Thursday, January 24, 2008


All Well That Ends Well !

It’s a very, very long journey…we have travelled…!

Whatever consolidated here in these 3 blogs are all about Primary school level of WCM only…!

Objective was to make you prepared for High School studies…!

And then College….and Research……! …….

Still far away is the …..Real IR……! Miles to go….!

So…..its a long, long journey…we have travelled…!

Of course at an un-acceptable many of you….! I do agree.

But I feel it’s just a reconnaissance journey…just to confirm the route we wanted to travel….!

Real journey …like a Pilgrim’s determination filled quest….. to understand Nature and Life .. ….. and of course to reach God…. is awaiting you ahead !

Tough indeed….! But soul satisfying….!

What we are going to achieve with such WCM or CCM knowledge….?

Throughout this series, I was emphasizing that Objective as Understanding IR and give him his due credit…

and carry on the torch further…as much as possible….!

But as a self development subject, you can enhance and multiply your understandings and enjoyment of IR with the above limited WCM knowledge outlined there…!

You can be now free from any kind of aversions and fear to face those jargons, which are unavoidable and find place in most of the technical discussions of IR….

and rather you can confidently contribute to the IR discussions…!

In any forum…!

With the above, I conclude this series of WCM discussions here…!

Hope these were useful to you…!

Atleast this might have kindled some hopes and desires in you !

But I feel, atleast from here onwards, I want the real experts of WCM who are many and available in various forums, to take up further to reach ordinary people who are in pursuit of IR knowledge…!

I am ready to take up any kind of queries and clarifications on any of the previous topics.

Please continue your study on theoretical and practical fronts on any kind of music….as much as you can…and a lot of web based supports are available….!

Anyway my sincere thanks to one and all….Entharo..Mahaanu baavulu….!

Always remain at your IR-service

Bye All !


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Lesson - 74 : WCM Lesons - One Page Summary

WCM concepts are simple and logical…

Music like any language has letters, words, meaningful phrases and modulations and punctuation marks. It has an oral and written form.

Score sheets are used to represent music.

Clefs, Key signatures, Time signatures and musical notes of different durations are notated in such score sheets which are divided into equal time durations called Bars, to convey the music.

WCM Time pattern matrix indicates the Simple and Compound Times that can be used for the Duple, Triple and Quadruple timings.

The time pattern of a song is indicated by the time signatures.

WCM follows certain pre-determined patterns called Scales which are formed by selecting 7 notes out of the 12 keys available.

Such pattern recognition is made with the tone and semitone gaps between the adjacent notes of the pattern.

WCM has 2 main patterns called Major Scales and Minor Scales.

The Minor scales have further variations viz. Harmonic Minor Scales and Melodic Minor Scales. (When all the 12 keys are used that is called a Chromatic Scale..)

All such scales pattern can be formed on each of 12 keys, either pure white notes or the black notes called Sharps or Flats.

In Scales of Sharps, every time we jump to a perfect 5th upward from the previous tonic, to get one additional notes sharpened.

In Scales of Flats, we jump a perfect 5th backwards every time, to get a flat note added.

The sharpened or flattened notes of a scale are indicated by the Key Signatures.

The Degrees of the 7 notes of any Scale are names as Tonic, Supertonic, Mediant, Sub-Dominant, Dominant , Sub-Mediant and Leading note.

The Intervals between two notes are named as 2nd , 3rd etc…and their qualities are termed as Minor, Major, Diminished, Augmented and Perfect intervals.

Intervals are also classified as Consonant and Dissonant depending upon the acceptable nature to the ears.

When more than one notes are played simultaneously they form Chords.

A triad is a chord made of First + Third + Fifth of the notes of a scale under consideration.

Chords are classified as Major, Minor, Diminished and Augmented.

Chords are also classified as Concords and Discords.

Music Ranges are classified as Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass (S-A-T-B) and a good music covers all these ranges.

Such writing of vertically and horizontally related music by using Chords is called Harmony writing of Parts.

Harmony rules define the acceptable, desirable and non-acceptable way of placing musical notes vertically and horizontally to form SATB parts.

Such a music writing which follows the Harmony rules gives an effective way of forming Orchestral Music.

Orchestral instruments are classified under four major departments called Strings, Woodwinds, Brass and Percussion.

Under each department, various instruments with specified ranges to cover each of the SATB parts are available.

Music has its own Forms like Chamber Music, Concerto, Symphony, Sonata, Chorals etc.

Various Musical terms and shorthands are used to notate music and convey the way a music has to be played.



Lesson - 73 : WCM Time Pattern Summary

Now, for the completeness of WCM lessons, I just want to briefly indicate certain points on Time aspects, which I left out earlier…!

To continue further on this topic, we may have to recall some of our earlier understandings on time durations aspect…!

The various notes of time duration we saw earlier are :

• Whole Note – 4 units of time
• Minim Note – 2 units of time
• Crotchet – 1 units of time
• Quavers– 1/2 units of time
• Semiquavers– 1/4 units of time

Just like our Currency notes and coin situations, how to handle values of in between them?

WCM is having a dotted notes concept.

Meaning….you add a dot by the right side of these notes, then the actual note value is 1.5 times more than the original one.

- A dotted Crotchet is equal to a time value of 1 x 1.5 = one and half notes..!
- A dotted Half notes is equal to a time value of 2 x 1.5 = 3 notes
- A dotted Whole note is equal to a time value of 4 x 1.5 = 6 notes

and so on…….

As we know, a Bar is a measure , which is dividing the musical time into equal values .

Thus each bar will have time durations of 4 units or 3 units or 2 units…etc…!

They are called

Quadruple Time (4 units in a bar) ,
Triple Time (3 units in a bar) and
Duple Time (2 units in a bar) respectively !

However the effective time value of the Bar depends upon the note we select as the “unit duration”.

If we select the unit duration as Crotchet, then each bar will be equivalent to 4 crotchets, or 3 crotchets or 2 crotchets etc….!

Same is the case with other notes also….!

Any notes less than unit duration are grouped together to make one unit…..for easy identifying and playing..!

When we say the time duration, this consists of musical notes as well as the musical RESTS !

Yes….the Silences in music also have same kind of musical value and all the musical gaps and silences are ABSOLUTELY MEASURED CALCULATED SILENCES….!

Thus, the Rests also have value equivalent to Whole note, Half note, Crotchet, Quavers, Semi-quavers etc etc…..!

For the sake of simplicity, the way the key signatures are written in the beginning of musical passage to identify the scale of the song, similarly, TIME SIGNATURES are written in the beginning of the Stave itself and indicates the time pattern to be followed in a song….!

It consist of two numerals….

One at bottom indicates what note is taken for the unit duration (usually crotchet).

