I am posting a new carol I have written for Christmas entitled Shepherds Jubilee!
The lyrics are modified and adapted from Angels We Have Heard on High.
The carol is voiced with extended chords. If you read the words I think you will get the impact of the carol. This was a fun project for me and I hope you enjoy it.
Best of Holidays,
The Tonic (in yellow) is where music begins and ends. It is home base. It is the chord of repose. It is the I, iii, and vi scale degrees.
You can see how music is a series of repetitious movements from the Tonic (yellow), to the Pre-Dominant (pink), to the Dominant (blue) as demonstrated on the first page of the highlighted version of the Substitution Composition below.
My pet peeve is sheet music that is not charted! No road map, no chords, no scale degrees. How does one learn to use progressions and scale degrees if music is never charted? And how can you begin to arrange or compose without using progressions and scale degrees? Every piece you ever play ought to be a study in theory. You should:
So here is my arrangement of 'The Lonely Man' in D Minor' originally by Joe Harnell. It's the saddest song you will ever play. I have charted the scale degrees and chords on the pdf and shown in red the notes that make up the chord.. The roadmap is shown below the score.
So the primary harmonic functions are:
*This post corresponds with the first three lessons of LESSONS IN HARMONY. Link to Greg's arrangement of Be Still My Soul.
HOW TO CHART! I challenge you to chart Greg Howlett's superb introduction to Be Still My Soul. Listen to the introduction here.
To chart you will need two resources:
Let's chart the first three measures of the introduction to Be Still My Soul.
I thought it may be helpful to not only identify the extended chords I used, but also to show the color notes in red for the Basic Extended Chord Arrangement and the Improvisation for All the Things You Are.
The color notes shown are 7ths, 9ths, and in some cases11ths, and 13ths. The few notes you see in red are the color notes that add tension, dissonance, and a unique jazz sound. If you compare this with the basic left hand accompaniment in the previous post, you can see how a few well-voiced color notes really make a difference. It is interesting to note that in many cases the colored note is also the melody note.
Below is the basic extended chord arrangement with the color notes of the extended chords shown in red.
For the Jazz Tune All the Things You Are by Jerome Kern
For this challenge, I tried arranging from a lead sheet in two different ways:
1) In the Quick Improvisation . . .
Initially and almost immediately, I developed a hook in the left hand and repeated the arpeggiated hook throughout the piece in the chords found on the lead sheet. This was a rough improvisation, but it provided structure for the arrangement.
2) The Steps Used in Working Out the Arrangement from the Lessons in Harmony . . .
I wanted to see what would happen if I arranged the piece using what I have learned from the lessons in harmony. So I played as simply and accurately as I could.
Finally I compared the improvisation with the basic extended chords accompaniment. I was surprised to find that I had instinctively added not only 7ths, but 9ths, 11ths and 13ths to my improvisation. I'm not sure I could have created this improvisation without some understanding of harmony.
Fueled with this information I spent some time perfecting, among other things, the voicing and voice leading of my improvised accompaniment.
Anyway, I provide the lead sheet; both the basic left hand accompaniment and the basic extended chords accompaniment; and finally the improvisation, which was actually my first effort cleaned up.
The seven tones of the diatonic scale are the building blocks for creating melody and harmony. Chords in diatonic harmony are generated from the major and minor scales by constructing triads on each of the diatonic scale degrees.
Diatonic means any note or chord that is within the scale. Passing tones are many times not diatonic, but we play them, and sometimes we pass through non-diatonic chords to get to the next diatonic chord.
In the introduction of Lessons in Harmony, I introduce the diatonic scale in the key of C. There are major and secondary chords. The major chords are: I and IV, V; and secondary chords are: minor ii, iii, and vi, and one diminished chord- vii dim.
When it comes to music books, my wife is no minimalist. We can pull out any number of theory books. So I've had a few to choose from, but these have helped me the most . . .
Chords in hymns are mostly major or minor triads with some inversions to make the parts easier to sing. As a pianist, knowing and playing simple triads is not enough. To play rich, interesting chords consider altered chords. In the example below we move from a I chord to a triad with an added sixth interval. This would be a C6 or I6 (not to be confused with a first inversion). It is a C6 because we play the C triad (C,E,G or I, iii, V) and add the vi of the scale. But the chord is all scrunched up.