Wednesday, November 22, 2006


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!

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