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Help with harmony lines

Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:58 am
by Robin73
Hi Folks,

Can anyone help me with writing harmony lines? I've got the basic concpets (tight harmony in 3rds, 6ths etc, how to find chords for a melody), but don't have much experience. For example how to keep a harmony a 3rd below in a major key tune from sounding bad with the chords? I've pasted one of my attempts below, and would love to hear how others might go about this.

X:1
T:Eagles Whistle with chords harmony 1
L:1/8
M:3/4
%%MIDI program 1 109
%%MIDI program 2 40
%%MIDI gchord bbb
K:G
V:1
|: "G" B2 d>BAG | "G" B2 d>BAG | "D" A3 BAG | "D" A2 ABAG |
"G" B2 d>BAG | "G" B2 d>BAB | "C" G3 B "D" AB | "G" G3 BAG:|
|: "Em" e2 degd | "Em" e2 d>BAG| "D" A3 BAG | "D" A2 ABAG |
"Em" e2 degd | "Em" e2 d>BAB| "C" G3 B "D" AB | "G" G2 GBAG:|
V:2
|:G2 B>GFE | G2 B>GFE| F3 GFE | F2 FGFE |
G2 B>GFE |G2 B>GFG | E3 GFG | G6:|
|:B2 BceB | B2 B>GFE| F3 GFE | F2 FGFE |
B2 BceB | B2 B>GFG|E3 GFG | G6:|

KInd regards,

Robin.

Re: Help with harmony lines

Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:13 am
by cboody
The easiest suggestion I can give you is this:

1)drop out of the thirds to a fourth where your ear tells you it is needed (examples: last note of bar 1 and last note of bar 4)
2) Unless you really want the "open" sound of the 4th or 5th on the strong beats use a 6th (example use G rather than B on the downbeat of the first two bars of the B section)
3) Remember that the "other harmony" that sounds good besides 3rds are 6ths, and use them as needed.

Here's your ABC slightly altered as an example:

X:1
T:Eagles Whistle with chords harmony 1
L:1/8
M:3/4
%%MIDI program 1 109
%%MIDI program 2 40
%%MIDI gchord bbb
K:G
V:1
|: "G" B2 d>BAG | "G" B2 d>BAG | "D" A3 BAG | "D" A2 ABAG |
"G" B2 d>BAG | "G" B2 d>BAB | "C" G3 B "D" AB | "G" G3 BAG:|
|: "Em" e2 degd | "Em" e2 d>BAG| "D" A3 BAG | "D" A2 ABAG |
"Em" e2 degd | "Em" e2 d>BAB| "C" G3 B "D" AB | "G" G2 GBAG:|
V:2
|:G2 B>GFD | G2 B>GFE| F3 GFE | F2 FGFD |
G2 B>GFD |G2 B>GFG | E3 GFD | G6:|
|:G2 BceB | G2 B>GFE| F3 GFE | F2 FGFD |
G2 BceB | G2 B>GFG|E3 GFD | [B,6G6]:|

Re: Help with harmony lines

Posted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 1:34 pm
by Robin73
Hi Cboody.

Thanks for that. It was really helpful!

A few points that came to mind when looking at what you did:

1) Finishing harmony line in unison? Sounds great. I had imagined that the second line would lose something by merging with the melody like this, but obviously not.
2) Bar 7: switched to 6th to prepare for unison in Bar 8: Is this the standard (or at least a common) way to deal with the fact that when harmonising a 3rd below, with the meolody resolving to its tonic, the harmony would be unresolved?
3) What's with the double stop right at the end? It sounds good, but my intellect tells me that it should sound ungrounded as the lowest note is not the root.
4) Would you be up for having a look at a couple more of my attempts at this and giving feedback and suggestions?

KInd regards,

Robin

Re: Help with harmony lines

Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 1:45 pm
by mohsin147
Unless you really want the "open" sound of the 4th or 5th on the strong beats use a 6th (example use G rather than B on the downbeat of the first two bars of the B section)