Harmony Project


In this project, we learned about the evolution of harmony, and the theory and tricks to composing harmony. We analyzed one of our favourite melodies using new terminology and theory we learned from the documentary we watched. Through this analysis, we were able to make our own harmony to accompany a melody.

One of My Favorite Harmonies

Cuison Harmony

One of my favorite harmonies is in Just by Radiohead. You can see how they build tension by using passing notes between the chords in the intro, which is played near the end of each verse. The chord progression remains constant, showing contrast against the chaotic melody of the lead guitar and singer.


My Harmony

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My harmony is a chord progression over the original melody I created in a previous project. For the first measure, the chord progression starts with A minor with a slight change in the root to B in order to “pass into” the next measure. It then goes to C major where I remove the root entirely. The next measure adds tension by alternating between G6 and C major, which is somewhat dissonant. This tension is resolved by returning to C major and ending on A minor and C again.

Harmony Terms

  • Drone: A continuous tone
  • Harmonics: Multiple frequencies that make up a tone
  • Triad: A group of three notes
  • Polyphony: Multiple notes at once
  • Progression: The process of a harmony, or how it continues along multiple meters.
  • Tonic: The first note of a scale
  • Dominant:  The fifth note of a scale
  • Passimezzo Antico: An early chord progression popular in 16th century Europe.
  • Passimezzo Moderno: A period ensemble that preforms music from the 1500s to the 1800s
  • Dischord: A lack of harmony between notes in a chord
  • Dissonance: Notes that do not sound “right” when played simultaneously
  • Passing Notes: A note used to transition between chords
  • Suspended Notes: A perfect fourth used to replace a third in a chord
  • 7th Chords: A triad chord with an extra seventh
  • Diminished Chords: A chord consisting of two minor thirds above the root.
  • Augmented Chords:  A chord consisting of two major thirds above the root.

What I Learned and Problems I Solved

In this project, I learned more about the theory behind harmony and how it tied in with the scale degrees we learned in melody. This helped me compose a harmony by teaching me what pealed to the ear based on popular chord progressions. A problem I had was coming up with the right notes to accompany the melody, but I was able to resolve this by deciding between chords that contained the not in each part of the melody.

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