The top one indicates how many such units are there in a Bar…!


3 / 4 means (called Three By Four) each bar consists of 3 crotchets equivalent…!

3 / 2 means (called Three By Two) …each bar consists of Two Minim equivalent…!

And so on….

If the unit of time duration is our normal, simple notes like Crotchet or Half note etc…then such time is Called “SIMPLE TIME”…..!

If the unit of time duration is the Dotted notes like Dotted Crotchet or Dotted Half note etc…then such time is Called “COMPOUND TIME”…. .!

Thus we can have Simple Duple Time or Compound Triple Time etc…etc ..!

The following Matrix gives the time signatures possible in a WCM…!

Within single unit duration, there are enormous possibilities of notes combination…!

Since in WCM, percussion instruments are also written with notes on stave… can imagine the permutation and combinations in beats and rhythms possible…!

To minutely detail it out and play as per instructions...!

Again in the Time aspects also, IR is doing a lot of fusion mixing the Time pattern of both WCM and CCM , thereby opening the flood gate of “Timeless.... Timed Classics !”

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Lesson - 72 : Forms of Music

Today let us discuss briefly about the various forms of music in WCM.

Just to have an idea what they generally mean.

Forms of Music, mean the Structural format and other Associated shapes and characters etc, which makes them distinctly different from each other.

For example, in our system of music, we have different styles like -Folk songs,
-Devotional songs,

-Songs meant for Dance,


-War related songs,

-Songs depicting stories,

-songs used for Dramas etc etc

Also each song has its own individual structures.

Some are small, others are big,

There are definite segregations like Preludes, Pallavi, Charanam etc…!

WCM also has its own classification and forms like these..!

Traditionally WCM has two major groups.
One is for voice singing and another about musical instruments..!

Both of these were getting evolved / developed with the passage of time..!

Both were supportive of each other and generally you can always see the combination of them.

But it’s a fact that dominance of instruments oriented music are relatively more in WCM.

Just to mention the few names of various forms of music as a check list :

Voice oriented music types are : Cantata, Choral / Choir Music, Aria, Opera etc.

Instruments oriented music are : Sonata, Toccata, Fugue, Concerto, Chamber music, Symphony, Rhapsody etc.

Dance oriented music are : Minuet, Gavotte, Bourree, Waltz, Scherzo, Suite etc.- Polish, Hungarian, Russian form of Dance etc.

Each of the above has their own distinct style and musical structure of its own.

And again, as we see in any field, all these forms and structures were also undergoing changes with time, so their meaning connotations will vary with time.

Again, each of the composers, has their own affinity towards certain form of music and has done a lot of works in that field.

If you identify Vivaldi with Concertos, Bach is famous for Fugue, Concertos, Toccatas, Dance music, Church music etc.

Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven are famous for their Symphonies while Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, Mendelsohn etc for their Piano music.

If Wagner is known for his Operas, Tchaikovsky is famous for the Suites and Symphonies.

In the initial form of music, Binary structures were followed which was normally in two sections A-B format.

The music in Part-A will start in a particular tonic scale and after development end in the modulated scale usually of the dominant .

In the Part-B, the modulated scale is expressed briefly and while ending return back to original scale of Part-A.

In the Ternary structure, 3 clear sections of A-B-A format is used.

While further development of music, different formats like A-B-A-C-A , A-B-A-C-A-D-A etc are slowly added.

Similarly, at the starting, Preludes are added and in the end Coda (meaning tail..) are added

and in between bridging passages are added to strengthen the theme covered in the music.

Sonata-Rondo is such form of music which covers most of these aspects.

With the evolution of various forms over the period, Symphony form also came into existent (after the period of JS Bach…)

which is normally having 3 or 4 major parts in it

and each one is set in different speed format called the movements.

And that form stayed as an ultimate form of music which is a test case for any composers, because it covers all form of music with

Dance form (like Minuet) to Sonata form etc,

with slow speed (of Adagio, Andante) to fastest piece (of Vivace Allegro etc.)

and covering all departments of Orchestra…!

So symphony composing is having its own significance in WCM !

The following is the definition / explanation given in the Oxford Dictionary of Music

“…..As the word is now generally used, it means a large-scale orchestral composition (usually in 4 movements but often in 1, 3, or 5, occasionally in 2), a sonata for orchestra, the 1st movement and others being in sonata-form.

It is reserved by composers for their most weighty and profound orchestral thoughts, but of course there are many light-hearted, witty, and entertaining symphonies.

The movements of the Classical and early Romantic symphony were usually an opening allegro, followed by a slow movement, then a minuet or scherzo, finally another allegro or rondo.

Frequently the slow movt. is placed 3rd, sometimes last……”

Such description of various musical terms you can get in this web site below:

Please have an encounter (!) with various musical terms so that you can “dash” with the Jargon throwing people in future !

The above is an excellent site for all Classical Music related matters and a lot of list of musical works, biographies of Composers etc. everything on WCM is there !

So Enjoy…!



Lesson - 71 : Musical Terms and Jargons

Today let us learn some of the musical terms which are normally associated in the Score writing & playing !

We Modulate while speaking. Similarly, musical passages also have
- the ups and down,
-its dynamic and static nature,
-smooth and rough playing,
-continuous and discontinuous playing etc etc..

Further, in the score sheet writing, for simplicity and smoothness of musical reading and playing, you may have to use a lot of shorthand and abbreviations; for denoting repetitions of passage, start and end indication etc .

All these are expressed in certain musical terms in WCM and are regularly used by allover the world.

I am listing some of them here, just for your knowledge gain !

If any Indian, claims that he knows Bengali irrespective his state of Origin, you may have to accept the fact…! Because everybody knows the National Anthem which is in Bengali Language….!

Like that…if you know WCM terms, you can claim that you know Italian language…!

The way most of the scientific and medical terms are of Greek and Latin origin, … Similarly, Almost many of the musical terms are of Italian origin….!

(one thing I learnt later, by way of listening to the radio announcer on these subjects, while pronouncing them, “c” is pronounced as ‘ch’ and ‘t’ pronounced as ‘th’ ….etc. …

Try your luck on "pronoun-ch-iasion"… )

Terms and signs are numerous…only a few common words are indicated here.

Apart from such words, a lot of musical shorthand are also written. Which will vary from each custom, each musician, different musical departments etc…!

You will come to know those, when you are encountering them in future….if you take up this music field…!



Lesson - 70 : Harmony & Orchestration

As is learnt earlier, a 4-part harmony system gives a completeness of covering the ranges of notes and present it in a pleasant way.

Such musical pieces, even if we use the small number of instruments which are capable playing of those 4 different ranges, you get a fulfilled feeling !

