Lecture 4.4 – Harmonising (Coursera – Fundamentals of Music Theory 27)


Okay, so we’ve looked at a lot of
different chord types now. And we’ve built triads on every degree of
the major scale and every degree of the minor
scale. And we’ve heard a lot of different quality
of chords coming through. Now, we know that we can actually
harmonize any diatonic melody just with the chords that you build on the tonic,
the subdominant and the dominant. But we also now know that there’s all
these other chords that we could use, so it’s, it’s a
time to start perhaps playing around with that and
hearing what we can do using that familiar melody again,
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.>>Okay, so we’ve had this melody in week
one. You know, we’ve used that a few times
today. So far today, we’ve talked about
harmonizing it just with cord five the dominate and cord one
the tonic. And we had the kind of important structural impact that this has on the
melody. Now we’re going to hear it just with
chords one, four and five. And then we’re going to take some other
chords and make it sound a wee bit more
interesting. So, Nicky is going to play the guitar.>>It’s not my guitar. This is Zack’s guitar and he’s been very
kind and trusting by lending it to me because I’m not really
a guitarist. But we thought that probably quite a lot
of you will guitars around at home. And also we’re going to sort of teach you
turning around in this, in this format. Might just give you a break from where
we’ve been teaching at the piano and, and give you an insight to how we
learn to do things as well.>>Okay. So I’m going to sing the melody, Nikki is
going to harmonize it using chords one, four, and
five. [MUSIC] Okay, so it’s just the first phrase but
we’re using chords 1, 4, and 5, and you hear how the, how the melodies
sounds and you hear its cadential point. So, let’s try something different. Let’s take another one of the chords we’ve
learned, and this is arguably the next most important and
the next most common chord. We’re going to use chord six this time.>>Okay dokey.>>In the key of G, that is the chord of
E-Minor. That’s chord two, we’re going to have.>>That’s chord two.>>We’re going to have chord six, which is
E-Minor.>>E-minor. there you go…>>… In the key of G. Thank you. Okay. So what I want you to do is just have that
just as the last chord in that phrase.>>Mh-hm.>>We’re going to hear how just a subtle
change in chord makes a real difference to the feel and the overall
effect of the harmonization of the melody. Okay, so let’s try again. [MUSIC] Okay, so again, we’ve got this, a
completely different sound when we arrive at that
chord. And it’s interesting because it gives the
melody a different color. And it gives us a new direction to go off
in.>>But it kind of worked because that
chord that we just used, chord six, has a scale degrees in
it, six, one, three. And that overlaps a lot with the scale
degrees that you get in the tonic chord one, three and five,
which we were using before.>>Okay. Let’s try a different one. This time what we’re going to do is we’re
going to extend the feeling that we get towards the end of
the phrase. What I want you to do is just before the
five chord, which in the key of G is D, I want you to just put a wee
A-Minor chord in it.>>Which I already practiced.>>Now’s your chance to have the A-Minor
chord in place.>>There it is.>>That’s it. A-Minor. Okay? So that’s chord two in the key of G. G chord one, A-Minor is chord two. Let’s try exactly the same thing again and
see what happens. All right?>>Okay. [MUSIC]>>So the progression we got there was
two, five, one in the key of G. And this is really important. Particularly for those of you who’ve maybe come to this course from a jazz
background. This is something you’ll recognize,
whether or not you’re necessarily familiar with
theory of it. But that’s a sound that’s really
important.>>And I think that’s enough for me
massacring Zack’s guitar. So, now what are we going to do is get
back to the piano, and we are going to do, then looks
again at some more of this typical patterns where we are
using cords like two and six, to extend and elaborate the basic
harmonic functions that we’ve seen. We can get with mainly chords one and five, and sometimes with chords one, four,
and five. So we’ve now seen that there are some really important structural moments
called cadences. And we’ve seen a few ways that we can
travel. We know that we have to go from five to
one. We’ve seen from the Twinkle Twinkle Little
Star examples there that a common way of getting to the five to the one is
to put a chord four in beforehand. And that sort of elaborates and extends
that progression. So if we were in G-Major, then a four, five, one progression would sound
like this. [MUSIC] But there are other ways of heading back
to the tonic.>>Yeah, and another way to do that is to
change our dominant chord in some way so that it gives us greater
pull back to the tonic. So let’s jump back into the key of C, just
for ease of example at the moment. So if we’re in the key of C. [MUSIC] Our fifth note is G. So if we build our triad. [MUSIC] From there we get G, B, D.>>That’s a dominate triad.>>Dominate triad and it uses five,
seven, and two. Now, if we add the fourth degree of the
scale to that as well, again we see it’s a third up from our fifth
degree there, of the, of the cord. [MUSIC] G B D F. And this is our dominant seventh chord,
we’ve altered our dominant drive in a way by adding this extra note and given it a
greater sense of pull towards the tonic.>>So let’s hear how that would play out in that sort of credential sequence, so
the pattern I’m going to play now is chord 5, then chord five-seven or dominant seven, and then
back to one. So in C-Major we will have [MUSIC] That’s quite a strong cadence isn’t it? With the way that the five goes to the
