Friday, August 28, 2015

Harmonic Rhythm

Welcome back! Harmonic Rhythm is a little more nebulous than some of the stuff we've looked at before, but it still always helps to practice! Let's get to it!

1) We saw this example before in the Tonic Function exercises, but now that we know all about all three functions, let's revisit it. Identify the chord function of each chord in this progression. How do they do on harmonic rhythm? Are there any surprises? If so, why do you think they work? Try playing it if you can, see if it sounds okay.

2) Let's look at the progressions we learned today. The Doo-Wop progression goes I-VImi-IV-V, while the 4-Chord progression goes I-V-VImi-IV. Can you think of any songs you know that might contain those progressions? Look up the chords: Were you right? If you can't think of any, try looking up chords to some of your favorite songs and seeing if they match.

3) Try writing some progressions of your own! Harmonic Rhythm is one of those areas in music where there are no wrong answers as long as you're aware of the issues, so try making something that sounds good to you. If you can't play an instrument, just try writing some out from your theoretical understanding, send them in, and I'll make you a quick recording of it so you can see what it sounds like.

And that's harmonic rhythm! Post your answers below or on the video, and we'll see you next week!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Four Part Writing

We've had our first look at four-part writing, so let's take a second to review it before moving on because this stuff can get a bit complicated.

1) Identify the type of motion between each pair of voices in each of the following examples. Remember, there are 6 pairs of voices, so make sure you get them all!

2) What's wrong with each of these voice-leading examples? Are there multiple problems with either one?

3) Write your own short 4-part piece! It can be as short as a single bar, just try to practice some voice-leading. If you need a progression, try F-Ami-B-C-F. Feel free to add more chords, or if you want just use your own progression.

And that's it! Post your answers below or comment on the main video, and we'll see you next week!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Subdominant Function

Another set of exercises! This week we rounded out our look at the primary chord functions with subdominant function, so I think it probably makes the most sense to do exercises about that, right? Sure!

1) Identify all subdominant chords in each of the following major keys:

2) Which major key is each of these chords subdominant in?

3) What do you think about the more broad interpretation of subdominant function in regards to minor keys? Is the given answer satisfying to you? Why or why not, and if not do you have a better system? Music theory is as much about opinion as it is fact, so please let us know your thoughts.

And that's that! Leave your answers in the comments below or on youtube, and we'll see you next week!

Friday, August 7, 2015


More practice! More exercises! This episode discussed arpeggios, so let's look at those.

1) Identify the chords being arpeggiated in the following example. (Hint: The chord changes every other beat.) While you're at it, why not apply what we've covered earlier and figure out which chords are tonic and which are dominant?

2) Identify the following chords, then write an Alberti Bass pattern to play underneath it. You can use the given voicings as a guideline if you want, or try different shapes.

 3) Write your own arpeggiated piece! Try the chord progression below, or one of your own composition. Remember to try some of the variations we discussed in the video, like different accents, rhythms, and passing tones.

And that's it! See you next week!