Such a small group of instruments playing is what usually called as “Chamber Music”…meaning music played within a chamber…!

Depending upon the number of instruments used, they are called as Trio, Quartet, Quintet, etc.

If any Single instrument type is highlighted with a support of orchestra of other musical instruments such musical pieces are called “Concertos”

If we want, we can multiply the effects by adding a lot of instruments for each of S-A-T-B parts and present it in a grand way..!

Then it becomes an “Orchestral Music”.

Such orchestral instruments usually are classified into four main groups/departments.
1. Strings - basically sound produced by a string, bow arrangement, plucking with hands – eg Violin
2. Woodwinds – made of wood - sound by air/ wind blowing, but smooth sound – eg Flute
3. Brass – made of Brass - sound by wind blowing - but heavy sound - Trumpet
4. Percussion – For rhythm purpose – Kettle Drum, Cymbals, Timpani, Xylophone, Triangle, Tubular bells etc.

Under each category, to cover each of the range of SATB, we have different instruments.

But basically they belong to same group, and appearance wise as well as working principle wise you can see some similarity between these instruments, within the same group.

Some approximate grouping of these instruments under the first three categories are tabulated below.

Since each instrument has its own higher and lower range, there may be possibility of some overlapping in the adjacent ranges also. But it gives some rough idea :

Depending upon the effects required, these instruments are used in multiples, thus a large set of instruments occupying a big concert hall etc, necessitating to arrange them in groups in specified locations…

and finally…but more importantly, requiring some body to Control the big “Circus”….who is the so called ……. “Conductor”…!

Thus the same 4 line SATB musical piece can be played with 4 instruments in Chamber type or 40 to 60 instruments in Orchestral type…!

When the instruments grow more, you can feel the necessity of re-arranging the SATB passage to suit each of the instruments and effect needed as per the composition.

Basically to determine who plays which part and with what effect…..!

Such person who re-arrange the compositions is called “Arranger”.

Unless, you have :

the feeling of each instruments ....

and the effects it can generate w.r.t. smoothness or flatness, loud or soft, .....

their inter-relation with other instruments whether such usages will nullify the other or enhance them.. etc etc…

One cannot become a good composer or arranger…for the orchestral situations….!

So….. the music creation means.... melody line Composing….., then harmonizing to get SATB…….then arranging…then conducting….and finally in our modern times one additional job is recording…!

IR is the one who does everything himself…..In such a prolific manner….day in… day out….!

Now onwards, listen to each song of IR, with the above concept of musical departments and the corresponding instruments in mind and the SATB coverage they are doing etc…!

You have enough job to do for a few births in future…!

Open up your Ears and Mind…!

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Lesson - 69 : SATB & Chords - Concepts Extended

Harmony with more than 4 notes!

We saw the chords of 3 notes (combination of first+third+fifth) only so far…

And for the four part harmony, it was told that one of these 3 notes is to be doubled to get the fourth note.

In fact, chords of 4 notes, 5 notes etc are also there….! These are formed by adding the 7th note, 9th note, 11th note etc….and are called the Chords of Seventh, Ninth, Eleventh etc!

But visualize the complications in such cases….!

As you know 9th, 11th etc are only the octave higher notes of 2nd, 4th etc…..!

You can also easily recognize such adding of additional 3rds one over another, results in intervals of 2nd , 7th, 4th etc….

-which are creating complicated dissonant intervals/ discords etc….
-which may need special treatments !

So further complicated but interesting subject…!

Another aspect to learn is the Chords for Carnatic Pattern… !

As you know Carnatic Raagam with less than 7 swarams, or complicated intervals among notes…..will be a puzzle to harmonise….

Because, if you add a chord to a Canatic melody line, some times (many-a-time) you may land up in notes which are not used in the Raagam itself….!

Additionally, a lot of discords and treatement may be necessitated…as per WCM rules…!

May be CCM have no such problems of discord concept at all , since all these intervals are accepted intervals in CCM !

So far I was trying to cover the conceptual part of Harmony only.

The real harmony learning involves mastering of chord concepts, understanding and following some hundreds of harmony rules, analysis of existing musical pieces of famous composers etc. to follow and break the rules !

IR is the Walking Universe on this subject!

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Lesson - 68 : S-A-T-B & Counterpoints !

Let us continue our discussions on S-A-T-B further…. for understanding some more conceptual matters only!

As we saw earlier, if any one part is given we can add the other parts.

We also stated that the melody line at top is what initially composed (based on the requirement, creative talent etc….all merge here…..possible also…because you have no other constraints here…at this stage) and then the other parts are added by way of harmonization technique.

So for a S-part we can add the other three parts (A-T-B) as Chords !

And similarly, if B - part is given we can add the other three (S-A-T)

Undergoing all the complications of rules and other criteria… explained earlier…… to satisfy the compatibility of notes Vertically and Horizontally.

Some examples of Harmony exerise I am adding here for your easy reference and better understanding of the topic:

Now, please imagine you have collected all notes of such A-line, T-line and B-line after harmonization …..and assign them…to individual singers or some instruments…!

Just listen to the individual player… what he produces….!

By all probability it is possible that you cannot make it head or tail about what he sings/ plays…..!

What you hear may be some musical notes going up and down …but not a song….!

While playing them collectively all SATB together, you may realise the acceptable chords progression…!

But individually each of those lines are not forming an acceptable song..!

Such a situation of S-line as melody and all others as chords (and just as chords only…) is what the common thing you can witness in most of the film songs.

But in IR’s case, you can notice that the other lines also form beautiful melodies… many of his songs….!

Such a situation of Melody supported by Melody is what usually called as “Counterpoint”.

Counter-point means… Point …against… point..!

So each note of a melody is positioned against each note of another melody… !

One may create a counterpoint melody without satisfying the Harmony conditions… .but to satisfy both Harmony and Melody requirements, is a tough job…!

You need extra-ordinary talent to create such counter points….!

In case of IR, some time it is amazing to note that each of SATB lines, each voice and every instruments sing/ play their own melody along with main melody…!

Raja’s Harmony chords and counter melody usage are of breathtaking proposition !

· Note the case of Bass guitar in the Mouna Raagam song…”Chinna Chinna”…!

· Note the bass flute (or it another voice…?) following the voice part in the charanam of Kozhi koovudhu song…”Edho… Moham….”

· Watch All the parts moving so mesmerizingly in the song “Ennulle Ennulle…” of Valli…! The harmony part of violins itself form the rhythm also in Charanam…!

· See the scintillating phrases of voice and guitar moving in opposite direction…in the Palalvi of song…”Roja Poo Aadugindradhu”…in Agni Nakshathiram

· “Sendhoora Poove” of 16-Vayadhinile another case in point….!