one. So, let’s just look about what, what’s working, what’s working within that
cadence. We’ve got the G, the B and the
D in it. Now that chord, we’re saying is a dominant
triad of C Major, but you might be thinking, what
other chords could that be? That could be. [MUSIC]>>Well, it’s just a G-Major triad so in theory it could be G-Major, chord one
in the key of G-Major.>>Okay, if we were adding a seventh to it
in in the key of G-Major that would have to be
this note wouldn’t it. [MUSIC] Because we’ve got F sharps in G-Major. So if we had a seventh chord built on G it
would sound like this. [MUSIC] And that’s not what we’re hearing at all. So one reason that this five, five, seven,
one movement sounds quite strong is it’s really, really
giving us quite emphatically our sense of key when we get
the G seven with F natural, we know we’re not in
G major. So we know that that chord is probably
going to take us back somewhere in C. The other important features of that
dominant seventh chord is that it’s not only got the leading notes in C-Major, which is B, and
that wants to lead us back to C. So the dominant seventh has got that
leading note from C, from B to C, from seven to one. The other thing that’s going on in a
dominant seventh chord is it’s got a four that also wants to move
a semitone. That’s the other semitone that happens in
our major scale and that wants to come from four down to
three. So, there’s two types of harmonic movement
that happen in that dominant seventh that can resolve
this back to the one. Let’s just listen to the five, five,
seven, one again. [MUSIC] See, it’s got two harmonic pulls in it,
going in different directions. So you might have been wondering now that
we just introduced four-note chords to you, why we’ve only been using
three notes up till now.>>Well, there’s absolutely no reason why
you should have to, we’ve been talking triads because it’s a good way to
illustrate how chords work within keys. But there’s some styles of music that
almost always use more extended chords. Jazz is a good example of this where
you’ll have seventh chords, ninths, elevenths, thirteenths and a lot
of alterations to these scale degrees. But, actually, we’ve been talking about
harmonic function in a way that focuses on the, the tonic, the
subdominant, and the dominant. When we’re talking about other, other
styles of music that use more extended chords, this
doesn’t change. It still works in the same way, but what’s important is addition of extra notes to the chords
gives it a definite color, definite flavor, and
sometimes softens the way that the chords move from one to
another.>>So we’ve just heard that progression
five, five-seven, one and we’ve heard how strong a perfect cadence that is with the dominant seventh leading back to the
tonic. How about instead of five, five, seven,
one, we use the progression two, five, seven,
one? Let’s hear how different that sounds. Here’s five, five-seven, one. [SOUND]. And here’s two, five-seven, one. [MUSIC] Harmonically speaking, that last cadence,
two, five, seven, one, has got a lot of strong things going on. It’s, it stays very securely within the
key. It shows us always where our tonic is, but
it’s never static. It’s got major and minor chords happening
in it, and it’s got that dominant movement that dominant
seventh movement that gives us the leading note to the tonic, and also
gives us that semitone action between, from scale
[UNKNOWN] four going down to three.>>It’s also got a really nice, secure, and definite movement happening in
the bass. So when Nicky played it, you have the top
part there, the higher sounding notes move nice and smoothly from one to
the next, moving in quite, small jumps. But actually what was happening in the
bass was that we had a big jump from the D up to the G, and then down
to the C. So what happened was, we went from the D,
up four notes to the G. And then down five notes to the C.>>These are big movements, if this where
a physical structure then you could think of it as
being really solid. We’ve got really big wide placed pillars
giving you a good foundation on the ground leading up to the supporting
structures the, the highest of happening at the
ceiling. So what we should do actually, is just
look at what this notes actually were and then maybe draw your attention to a pattern that you remember from previous
weeks. So if we look at the D to the G. [MUSIC] This is a fourth, and then from the G to
the C, this is also a fourth. So you might remember the circular of fifths
when we were talking about key signatures. What we said is that if you went clockwise
in the circle of fifths, each jump that you made progressed
you a fifth, a perfect fifth. But we actually said if you looked
anti-clockwise round the same circle, you would move in
fourths. D to G, is a fourth, and G to C is a
fourth. Regardless of the fact that when we
actually played the piece of music we moved from a G down to a C. This again serves to show that up a
fourth and down a fifth are equivalent, they take you to
the same note.>>Some harmonic progressions sound more
logical and flowing than others and they tend to get used more than
others. And quite often it’s this root movement of
the chord working with the cycle of fifths that’s actually
producing this very flowing sound. Another feature of a harmonic progression
that can make it sound really coherent, is where a particular pattern gets repeated within the
progression. So, some of the most memorable harmonic
progressions, that get most commonly used, might include both circle of fifths, and they
might keep going with that some way. We’ve included an example here and you
might well recognize this one. There’s some more in the supplementary
material for you to follow up with. [MUSIC] [BLANK_AUDIO]