Harmony (härmənē) Research, Analysis, and Recording Project

Creative Commons image Another Guitar Pic by Lemuel Cantos at Flickr

“To achieve great things, two things are needed;
a plan, and not quite enough time”

– Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein (August 25, 1918 – October 14, 1990) was an American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the U.S. to receive worldwide acclaim. According to music critic Donal Henahan, he was “one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history.” – Wikipedia


  • Convey knowledge of harmony terms and concepts and use this knowledge to build harmonies in GarageBand

Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse “Gallopin’ Gertie”

Musician Explains One Concept in 5 Levels of Difficulty

Harmony Terms

  • Drone
  • Harmonics
  • Triad
  • Polyphony
  • Progression
  • Tonic
  • Dominant
  • Passimezzo Antico
  • Passimezzo Moderno
  • Dischord
  • Dissonance
  • Passing Notes
  • Suspended Notes
  • 7th Chords
  • Diminished Chords
  • Augmented Chords


  • Create a blog post with embedded media from SoundCloud, YouTube, and Flickr of harmonies.


C Major Notes and Chords



I ii iii IV V vi vii
Tonic Supertonic Mediant Subdominant Dominant Submediant Leading Tone


  • Day 1 – Create Blog Post, Add Section Headings, and Define Terms
    • Explore HookTheory.com’s Common Chord Progressions
    • Listen to a C Major note and Chord progression
    • Create a blog post titled, Harmony Recording Project
    • Copy and paste the headings below
      • Summary
      • Lesson Harmony
      • One of My Favorite Harmonies
      • My Harmony
      • Harmony Composition Terms
      • What I Learned and Problems I Solved
    • Under the Harmony Terms heading
      • Watch How Music Works with Howard Goodall
        • Watch all five parts of the Harmony episode
        • Take notes on the Harmony terms (listed above in this blog post under the Harmony Terms heading)
      • Start writing the definitions in your own words of terms presented in the video
  • Day 2 – Recreate The Lesson Harmony (C Major Scale)
  • Day 3 – Examine One of Your Favorite Song’s Harmonies
    • Find for MIDI file of one of your favorite harmonies
    • Include under the One of My Favorite Harmonies heading
      • Find a HookTheory song for the song key and chord structure
        • chord Structure
      • Embed a YouTube video of your favorite harmony
      • Find a .midi file of the harmony and download it
      • Import the midi file into Soundtrap
      • Take a screenshot of the harmony tracks in Soundtrap, upload to Flickr and embed into your blog
      • Export the two main harmony tracks from Soundtrap as an .mp3, upload to SoundCloud and embed into your blog post
      • Describe why you like the harmonies
      • Answer the questions (use compositional terms in your answer):
        • What did you notice about the note structure of the harmony?
        • Where was the tonic note and where are the tension building note(s)/chords(s)?
        • What was revealing?
  • Day 4 – Create a Theme with Harmony
    • Create an 8 measures theme that has a catchy melody and harmony that builds and releases tension in Soundtrap
      • Remember that the note and chord progression should be in C Major.
      • Use the chords that best support your melody line.
      • Feel free to copy and paste the chords and notes from Mr. Le Duc’s note and chord progression sample (Online Sequencer).
      • Have more than one chord in each measure, if you want.
        • The chords should be placed on the beats you want to emphasize.
      • Remember to start on the tonic note/chord (C) and build tension in measures 4 and 5 with the Dominant / Subdominant note/chords (green) and end on the tonic (C) note / chord (red).
        • Click on either image below to see both as a larger PDF file
        • C Major Notes and Chords ChartChord Chart
      • Remember that rising notes suggests happiness and falling notes sadness.
      • Remember that increasing tempo suggests happiness and slowing tempo sadness.
  • Day 5 – Create a Theme with Harmony
    • Include under the My Harmony heading
      • Take a  screenshot of the chord track notation; uploaded to Flickr and embedded into your blog post
      • Export the theme as an mp3; uploaded to Soundcloud and embedded into your post
      • Answer the questions (use compositional terms in your answer):
        • How did you structure of the harmony?
        • Where is the tonic note and chord and where are the tension building notes and chords?
        • Are you using Contrast, Repetition, and/or Variation? Which measures?
    • Create What I Learned heading
      • Explain what you learned and at least one problem you overcame
      • Include a link to a tutorial you used and describe how you used it
  • Last Day
    • Present compositional themes you composed to the advisory committee (optional)



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