· “Kodai Kaala Kaatre” humming chorus and Singer …who follows whom ?

SATB is at its best and effortless when Raja is in his creative mode !


Lesson - 67 : Harmony & Chords Classifications

Getting back into Harmony…..!

Let us look into the feel….abstract…part of the perceptions of Harmony with reference to the various intervals and the chords made of such intervals…

Very briefly…just to give some hints and to introduce some terminologies…!

For many of you the words like Consonant and Dissonant, Concords and Discords etc etc. may not be new…!

…All the musical terms are part of our normal English also…! But now we are going to se them in their real contextual meaning…!

As we know, the chords are made of intervals….

Generally Intervals like Minor 3rd , Major 3rd , Minor 6th, Major 6th (other than 2nd and 7th) and Perfect Intervals of 4th and 5th are called Consonant intervals.

And the delicate intervals like all Diminished and Augmented as well as the Major & Minor intervals of 2nds and 7ths are called the Dissonant intervals.

Now the Chord formation is done with the Thirds and Fifths.

So Chords also derive the desirability and pleasantness limitations based on them and classified as Concord and Discord.

Chords formed with Consonant Intervals only are called Concords.

Concords leave a satisfactory and finished effect upon our ears.

If one or more Dissonant intervals are found in Chords then they are called the Discords.

So you can easily divide the available Four Chords viz. Major and Minor Chords as Concords and Diminished and Augmented Chords as Discords…!

As already said, Discords shall not give you the feeling that these are totally forbidden.

But what required is to treat them properly.

Meaning… you properly arrange the chords before and after them….. that is to say….you approach and quit a discord in such a fashion that you never feel the awkwardness…!

(Just eating a ginger bit alongwith Upma…..! You enjoy it in fact…).

In WCM Harmony terms, this is called "Preparation and Resolution"

Again a lot of Harmony rules are dedicated to describe such methods and guidelines for Preparation and Resolution aspects also….!

So some more jargons today….Enjoy…!

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Lesson - 66 : Harmony in Life and Music - Perceptions

Harmony is all about the relationships and their co-existance !

Relationship doesn't mean that it will only be a happy and peaceful all the times! But the aim is how to live peacefully together in-spite of the differences!

Many of us, would have seen and felt also, the warmth and affectionate relationships between a Child and its Grand-parents…..!

I could not fully decipher the chemistry behind this wonderful relationship…!

This may be due to the maturity of a grandfather or grandmother, or their longing and desire to return to the old life, ……..or…the mutual love shared without any kind of expectations from both sides….!

Reasons may be many…..!

The same way, the relationships between the child and parent is a different kind…there are some mutual expectations and duties and responsibilities to be fulfilled….!

In such situations the relationships are of love-hate kind…and nothing is stable….!

When the generation grows, one more generation is getting added …! But the relationship chemistry remain the same.

The day-to-day fighting of a mother-daughter on even trivial matters and the grand mother taking side with the grand daughter etc…these are not just cinematic…but real life situations…!

You won’t believe me…! The same kind of features I felt in my professional college life also…!

The fire-brand hatredness and frightening relationship with immediate next year seniors are different from the relationship of third year seniors…!

When they grow….third year become fifth year and first year become third year and so on….carrying on with them the relationships…!

Same is the case with countries of immediate borders and away from borders etc. etc…! Immediate neighbour is always problem !

By this time, you might have more than guessed what I am trying to convey…..!

Music is nothing different from real life…!

Such attractive chemistry of first, third and fifths is what resulting in the formation of beautiful, coherent and cohesive and pleasing Chords….!

When the relationships are at their best you get the excellent HARMONY…..!

People are said to be living in Harmony….when you maintain your individuality intact and at the same time as a group maintain a peaceful and pleasant co-existent for the benefit of everybody…!

Same is the case with musical notes..!

Harmony...whether you are in Static mode or in Dynamic....!

In reality, everything is not always pleasant……! So there are some Discords…! That doesn’t mean that you have to throw them out or eliminate…!

You have to live with them…By embracing them…! By Concealing their mis-deeds….! By appreciating their good deeds and enhancing them…!

Same are the cases with certain musical notes and intervals ! So what is required is…To TREAT them….!

And change their appearance or behaviour and bring them into mainstream….! To maintain the Harmony…!

This is what precisely the Harmony exercises do …..!

There are a lot of rules and guidelines prescribed for that….!

Again rather than the rules….the experience teaches more than anything to deal with such instances….!

That’s why IR can treat the Carnaticised songs so beautifully and still can write chords and harmonise them with excellent blending…!

That’s what Western experts are also wondering about this MAN…!

What according to them might have resulted in a "non-sensical chords and intervals" (and affecting harmony as per their rules…..for such situations) .. it never happened like that ..! ……rather the pieces look at their Best when treated by IR….!

For both the reasonable critics of WCM and CCM , it looks HAUNTING……!

[But for some crooked critics on both sides…..he is making mistakes on their respective rules….! By God’s grace he had the courage to continue his onslaught…..on and on….unmindful of what others say …… and finally triumphed …..! Now it’s easy for anybody to praise him…!]

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Lesson - 65 : Harmony writing - S-A-T-B Introduction

We already know that there are two types of Clefs……Treble & Bass ……..!

Treble- Middle C & above……… and

Bass- Below Middle C…!

For the purpose of Harmony, each of these two Clef ranges are further defined by WCM system into two more Clefs….! Resulting into Four basic clef ranges…!

Treble Clef is further elaborated to ---- Soprano and Alto Clefs……!

Bass Clef is further elaborated to -------Tenor and Bass Clefs……..!

So the whole range of musical sound is thus divided into four ranges viz. S – A – T – B and Harmonisation of music demands usage of all these ranges to give the completeness…!

Each one of them is having some overlapping zone with the adjacent ones….!

So, as a general rule, the chord system which we develop shall cover the SATB ranges…!

This is called a Four Part Harmony system…!

Generally, in short score format they are reprsented using existing Treble and Bass Cleffs.

However, in open score format, these are normally notated using the following clef symbols:

A Typical Short score and full score conversion is shown below

Each one voice or instrument covers each one of this four ranges…!

The topmost line ie the Soprano is what generally form the Melody line….!

So please remember every song has the Melodic Line….!

Atleast now you can realize that classifying songs as melody and dappankuthu…etc shows our ignorance…! Every song has Melodic aspects !

Once that basic melodic line is formed or created…the Harmonisation exercise requires adding of other Three parts…!

In fact, if any one part of SATB is given, we can add the other three parts…!

WCM students are often given either the S-line (top most line or the melody line) or the B-line ( the bottom most line) and are asked to add the other parts !

