“Harmony is the resulting mixture of tones played simultaneously. If melody gives you the idea of the song, then harmony deepens the feel of the song. It breathes life into a song. It colors the song.”
Basics of harmony
- Harmony is the simultaneous ringing of multiple notes played together in music: a melody and the notes that go with it.
- Harmonies are based on the root note of the chord.
- Creating harmony in music is based on the relationship between intervals.
- Harmony is the simultaneous ringing of multiple notes played together in music.
- Using harmonies can bring your songwriting to life.
Play the example below and listen to the difference in harmonies
In the first we have a melodic perfect 5th following by a resolving harmonized major 3rd. Very clean, very tidy, right?
In the second one we have a melodic major 7th followed by a resolving harmonized major 3rd. There’s quite a difference in the way that major third resolves the Perfect 5th and the way it resolves the Major 7th.
This is the point. I want you to find out how these reactions differ or are alike.
How intervals affect harmony (turn up the volume)
|unison:||emptiness or loneliness, solitude|
|minor second:||slow moving, creepy, misery|
|major second:||kind, partnership, smooth, calm|
|minor third:||melancholy, think of a requiem (a composition for the deceased), a calm sadness|
|major third:||joyous in an innocent way, delightful, happy, sunny|
|perfect fourth:||majestic, powerful, strong, brave, like you’re making a loud and clear statement|
|tritone:||misery, unrest, mystery, enchantment|
|perfect fifth:||speed, strength, beginning, space, a shout but more like a victory shout than like the fourth’s declarative feeling|
|minor sixth:||Spanish, unrest, hopelessness|
|major sixth:||upbeat, chipper, in a bounce on your toes sense, unlike the happiness of the major 3rd, which is more of a profound happiness , can also be enchantment|
|minor seventh:||(this one’s tough) unfinished business, funk, waiting|
|major seventh:||a blue mood, a rainy day, leaving the party, quiet resolution|
|octave:||powerful leap, power not unlike that of the fourth, falling, climbing|
You should play all of the intervals yourself and make a list of descriptors for each. Just like I have done. Use it as a reference for when you are writing tunes, motives, phrases or whatever to boost your creativity.