Lecture 08 Bass Patterns - Blues and Rock


  • Review of Chord Formation

    三和弦 CEG,C 是 根音The root of the triad

    tonic (I)

    the dominant (V)

    sub-dominant(IV): right next to and below the dominant

    a I chord built on the first degree of the scale,

    a V chord built on the fifth degree of the scale,

    a IV chord built on the fourth degree,

    and a VI chord built on the sixth degree.

    When an orchestra plays or an ensemble plays and they’re just playing individual notes that all together form a chord.

    Question: Why do we change chords?

    Because the melody changes and not all harmonies are concordant with every note.


    什么情况下,pitch dissonant (音不和谐)?

    pitches that are right next to each other — very close to each other — are dissonant.

    The closer these pitches are together, the more likely they are to be dissonant.

    所以弹CD会dissonant,弹CA就不会, because you allow a little separation between the two pitches, that makes them consonant, much better.

  • Chord Progressions and Harmonic Change

    Chord Progressions: 和弦进行?

    what is chord progression?

    A sequence of chords that sound good together, kind of make sense together.

    They seem to be going somewhere and there’s this sort of force of pull or gravity in music having to do with some chords wanting to go to other chords.

    如何能听到这些chord?如何能听到chord progression?如何能听到和声?

    to get a sense of harmony we’re going to listen to the bass.



    figure out if the harmony is changing, and if it is changing whether it’s changing at a regular or irregular rate.


    Almost all classical music involves irregular rates of harmonic change.

    练习:Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle 开头部分。

    Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle: 尼伯龙根的指环,由瓦格纳作曲及编剧,整个于1848年开始创作,至1874年完成,历时共26年。


    • 莱茵的黄金

    • 女武神

    • 齐格弗里德

    • 诸神的黄昏

    练习:Dave Matthews Ban的作品片段

    练习:Mozart’s G Minor Symphony 【听起来应该是 Symphony no.40】


    At the beginning, these chords are holding for four measures or a total of eight beats.

    Then as it goes on,Then we’re getting two changes per beat.It’s getting faster and faster and faster.

    The amount of time that each chord is holding is getting shorter and shorter and shorter as we drive into that cadence. cadence is simply the end of a musical phrase, particularly in this case the end of a chord progression, where we are at a point of arrival; the cadence brings us to a point of arrival. So that’s a piece of Mozart.

    练习:Beethoven‘s Symphony no.6, Pastoral Symphony【田园交响曲,田园牧歌】


    He’s doing the opposite of what Mozart did. He’s trying to relax us here by slowing down the rate of harmonic change here. That held for about thirty seconds, that tonic chord.

  • Popular and Classical Music Chord Progressions


    What does pop music do for us that’s very helpful?

    • regularity and repetition

    • most of the chords in rock music in particular tend to be root-position chords, and for that reason they’re easier to hear.

    练习:Badly Drawn Boy 的歌 【regular,two chords, 没听出来】

    练习: Justin Timberlake 【regular,four chords, each chord was holding for two beats there in duple meter】

    What’s the difference between pop and classical music?

    pop music tends to have simpler harmonies, and that those harmonies tend to be more repetitious, that they tend to have harmonies that have chords in root position.

    We’ve got text in pop music that tells us what this music means. classical music, probably eighty-five percent of it, does not involve a text, and that’s a whole different ballgame because then you have to communicate meaning in a completely different sort of way.

    pop music are much shorter.

    Most classical music is written down.

    The structure of a popular piece is often more predictable in pattern and verses and bridges and chorus whereas with classical music you really can’t predict what part of the movement you’re at.

    classic music has the capacity for expansion.

  • Three-Chord Progressions

    练习:Beach Boys’s 歌片段,它是 Three-Chord Progressions, 和弦的顺序为 sub-dominant (IV), dominant (V), tonic (I)

    练习:Beethoven‘s Symphony no.6 最后一个乐章

    出场的乐器:单簧管Clarinet,法国号French horn

    using the same three-chord chord progressions in the Beach Boys.

  • Four-Chord Progressions

    练习:Gene Chandler’s Duke of Earl


    got four chords I, VI, IV, V, I, VI, IV, V operating here and they’re changing regularly.

    what happened in that middle section?

    it went on and on and on, longer, longer, longer, then in that middle section each chord was changing at the rate of two measures. So the whole piece, then, would be a piece involving irregular rate of change.

    练习:Mozart’s Symphony No. 5 in B-flat, 低音部分同Gene Chandler’s Duke of Earl

    练习:a passage of composer Gioachino Rossini‘s opera 【完全懵逼, 听懂的感觉一定很好玩吧?】


    the first thing we got to do is sort of lock on to the tonic.

    If you ever hear music rocking back and forth repeatedly between two chords, it’s probably tonic, dominant, tonic, dominant.

    It was I, VI, IV, V, I progression.

    what happened next was he then started to run that faster, twice as fast as it had been before, changing rate of harmonic pattern.

    The end of that was all just the tonic. He just sat there on the tonic forever. It’s a good example of sort of real time and psychological time in music. You knew it was time to start clapping as soon as that chord hit that.