That is done by assuming each note (or selected note on beginning of each bar) as the part of the Chord of the present Scale of the song…and fill up the remaining notes of the chord…vertically….!

Satisfying certain Harmony rules….! As explained in our previous session…!

For a harmonized song, the S and B lines are very critical and life-giving….!

However, one question by this time that may be pre-dominantly occupying your mind and troubling you…..will be….

“You told the Chord as combination of Three notes….whereas we need Four notes for writing a Four Part Harmony…..! What’s this….?”

You are right…. !..... If 2-Parts Harmony …or…3-Parts Harmony is to be written, then Ok we can manage with the three notes Chords…..!

What to do for the 4-Part Harmony….?

Simple……!....Just double / repeat one of the notes of the 3-notes chord….! To get the fourth note….!

OK…..Then…….Which note shall be doubled….?

That’s what most of the Harmony rules are worrying and prescribing…..!

Most of the time, the Root note of the chord is doubled…….certain cases….5th is doubled….and 3rd is doubled in some other cases…..!

Another aspect is the rules regarding formation of adjacent chords …..!

When two chords are placed side by side……Harmony system views that as the travel of each individual note of Chord no 1 to the corresponding position of notes of Chord no 2….! ….

Meaning the topmost note Part-S of Chord-1 has moved to the new Part-S of Chord-2…and so on…! As illustrated below :

This is what called as the Progression of Chords…!

So another set of Harmony rules talk about such movement of One Chord to another….Also movement of each note to another position….!

Like this…..there are a lot of rules, procedures etc are prescribed by WCM Harmony system….!

All these harmony rules talk about

certain things as idealistic,
certain things as must….
some are desirable…..
some avoidable…..
some forbidden…..!

etc etc….!

What made such Perceptions are based on the quality of sound produced by various such intervals between these notes…… certain difficulties encountered while singing or playing……certain smoothness required to make them better…..etc etc….!

I deliberately use the word Perceptions…..because…even though centuries of studies and experiences and collective wisdom are accumulated to form such rules and regulations…WCM has used only a few pattern of scales and restricted these rules to them…as

What may be seen as an awkward interval by WCM experts, need not appear or felt the same by our Carnatic system…….. which uses a lot of such delicate intervals…..and formed hundreds of such scales on such delicate intervals….!

As demonstrated by IR throughout his career……! The one……. WHO FOLLOWED THE RULES…….. TO BREAK THE RULES……. AND FORMULATE NEW RULES….!

However, to start with one shall learn rules and practice rules religiously in the beginning….!

It is always better to warn a child “Don’t Touch an electric Wire….! Don’t look into a well….! ” etc. etc……!

Rather than explaining why…!

When you grow up, you automatically follow such rules…and sometimes adopt the risk of breaking such rules also…when you are confident of your safety…! To feel the enjoyment of breaking such rules….!

So some more insight into the Harmony perceptions….! Many more to follow…….!


Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Lesson - 64 : Harmony writing - A Perspective Insight - Part-3

Just to continue our previous session...!

For example,

if the first chord is formed on first note of song, (after evaluating atleast 6 possibilities..)

if the 2nd chord is also formed on second note, (again after searching atleast 6 possibilities..)

Now, examination of first and second chords demand an evaluation of inter-relationship note by note horizontally as well as vertically…satisfying some rules called
Harmony rules…(hundreds of rules)…...!

If any problems encountered at this stage……

.. again check all the possible combinations of re-arranging the notes of present and previous chords to get satisfactory results….!

Then proceed with the 3rd Chord for the third note…!

If third chord formation requires again re-arranging of previous two chords you again change them……!

And so on….! On and on……!

To complete the harmonization of a song…!

If you are a software person, I would have given my problem like this…… to carry out the System Analysis, Design and write a programme…for the above problem....!

Any you may be taking some weeks/months to give me a mathematical machine-like solutions…..!

Of course the human decisions on the desirable sound and notes cannot be equated by any machine based decisions….!

So imagine a Artificial Intelligence Programming situation…....!

So imagine the complexities…!

To satisfy Knowldege Based Rules and Database….!

But, my dear friends…!

This is what the problem our IR is solving instantaneously on daily basis…. matter of minutes....!

Day after Days......Year after years….! …..Decade after decades….!


Please remember that so far what we are talking about is a simple case of single scale, 3-notes chord only…..!

Chords are generally formed with 4 notes (four part harmony), and some cases more than 5 notes also…….!

Again….considering the modulation aspects……The permutations and combinations are increasing manifold…..!

Now, over and above……. imagine the entirely different field called Carnatic Music and its mind boggling pattern formations, which IR is mastering with his fusion techniques……!

In case of Harmony theory for Carnatic music, if you want that, it will reach Dimension of unlimited proportions….!

Hello……! All these are only to explain the Syllabus of Harmony…..! Just Syllabus...!

To have a real study into the subject and mastering the skills one need their life time.

That way, IR's works so far may be equivalent to many... many.... births!

We are now in situation Like standing on the sea-shore of Kanyakumari……and seeing the Oceans in all directions…!

If you have the courage to take a plunge…and swim….Please do that..!


Lesson - 63 : Chords and Harmony writing - A Perspective Insight - Part-2

In our last session we saw the enormous permutation & combination possibilities of writing a chord for a single note.

Of course, the choices can be narrowed down, if the Scale of song is fixed, and if the position of the given note is fixed i.e. whether given note shall be at bottom, or middle, or top is made clear.

As touched upon earlier, the formulation of a problem in a Harmony writing situation is as follows :

(very straightforward & simple case, 3 notes chord formation, or 3-part writing…)

In a song composed of single line, (as is always done initially), there are sequence of notes written horizontally & arranged with its time duration.

Now the task given to us is to add the other two parts below it for each note……

Meaning……you add two other notes below for each note to make that appears as a sequence of Chords…..! Placed side by side....!

Here, the position of each notes is fixed, ie each of the given note shall be at top.

Also, given the song in particular scale, the Scale is also known (unless the scale is modulating, which will make the case further complex ...)

For example, Imagine the first note as C……!

As seen above, you can visualize that note as

the root of C-Major Chord (C-E-G), or

3rd of A-Minor Chord, (A-C-E) or

5th of F-Minor Chord…….. (F-A-C)


Again whatever chord selected you can have two other variations based on the type we want as the root chord or, 1st inversion chord or 2nd inversion chord….!


So atleast 6 possibilities are there for you to select from….!

This situation is For ONE SINGLE NOTE at any given moment……! ……..And a song consists of hundred of such notes……..! ….

Mind blowing possibilities of writing chords……!

Can you visualize that mathematical / flow chart model which demands you to make a decision on every note by note and proceed…..????

