An obbligato (a.k.a. counter-melody) is a musical device in which a secondary contrapuntal melody sounds at the same time as a primary melody or theme. A famous example is found in the fourth movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. When the baritone/bass sings “Freude, schönerGötterfunken, TochterausElysium,Wirbetreten, feuertrunken,Himmlische, deinHeiligtum…” from Friedrich Schiller’s “Ode to Joy“, the first bassoon plays an obbligato (counter-melody) in contrast to the bass’ famous and simpler “Ode to Joy” melody.