Music Theory – 0015

These theory lessons aimed at learning to write music has been described as “boot camp” so far as being hard to keep up with. Fair enough, I’ll slow down. Also, you don’t have to “keep up”, you can go at your own pace with the assurance that these posts will be here for quite some time. We are now moving toward the meat of the matter so I will take this next segment and spread it out over several days and give people time for some experimentation and trial and error.

Let me bring up a graphic I have used before:


While we are in the Key of C Major, these are our basic options for Chord choices because these are Triads in root position using only the seven unique notes of the C Major scale. The first and last Chord in the graphic above are the same chord only an octave apart. Either the V or the vii° Chord have a strong tendency to go to the I Chord. Today we are only going to use the I and the V.

I set up the next project with eight measures:


That last measure is abnormally huge but as we add notes the measures will stretch out and spill down into the bottom line from the top. Notice that I made the G Major Chord, the V, in First Inversion. This is to minimize the movement of the notes from the C Major Chord to the G Major Chord. If you like you may put the G note of these chords into the root of the G Major Chords. The third and seventh measures have that G Major chord. (Hint: copy and paste). You should manually copy this eight-measure piece into NotePad.

For the melody we will only be using notes from the C Major scale, any notes on the staff with no sharps or flats. Your melody should probably stress the notes of the Chord it is playing above although you can certainly stray from those to smooth out your melody or to simply make things sound more interesting. If you have been following along you have seen me do this with one chord across several measures.

Your assignment is to casually try to make a piece of music out of this Chord Structure. You can do what you wish with the chords in the bass and create any melody you wish, no restrictions.

Next time I will expand on what I have provided and then your assignment will be to take what I have done and play with that. Ultimately I will produce a piece of music from this basic structure and as what you do differs from mine it is not wrong, just a different solution.

When you can take something like this and produce a piece of music you are happy with then my job is done. March!

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