A chord melody arrangement is one in which the melody (of a song) is embedded in the chord. While you can play the melody separately from the harmony, the idea is that the notes you need for the melody is in the chord itself.
Why is this special?
Usually, not all notes of the melody are in the chord. There can be passing notes or neighbor notes.
If the chords you play have to include the notes of the melody, this could lead to a lot of chord changes.
Given that chords can be created in a number of ways (root position, inversion, closed and open positions), we have many ways to play chords that will bring out the melody.
After I posted my chord melody arrangement of the Alphabet Song, which has the same music for the lyrics of “Twinkle, Twinkle”, I received a compliment and a challenge from a fellow ukulele club member.
I took the challenge as my first commission for the ukulele.