I am searching audio files of a certain text in Google. In all valid search results, it is read by melody. I want to add extra keywords to find the exact result. I tried without melody and straight read as keywords, but they did no good.

Is there any verb or noun that has a close meaning to reading without melody?

  • 'Melody' always refers to music and a distinct pattern of musical notes. People just do not speak or recite with melody. Do you mean intonation/modulation, some subtle rising or falling tone within a sentence? (this is far from a melody)? This intonation is also a sign of a good recitation; it seems strange to desire a reading without intonation.
    – Mitch
    Commented Jul 20, 2012 at 11:40
  • Those phrases ("read by melody", "straight read", "reading without melody") don't give a clear or unambiguous description of whatever it is you are asking about. Please edit the question: add examples of readings and indicate which are close to what you want, and which are distant. Indicate if "valid" means what you got or what you meant to get. Commented Jul 20, 2012 at 15:48
  • Get hold of the text itself, and track down a copy of the speech synthesiser that Stephen Hawking uses. It might be a bit hard to find though - Hawking only sticks with it for historical reasons, and no modern product would be so "flat". Commented Jul 20, 2012 at 18:35

3 Answers 3


Monotone seems to be the word you are looking for. Here is the definition:

mon·o·tone/ˈmänəˌtōn/ Noun:
A continuing sound, esp. of someone's voice, that is unchanging in pitch and without intonation. Adjective:
(of a voice or other sound) Unchanging in pitch; without intonation or expressiveness. Synonyms:
noun. monotony - sameness adjective. monotonous - humdrum - singsong - flat

  • 1
    I think finding an audio file of monotone reading of some text may be hard... Monotone voice is considered a vice, and few would boast their reading is monotone - people usually strive for expressive, interesting voice. OTOH, pasting the text into a text-to-speech bot may produce exactly that, monotone reading!
    – SF.
    Commented Jul 20, 2012 at 12:29

Recitation. This does not imply flat or monotone reading - the speech is still expressive, but (mostly) natural, no melody.

You may sing lyrics of a song acapella, following the melodic line, or recite them, by plainly speaking them.


Besides David Watts' suggestions of monotonous and flat, an adjective often used to describe unexciting delivery in audiobooks is the word dry.

If you are sifting through reviews, then the word boring might also point you in the right direction ;)

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