Lecture 07 Harmony - Chords and How to Build Them


  • Introduction to Harmony

    Harmony is one of the two things that really distinguishes the music of Western civilization — Western classical music, Western pop music,区分西方古典和流行的另一个, 是曲谱。


    this concept of superimposing multiple pitches【多个音重叠,很多人同时弹一个调?】

  • The Formation and Changing of Chords

a chord is just a simultaneous sounding of two or more pitches.【同时进行的两个或多个音】

chord可以是和谐的,也可以是不和谐的。consonant or dissonant.

This lesson is working with consonant chords【和谐的和弦】

最基础的和弦是三和弦 triad。

So what’s a triad?

a set of three notes that can be stacked vertically in thirds.【from wiki】



dominant and sub-dominant: 【这一节完全懵逼】

The tonic is very important and this dominant — what we call the dominant. It’s not really the most important. It sort of leads into, pulls into — particularly important setting up the tonic. It’s the next important. Right below that is the sub-dominant. It often pulls into the dominant which then pulls into the tonic in that fashion.

练习曲目: Johnny Cash’s Streets of Laredo

why do we change chords?

we change chords to make the harmony consonant or to make the harmony harmonious.


  • Is the harmony changing?

  • And if it is changing, is it changing at a regular or irregular rate?

    「By regular rate, every time a chord sounds it will be holding for exactly the same amount of time.」

answer: changing in regular rate

练习曲目:教授自弹 Jingle Bells

harmony 出现在低音bass 部分

一段DVD视频,引入了 mystery bass player Peter Salovey.

How are they doing this? They’re hearing the chords. They’re hearing tonic, subdominant and dominant, and I think we can hear them too.

【期待我哪天也能听出来tonic, subdominant and dominant……】

  • Harmonic Progressions

    the bass note is sort of the foundation and then you add these other things up above it, and they produce these chords and the chords are tonic and dominant and so on.


    arpeggio: 琶音,一般是用竖琴弹奏琶音。【会弹竖琴的都是仙女!】

    taking the notes of the triad and just spinning them out in succession.

    just a chord with the notes played successively to create an arpeggio.



    Alberti bass:

    阿尔贝蒂低音, 指的是分解和弦的各个乐音按照特定顺序演奏,通常依“最低、最高、中等、最高”的顺序。

    It’s a good way of harmonizing something.

    boogie-woogie bass:

    a piano blues style from the early 20th century.



    赏析 J.S.Bach prelude to the first book of his “ Well-Tempered Clavier”:

    a succession of chords played as arpeggios

    大约140年后,19世纪的法国作曲家 Charles Gounod 为巴赫的这段prelude配上了melody。

    【大提琴cello真的是超美,真的被The Swan惊艳到了,怪不得教授说 I’ve always said if I ever come back as a musical instrument I want to come back as a cello.】

    major triad and minor triad:

    练习:Franz Liszt’s Lugubrious Gondola, focus on the change from one triad to the next.

    低音部分,为琶音, just an arpeggio underneath。

    练习:the “Moonlight Sonata” of Beethoven【贝多芬的月光协奏曲】

    distinction between a major triad and a minor triad【这段完全没听懂,补】

  • Major and Minor Harmonies in Popular Music

    练习: U2‘s Love is Blindness

    ostinato harmony: from the Italian word ostinare, stubborn。【任何持续重复的因素,称为固定反复】

    when that pattern repeats

  • Modulation through Harmony

    modulation: the change from one tonality (tonic, or tonal center) to another.

    练习: Aaron Copland‘s Appalachian Spring

    Modulations are hard to hear. The best you can do is that oftentimes is say, “This is unsettled. Maybe it’s modulating,”

    练习:Beach Boys‘ these California airheads.