Music Theory feature articles
- 09/30/16Getting started
Consonance and Dissonance - Harmony Basics - Part 23
If you want to start making up melodies and bass lines from chord inversions, as I promised in the last article, we must first address the thorny issue of consonance and its evil twin, dissonance... which, by the way, is crucial to harmony!
- 09/07/16Getting started
Melodic and harmonic motion - Harmony Basics - Part 22
In the previous article we discussed inversions within the frame of enharmonic modulations. I will take this opportunity to explore with you in this and the following article the different ways in which you can take advantage of these inversions.
- 08/23/16Getting started
Enharmonic Modulations - Harmony Basics - Part 21
Before I begin I most warn you that this article might seem a bit grueling for some of you. But if you've been following the other articles in the series up to now, you shouldn't have a problem with what is about to come. Otherwise, you can always use the comments section to ask anything you want.
- 08/15/16Getting started
Modulating to neighbor, distant and chromatic keys - Harmony Basics - Part 20
In the previous articles we saw how you can modulate towards other keys, mainly using pivot chords to guarantee a smooth transition. So, now that we've seen how to modulate, it would be nice to know where you can modulate to, right?
- 07/18/16Getting started
Using II-V-I and pivot chords - Harmony Basics - Part 19
In the previous article we saw how to use cadences to modulate to a different key. However, regardless of whether you use a cadence or not, a seamless modulation relies on the so-called pivot chords.
- 06/28/16Getting started
The Role of Cadence and Characteristic Notes in Modul... - Harmony Basics - Part 18
It's not uncommon for a composer/songwriter to feel the need to leave the original key of the song he's writing and go explore some other ones. There are many reasons for that: to change the mood (i.e. the key!) of the song, to catch the attention of the listener, to create surprises, etc. And this is where the principle of modulation, which we ...
- 05/17/16Getting started
Modulate It! - Harmony Basics - Part 17
In the previous articles... Yes, I know I often begin my articles this way but it's simply because I like things to make sense chronologically.
- 04/19/16Getting started
Relative Chord and Tonal Exchange Substitutions - Harmony Basics - Part 16
This time around, we'll look at two additional ways to substitute chords: Relative chord and tonal exchange substitutions. But before we do that, I want to complete the previous article and finish discussing dominant chord substitutions.
- 04/04/16Getting started
Tritone Substitution and Secondary Dominants - Harmony Basics - Part 15
In this installment, we'll continue exploring chord substitutions with two new forms based on the dominant function.
- 03/29/16Getting started
Chord Substitutions - Harmony Basics - Part 14
In the previous two articles I took a brief detour from the somewhat theoretical tone of this series to show you some specific examples of harmonic chord progressions that are easy to understand and widely used. But if you want to get off the beaten path, we'll need to dive back into the theory.