Testing your skills and abilities to ANALYSE and DECIDE …. ! for each note of the song.....!


Even the CEO of any Corporate Giant will be doing such decision making job….?….I doubt…!

Even in their life time put together….they may not have such tense moments of requiring hundreds of instant decisions… !

And please mind the fact, music is not such mathematic complexity alone…..!

Its a matter of Creativity...!

Its about the quality of sound ...! …..Feeeeeling……!

…..Sound quality ….that is Acceptable, Un-acceptable, Desirable, Tolerable, Manageable (after treatment)… etc etc…….!

So, it is not just making the chords mathematically….!

Now, one more dimension of the complexity is arising when two such chords are placed adjacently side by side….further there is inter-relationships develop,

Between notes to notes….vertically……as well as horizontally…… ! as well as development of chord-to-chord relations..!

which again needs to be examined microscopically……! based on various harmony rules etc..!

and again to be decided on the selection of individual notes and chord formations….!

A cylce of iterative processes to be done, still one is satisfied quantitatively, qualitatively and creatively..!

Let us see a little bit more on this aspect in our next session.


Lesson - 62 : Chords and Harmony writing - A Perspective Insight - Part-1

Hi All,

[Warning : Every time I write, I always try to make you feel comfortable by saying things are simple ..!

But, this time, I deliberately don't do that….

because, I want you to understand the complexities of this subject in its real term…..!

And make you appreciate the genius called IR….! ]

Just in last session, we saw how the same chord/triad can be part of different scales or so….!

Now let us see one such multifaceted possibilities of any single note within a chord also !

Let us take the note "C"

To start with, assume the C-Major scale as our simple scale model….and also assume the simple case of the C-Major Tonic Chord .... by taking two other notes as "E" and "G"

As we see earlier also, the possible combinations of arrangement of these 3 notes C-E-G in vertical mode , in its root position, 1st inversion position, 2nd inversion position are :

C-E-G, C-G-E, E-G-C, E-C-G, G-C-E and G-E-C

Depending upon our decision to have this particular note "C" either on top, or middle or at the bottom, we can re-arrange the other two notes in two possible ways to occupy the balance two positions…..!

So, a single note C can be converted into or made part of a chord, by these many 6 variations of writing!


Now, let us see one another variation of the same question.

Instead of E & G, If we select the other two notes A & E, then ?

Then, the letter "C" forms part of a chord called "A-C-E" ( Sub-Mediant Chord of C-Major scale)

Again here, we can have 6 other variations of A-C-E , with the chord inversions

A-C-E, A-E-C, C-E-A, C-A-E, E-A-C and E-C-A


Alternatively, instead of E & G or A & E, if we select the other two notes as F & A , then ?

Then, the letter "C" forms part of a chord called "F-A-C" ( Sub-Dominant Chord of C-Major scale)

Again here, we can have 6 other variations of F-A-C, with the chord inversions

F-A-C, F-C-A, A-C-F, A-F-C, C-F-A and C-A-F


So a single note "C" is already represented in 18 different ways in chord format !

This is also assuming a particular scale called C- Major only, where the note C is a part of;

If we consider the variations w.r.t. different scales and variations w.r.t. other forms of chords (like diminished chord, augmented chord etc), the possibilities are numerous !


Can you visualise this complexity of this problem ???

Why I am stressing this fact is .......

Harmony writing is Filling up the other balance notes to form the appropriate desirable chords for each note of the song!

The complexity of filling the other notes are enormous..!

We will further elaborate on these in our next session!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Lesson - 61 : Inversion of Triads - Part-2

Just now, we saw the possibilities of the 3 notes of C-Major triad, C-E-G in different inverted and normal forms

As we know, with reference to the C-Major scale, the real, original order of notes are C , E and G only.

Thus based on the real order, the note C is called the “Root” of the chord…..!

Root is the note on which a chord is fundamentally built…..!

Irrespective of the inversions and other appearances…. The note C remains as the root in a chord of C…….!

So fundamentally, with a three notes chord, the following emerges….!

- If the root note is at the bottom most, then the chord is said to be in its “Root Position” …!

- In other cases, the chord is said to be in inverted position…!

- If the third is placed at the bottom most then it is chord of 1st inversion……!

- If the 5th is placed at the bottom most, then its Chord of 2nd inversion…!

For any ordinary people, it may appear in their mind that ……in whatever way you play the group of notes, as far as the same three notes remain there…… it is going to matter…?

But in Harmony composing IT DOES MATTER…..!

Because it does change the Tonal appearance…!

The note at bottom most, that is the BASS Note…forms one important aspect in Harmony writing…..!

We will see that later ……!

I hope, one thing you might have realized by now, is just by seeing a note in the bottom of a chord, you cannot term that the chord is of that bottom note…!

You have to follow methodical stepwise approach…!

You have to see all the three basic notes of the Chord first…!

and then re-arrange them to get the root, third and fifth ….!

Of course letter name of chord is based on the root note.

So get that..!

Depending on intervals between root & third as well as third and fifth, you can term the characteristic of the chord as Minor, Major, Diminished or Augmented etc.

Depending on the appearance of which note is kept at the bottom most, you can term its inversion number….!

Based on which note of the Scale, the chord is formed, you can term them as Tonic Chord, Dominant Chord etc….!

Take the example of a chord which is written as G-E-B…..!

As per our knowledge of “musical alphabets”, we can easily re-arrange the basic notes available as E as root, G as third and B as fifth…!

So this must be a Chord of E…!

Next the interval of E to G and G to B are Minor + Major…..So this is a Minor Chord….!

So we are talking about E-Minor chord…!

Since, the third G is at the bottom most, this is of First Inversion type…!

Now, which scale it belongs to…?

As we saw earlier….a Major scale has three minor chords on Supertonic, Mediant and Sub-mediant……Similarly, a Harmonic Minor scale also have the minor chords on Tonic and Sub-dominant….!

So options are many….!

If it is considered as part of C-Major, then this is a chord on Mediant……

If you consider this as part of the E-Minor scale…. then this is Tonic Chord…!

And so on…!

Confusing….? But see the positive side of it…! The opportunities it gives us to explore…!

Are you realizing that same Chord can play a different role, depending on the outlook viz the scale to which we want to associate it to…?

That is the “Bridging/ Pivotal Role” a chord can play……!

The Chord is part of “this” scale also…. part of “that” scale also….!

We learnt earlier that WCM prescribes Modulation ….meaning shifting from one scale to another…..!

Chords play the Effective Bridging Roles in the case of Modulations….!

Are you realizing now that , in spite of the change of scales, how IR manages to look them so easy and smooth and effective…..!

