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HARMONY

CHAPTER1
Introduction

PRINCIPLES OF WRITING
The study of Harmony examines the structure and relationship between vertical combinations of musical tones and their succession, Counterpoint examines the structure and relationship between horizontal combinations of musical tones and their succession. When these successions center on a key they become progressions that establish a tonality.

Therefore:
harmonic progression establishes tonality vertically; melodic progression establishes tonality horizontally. In practice they are directly related.

SCALE DEGREE FUNCTION
In the major and minor key systems, the tonic, subdominant, and dominant scale degrees are primary tones or tonal notes because the ear perceives them as most effective in establishing a tonal center. The leading tone/ subtonic, mediant and submediant are secondary tones and are also classed as modal notes because the ear perceives them as establishing the mode. The supersonic tends to be a secondary tone but can have the effect of a primary tone.

PRIMARY AND SECONDARY TRIADS
Primary triads occur on the tonic, subdominant, and dominant scale degrees. Secondary triads occur on the supersonic, mediant, submediant, and leading tone/ subtonic.

VOICES
There are four traditional voices (parts) used in the study of Harmony. They are Soprano, Alto, Tenor, and Bass, using the grand staff for notating parts.

The Soprano part is written on the treble clef of the grand staff, stems up. Its range is

The Alto part is written on the treble clef of the grand staff, stems down. Its range is g to d2

The Tenor part is written on the bass clef of the grand staff, stems up. Its range is c to a1

The Bass part is written on the bass clef of the grand staff, stems down. Its range is F to d1

Although the full range of each voice maybe used, it is advisable to confine the voices to the middle of their respective ranges. Range extremes should occur only for reasons of melodic line. Parts should not remain in those registers.

FIGURE 1.1: Example of Four Voice Notation



 


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