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Mary Had A Little Lamb: Harmonizing A Melody

 
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Description

We don't have to play root position chords every time. We can experiment with which notes to use as the bass note or lowest voice of each chord.

The first option is what we have done so far, to use the root notes of each chord in turn:

Melody: | 3 - 2 - 1 - 2 - 3 |
Bass: | 1 - 5 - 1 - 5 - 1 |

Written as notes you can see how these option place notes from the same chord together.

Melody: | E - D - C - D - E |
Bass: | C - G - C - G - C |

The second option is to use the B as part of the G chord. This provides a step wise motion instead of leaping motion in the bass.

Melody: | 3 - 2 - 1 - 2 - 3 |
Bass: | 1 - 7 - 1 - 7 - 1 |

Again, written as notes you can see how these option place notes from the same chord together.

Melody: | E - D - C - D - E |
Bass: | C - B - C - B - C |

The third option is to use a technique known as voice exchange. This means we create contrary motion in the bass and melody in which the scale degrees are exchanged.

Melody: | 3 - 2 - 1 - 2 - 3 |
Bass: | 1 - 2 - 3 - 2 - 1 |

Again, written as notes you can see how these option place notes from the same chord together.

Melody: | E - D - C - D - E |
Bass: | C - D - E - D - C |

If you study each option carefully you can see that I chose notes that belong together because of their chord/scale degree associations.

Lesson Info
Styles:
Classical
Difficulty:
Published
Tutorial
Mary Had A Little Lamb: Harmonizing A Melody