A Perfect Morphism……as software people can easily visualize and compare that……!

Now we have become further wiser….on Chords ….!

Having further in-sight into the deep ocean of WCM…!

Stay Floating…!


Lesson - 60 : Inversion of Triads - Part-1

Inversion of chords is one important concept of Harmony which we are going to see now.

In simple terms, Chord Inversion is nothing but shifting the order of the appearance of notes of chords…..!

As Simple as that…!

For example, consider the C-Major chord which is written as C-E-G….!

So the notes on the stave also written in that order from the bottom … so that the note C is at the bottom…then the note E is kept above C…… and finally the note G is kept above E….!

So the interval between C and E is Major 3rd …..! And the interval between C and G is a Perfect 5th …..!

Now, consider the situation, in which the note E, which is the 3rd is kept at the bottom most and C & G are written above E.

So now it is placed as E-C-G……!

Even though, we are still using the notes of C-Major chord, its appearance on a stave as well as its tonal quality is somewhat different from the normal C-E-G chord……!

Its basically because the inversion of interval C to E has taken place and resulted in an interval of E to C….! What we had earlier as Major 3rd between 1st and 3rd is now transformed into Minor 6th …..! So the chord is now said to be inverted…!

Thus, when the 3rd of a chord is put on the bottom most level it is called the First Inversion…!

Next variation is……imagine you put the 5th note, G in this case…., at the bottom most and keep the C and E above this note G….!

Thus what was earlier as Perfect 5th from C to G has now transformed into Perfect 4th between G to C…..!

So again the chord is inverted, but in different fashion…!

Such inversion formed by keeping the 5th at the bottom most is called the Second Inversion……!

You can appreciate the fact that whatever the way the notes are arranged in a stave, the notes played are of the same chord….viz.. C Major chord….!

You place the notes in whatever fashion, C-E-G, C-G-E, E-C-G, E-G-C, G-C-E and G-E-C etc.. all are termed as C-Major Chord only….!

The picture above will clear the inversion concept, I believe !

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Lesson - 59 : Some Abstract Perceptions of Chords

What we have learnt so far is Formation of Chord, their naming method and title etc.

Now let us see a little bit more about their importance, inter-relationship etc also.

While learning about scale (in Lesson-19) we noted that certain notes are “ more than equal “ and has some importance assumed.

Like for instance...the Tonic…..the Dominant ….the Mediant, Sub-Dominant etc….!

In the case of Chords also, the chords formed on Tonic, Dominant and the Sub-dominant are considered to be important when compared to chords formed on other notes.

The Tonic Triad is the most critical among all and is the life line of any song.

Just the way the Tonic is as important in a starting and ending of a song, the chords formed on Tonic also gives the punch of effective start and completeness of finishing..!

Invariably, vast majority of the songs start and finish with Chords on Tonic…!

If you consider Tonic Triad as the Full Stop equivalent, ................
you can equate the Dominant Triad as the Semi-colon, ..............
and the sub-dominant triad as the Comma kind of thing…!

-You complete the sentence with a full stop.
-When the meaning has been completed but the sentence is not completed you use the semi-colon;
-and if the meaning as well as sentence is incomplete you use comma. ……!

Similar to that, musical passages also have their own punctuation kind of marks, which are better expressed by such appropriate chords !

( In WCM equivalent these are called Cadences…which we will see later ).

What we can appreciate in simple way is, the Triads of Tonic, Dominant and Sub-dominant are in that order has some priority and importance.

Also, if you note the fact that these three chords put together completely cover all the notes of a Scale…!

To illustrate that ,

Tonic Triad – consists of – Tonic + Mediant + Dominant - ( I + III + V )

Sub-Dominant Triad – consists of – Sub Dominant + Sub-Mediant + Octave - (IV + VI + VIII)

Dominant Triad – consists of – Dominant + Leading Note + Super Tonic - ( V + VII + II )

That’s why, for all beginners in guitar etc., these three basic chords are taught initially, and with that one can cover most of the song…!

In our next discussion, we can see one more concept of Chords … ie…. Inversion of Chords…!
We heard about that term inversion just recently…isn’t it ?

Yes… While talking about the intervals between any two notes…… and their inversion…!

So you can easily guess what we are going to do…!

Anyway, we will see that soon !


Lesson - 58 : Quick Formation of Triads!

Earlier we have seen the Triads formed on various notes of a typical Major scale and a Harmonic Minor scale.

Basically the type of triads that are formed are four , viz. Minor, Major, Diminished and Augmented.

These four basic chords can be formed on any 12 keys of an Octave.

One quick way to form them is start with a key and consider the Major scale notes of Tonic, Mediant and Dominant (which are usually Key no 1, 5 and 8 respectively, in our scheme of numbering 1 to 13 of the keys of octave, including the black and white keys).

So start with 1+5+8, we can get a Major Chord.

You reduce the 3rd of a Major Chord by a semitone ( so to say, you are using notes 1+4+8 ) you get the Minor Chord.

If you increase the 5th of a Major chord by a semitone, (meaning you are using notes 1+5+9) you get the Augmented Chord.

Similalry, if you decrease the 5th of a Minor chord by a semitone (meaning you are using notes 1+4+7) , you get the Diminished chord.

To summarise the above :

In this fashion you can develop Any Chord on Any key in a key board.

So you can form 12 x 4 = 48 basic chords in a key board, which are the fundamental chords/triads.

[Considering the same black note is represented by Sharp or Flat, some of these chords are represented by more than one way also (like D# Major or E-flat Major etc..), but basically the sound and characteristics of such chords remain same in both cases]

What else…! You are now master of Chords ! (atleast theoretically you can claim that now…..! )

Monday, October 30, 2006


Lesson - 57 : Comparison of Chords of Major Vs Harmonic Minor Scales

Having understood the different chords/triads available in both Major Scale and in Harmonic Minor Scale, let us compare them.

The following table is made to have a comprehensive idea of triads of both the Major and Harmonic Minor Scales..!

You can notice from the above table that, only in cases of the Dominant traids and the Leading Note triads, both the chords type matches..!

Remember this point!

Because in case of modulations from a Major Scale to Minor Scale or vice versa, this is one chord, like a railway junction, where both can merge or both can separate after joining...!

All these may look baffling a little bit…for the first timer….!

But, you can appreciate its basically a simple mathematics and simple logics to arrive at them…!

What I am expecting from you initially, is to appreciate the various names of chords of Major scale and Minor scale and their relative characteristics etc.

Also, Try to play these chords in a broken sequence of notes and feel the difference of the major, minor, diminished and augmented chords.

Broken sequence, I mean playing the notes of the chord individually;

for example, play the Chord of C-Major as C, E, and G separately in sequence (we call it broken chords in WCM) and also play them together as C-E-G as a normal chord is played.

