Harmony Book For Beginners - online book

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

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With all the knowledge so far attained, the student may now essay the harmonizing of some plain melodies. All the preceding Principles are in force. As working tools we have now Common Chords in the Three Positions, First Inversions, Second Inver­sions, Cadences.
First of all, let us work out together a good, substantial, well-sounding harmony for the following melody. For variety and practice let us work in the Scale of G.
Here is the melody to be harmonized. Let us study it out note by note, num­bering each one.
1.   We must use the Tonic Chord: G, B, D, preferably with its Root in the Bass.
2.   C may be the Root of the Chord C, E, G, or the Third of the Chord A, C, E; but it may not be the Fifth of the Leading Note Chord. Let us select the Chord C, E, G, Root in the Bass (Octave Position).
3.   B may not be the Root of the Chord B, D, F $ since we have used the preceding Chord in the Root or Octave Position; but B may be the Third of the Chord G, B, D or the Fifth of the Chord E, G, B. Let us select the former. This we discover to be the Tonic Chord, and, as a Second Inversion is admissible, let us try one : G, B, D, with D (the Fifth) in the Bass. Bear in mind, however, that we could not have em­ployed a Second Inversion of the Tonic at this Point, had we not, by looking ahead, discovered the possibility of following it by the Dominant Chord.
4.   Since we must here use a Dominant Chord, and, as D is the Dominant in this Scale, we know that we must write the Chord, D, F$, A. Root in the Bass.
5.   G may be the Root of the Chord, G, B, D or the Third of the Chord E, G, B; but it could not be used as the Fifth of C, E, G, since that would give us two Fifth Positions in Succession. As the preceding chord is the Dominant let us make a De­ceptive Cadence by writing E, G, B; E in the Bass.
6.   A may be the Root of the Chord, A, C, E, or the Fifth of the Chord D, F#, A, but not the Third of the Chord F#, A, C; for two reasons. What are these reasons? Let us make it the Root of the Chord A, C, E, and try a First Inversion, since this will give Contrary Motion between the outer parts. Put C in the Bass and Double A.
7.   F$ may be the Third of the Chord D, ¥% A. If we try this chord, with its Root in the Bass, we will like it far better than B, D, F $, the only other chord that we could employ.
8.   G, the Tonic. A chance for an Imperfect Cadence. Follow the preceding Dominant Chord, by its Tonic, G, B, D, with its Third in the Bass. A First Inver­sion. Double the Fifth of this Chord in the Unison.

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