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Chords, and Their Connection
Broadly considered, modern music may be said to be derived from chords and scales, taken in an infinite variety of ways. As already seen, the scale itself is derived from chord-intervals; it is, therefore, the most logical plan to commence our studies of musical construction by playing and connecting the simplest chords.
Just as, in speaking, every word used has its proper place and has its bearing upon the impression given by any sentence, so in music each single tone employed has its own effect, great or small, but always with some significance. It is, therefore, important that the student should at the outset accustom himself to considering carefully the minutest detail. This will soon become a conscious habit, which will stamp its mark with telling effect upon his performance.
In playing chords the normal arrangement is to allow for four parts, or voices. It need not be pointed out that, of course, in keyboard music this number is frequently both exceeded and reduced. It is, however, excellent discipline for the student to accustom himself to play in four real parts. When this power has been acquired, and has become habitual, it will be perfectly easy to add to or to reduce the number.
The three chords now to be studied are tne tonic, or key-chord (I), the dominant (to be called the V), and the subdominant (the IV).
The compass of the voices should be limited at first to
the notes between
In playing single chords the root should invariably be placed in the bass. The soprano may take alternately the root, third or fifth. The voices should not be further than an octave apart, except in the case of the tenor and bass, which may be separated to an almost unlimited extent. The root should invariably be doubled.