When you play a chord, unless you have very sharp ears, the sound of certain notes may get drowned also.

So practice in both way to appreciate the notes and Chord formed by the notes..!

We have made a reasonable starting with our brief encounters with chords like name and their nature etc.

This itself can give you a lot of proud moment since you have known a lot of jargons by now…!

You can be genuinely happy about that …!

But our searches and researches for the knowledge have to go on….!


Lesson - 56 : Chords of a Harmonic Minor Scale

In the previous lesson we saw the formation of chords/triads on various notes of a typical Major Scale.

Applying the same method, let us tabulate the triads that can be formed on a Harmonic Minor Scale.

In our case we will talk about the A-Harmonic Minor scale as our reference.

The notes forming the scale of A-Harmonic Minor are A-B-C-D-E-F-G# - A

(remember the leading note is sharpened in harmonic Minor).

The table of triads formation for A-Harmonic Minor scale will be as follows :

So, we can generalize from this table that, in a Harmonic Minor scale,

· the triads on Tonic and Sub-Dominant are Minor Chords,

· the triads on Dominant and Sub-Mediant are Major Chords,

· triads on Supertonic and Leading note are Diminished Chords

· and finally the triad on the Mediant is Augmented Chord.

Totally, we have 2 Minor chords, 2 Major chords, 2 Diminished chords and 1 Augmented chord in a Harmonic Minor scale.

The above is applicable to any Harmonic Minor scales formed on Sharps or Flats also.


Lesson - 55 : Chords of a Major Scale - Quick Start

Let us proceed with the study of different chords, (the triads as we normally know them for a three notes chords), that are coming on any Major Scale.

As decided earlier we will take C-Major as our example scale for our study.

The triads are formed by the adding of 1st , 3rd, and 5th notes together on any given note.

The notes of C-Major are C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C.

So the 7 triads that can be formed on the notes of C-Major are as follows :

Triad on C – the Tonic ------------------ C-E-G
Triad on D – the Super Tonic ---------- D-F-A
Triad on E – the Mediant --------------- E-G-B
Triad on F – the Sub-Dominant ------- F-A-C
Triad on G – the Dominant ------------- G-B-D
Triad on A – the Sub-Mediant --------- A-C-E
Triad on B – the Leading note --------- B-D-F

Now in order to name these chords, we should know the nature of intervals in between 1st & 3rd as well as 3rd & 5th .

Let us tabulate these intervals and hence the name of Chords derived as follows:

From the above table, we can summarise, for our easy remembering that, in a Major scale,

· the triads (chords of 3 notes) on the Tonic , Sub-Dominant and Dominant are Major Chords;

· the triads on Supertonic, Mediant, Sub-Mediant etc are Minor Chords;

· the triad formed on leading note is a Diminished Chord.

So 3 Major Chords, 3 Minor Chords, 1 Diminished chord are there in any Major Scale.

The above is applicable to any Major scale, be it on Sharps or on Flats…!

For example,

the triad on Dominant of G Major scale will be D - F# - A which is a Major chord…

(….must be major chord as per our generalisation above…!)

Another example, the triad on leading note of E-Major will be D# - F# - A , which is a Diminished Chord

(…yes….must be diminished chord… )

So, remembering the notes sequence of a Major Scale, we can easily write the chords formation and specify the characteristics of such triads based on the location of base note from Tonic.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Lesson - 54 : Chords - The Gateway to Harmony

Let us start with our first encounter with Chords!

As I promised, I always want to make the matter simpler….!

One step in that direction is to use only the scale of C-Major or A-Minor in our preliminary discussions …. !

For simplicity sake….. because……… as you know, these scales use only pure white notes and do not involve “accidentals” such as sharps and flats…!(of course you know, A-minor Scale anyhow will use the sharp in leading note ….!)

Once the basics are understood, you can apply the same principle to any Major scales or Minor scales with flats or sharps…!

Another problem is of our internet posting which has constraints of tabulating and picture embedding…etc.

So, I may adopt the method of explaining the vertical chords with horizontal writing and you have to bear with that…! You can re-write them in a scoresheet and study further…!

For example the Chord of C which is C, E, G which are coming one over another, I may write as C-E-G and so on. …!

(Of course, I will use the tabulation of rows and columns also to give better effect, wherever possible)

What is a Chord …?

Many of you who have heard that terms from various musical discussions or otherwise, immediately associate the Guitar and strumming of its strings with the name Chords …!

OK…. You have some idea…!

But I want to explain the definition of Chords in general term as “Playing more than one note at a time in any instrument ........ or......... Singing more than one note at a time! “

In general, as per WCM, Considering a particular scale, taking any note as the first note, basic Chords are formed when the notes of First, Third and Fifth are played together.

For example, in case of C-Major, considering the note D, the chords are formed when we play the notes D-F-A together.

The point to be noted is, these notes shall be the part of the scale we are considering…! (for example in case of G-Major, it will be D-F#-A, since G-Major is using F#, as we know)

Such Chord formed by 3 notes of ( 1st+3rd+5th ) is called a Triad….!

Hereafter, we will continue our discussions on Chords formed by three notes only, which are all triads..!

Now, as usual, naming conventions is what we shall know about….!

Similar to the interval names, the name of Chords also have two important ingredients…!

First one is the letter….( like C, D etc)…! This is selected as the letter on which the Chord construction starts. …! For example, in case of Chord formed by notes D-F-A, we select the letter D, which is the note on which the other two notes F and A are added to form the chord !

Second one is title, which expresses its quality … like, major, minor, augmented, diminished etc…. (which are similar to the name of the intervals)…!

But, you might have already noticed, a triad is formed with two intervals built one over another

ie…interval between 1st and 3rd notes and the interval between 3rd and 5th notes!

So both the intervals put together determine the name of the chord…!

For naming of traids, the following conventions are followed :

In case of our Triad example D-F-A,

the interval between D and F is .....Minor..
and the interval between F and A is .....Major…!

So the chord is to be named as D-Minor…!

(The above example itself gives the hint to you, that a Major scale can have certain Minor Chords also and vice versa….)

So, now onwards be careful in realizing the terms like Major Scale, Major Interval and Major Chords etc…

we are talking about three entirely different entities…!

The collection of three notes together forming chord…can be done on any note taking that as starting note…!

So naturally, any scale which has 7 notes can have corresponding 7 chords/ triads also…! Isn’t it..!

We can name those seven Triads of Major scale as well as Minor Scale… In our next session…!

In the meanwhile, you can also have a try on that…. taking the C-Major and A-Minor as our model scales…! And as usual my request to you is, to play and feel those chords…!

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