instruments, and other factors. It is an auditory object that maintains an invariant identify despite transformations (e.g., can be played louder or softer, or transformed to a different set of pitches and still be recognizable). A melody is defined by the interval between notes rather than the actual notes themselves). (Sternberg, Barbara, PhD. Music & the Brain. p 5-7. CA: Institute for Natural Resources, Home-Study #2320, 2009).
Prenatal hearing, learning, and behavioral responses to a melody played earlier in pregnancy, occurred before or at the beginning of the third trimester. After birth, behavioral responses were specific to the tone to which the fetus had been exposure during gestation. (Harris, Maureen. Music and the Young Mind. p 2-3. NY: MENC with Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2009.)