Composition: Creating Harmony
In music, harmony refers to
the use of several pitches (or notes) that are generally played
simultaneously to produce a range of tones to create desired musical
effects. The relationship between two pitches in music is called an
interval. Harmony is created when various notes and intervals are
combined into a chord. The way these harmonic chords are constructed
determines whether they create consonant (pleasant) or dissonant (harsh)
sounds. Various types of music have specific rules for creating
harmony. Typically, harmony in Western music is rooted in consonance,
which results in a pleasant balance within musical compositions.
of the most basic harmonic progressions for all tonal music is the I-V
tonic-dominant pattern. This pattern has been used for centuries in
millions of compositions and was especially popular during the Classical
era. Our ears naturally want to hear the tension of the dominant
resolve to the tonic. This tension and resolution lie at the center of
Western harmony. While the tonic-dominant relationship has been greatly
elaborated upon over the centuries, it is still the organizational force
behind all standard harmonic progressions.
In this assignment,
you will notate the vocal line of a simple song and add consonant chords
using the I-V pattern. You will then have the opportunity to write your
own song, complete with a melody line, accompanying chords, and lyrics.