Harmony Book For Beginners - online book

Scales, Intervals, Common Chords, Dominant Seventh Chord and Melody Making.

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COMMON CHORDS IN SUCCESSION                                  Jo
We now enter upon the real study of Harmony. All the preceding has been a preparation for and a leading up to this stage. We have learned to build up and t<r recognize the Common Chord, the backbone of all musical construction, and now we must begin to learn the use of it.
If all the preceding successive steps have not been thoroughly understood and mastered, they should be reviewed again and again. We must go from the known to the unknown, and one step depends upon the other.
We are now to learn the use, in Succession, of the Six Common Chords in any Major Scale, each chord having its Root for a Bass Note.
For our present purposes the following may be presented as a good working Principle:
Do not write two Common Chords in succession, each having the same Position.
In examining the preceding Example, it will be noted that at (a) the Common Chord of C in the Octave Position is followed by the Common Chord of G, also in the Octave Position. At (b) the awkwardness of such a succession is corrected by the use of the Common Chord of G in the Third Position. At (c) two Fifth Positions appeal in succession. Note how much better the same Chords sound as written at (d ). Train the ear as well as the eye.
Just another Principle: Notes common to two chords written in succession should be retained in the same parts or voices, wherever convenient.
A study of the following example will make this Principle clear:
At (a) C is the Root of the C Major Chord and the Third of the A Minor Chord; it is retained in the upper voice. E is the Third of the C Major Chord and the Fifth of the A Minor Chord; this note is also retained in the same voice. At (b) G is common to both chords. At (c) C is common to both chords.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III