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06 harmony

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This lecture covers chapter 6 of Elements in our textbook.

This lecture covers chapter 6 of Elements in our textbook.


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  • 1. HARMONY Refers to the way chords are constructed and how they follow each other.
  • 2. HARMONY
    • A chord is a combination of 3 or more tones sounded at once.
    • Melody is a group of individual tones heard one after another
    • As a melody unfolds, it provides clues for harmonizing
    • A melody does not always dictate a specific series or progression of chords
  • 3. HARMONY
    • The same melody can be harmonized in many different ways
    • Composers will experiment to find the chord progression that best fits the melody
  • 4. HARMONY
    • Some chords are considered stable and restful
      • A tone combination that is stable is called a consonance
    • Some chords are considered unstable
      • These chords are called dissonant
    • When dissonant chords move to consonant chords it is called a resolution
  • 5. The most simple of all chords is the triad The notes of a triad are played at the same time HARMONY w w w
  • 6. HARMONY
    • Triads are made up of alternate notes of the scale.
      • The first tone ( do ), the third ( mi ), and the fifth ( sol )
    • A triad built on the first note of the scale ( do ) is called the tonic chord .
    • Traditionally a piece of music will begin and end on the tonic chord.
  • 7. HARMONY
    • The triad built on the fifth note of the scale is almost as important as the one built on the tonic.
      • A triad built on the fifth note is called a dominant chord.
    • A dominant chord pulls strongly to the tonic chord and usually sets up the tension that must be resolved by returning to the tonic chord.
    w w w
  • 8. HARMONY
    • Progression from dominant chord to tonic chord is called a cadence.
    • A cadence can be both a resting point in the melody and the end of a melodic passage.
  • 9. HARMONY
    • An arpeggio is when the notes of a chord are not played at the same time, but one at a time
      • The chord has been broken into it’s individual notes
    • The definition of arpeggio is broken chord.
  • 10. Frederic Chopin (1810-1849)
    • Prelude in E Minor for Piano , Op. 28, No. 4 (1839)
      • Without the dissonant chords underlying the melody, which hardly moves between two notes, this piece would be extremely boring
      • This dissonant chords underscore the melancholy of this piece
      • Toward the end, a mildly dissonant chord sets up the resolution of the dissonance and the end of the piece.
  • 11. Frederic Chopin (1810-1849)
    • Prelude in E Minor for Piano , Op. 28, No. 4 (1839)
      • Without the dissonant chords underlying the melody, which hardly moves between two notes, this piece would be extremely boring
      • This dissonant chords underscore the melancholy of this piece
      • Toward the end, a mildly dissonant chord sets up the resolution of the dissonance and the end of the piece.

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