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Kudo Anastasia

Should you construct a melody based on a progression of chords, or add chords to a generated melody?

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HI so the title is the question, i wanted to ask this as im kinda confused on what to do sometimes with the harmony.

Edited by Kudo Anastasia

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You'll find yourself finding both useful in different situations. Know how to do both.

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You can do both at the same time as well, construct the melody and the harmony together.

This all takes trying and work, so either way you'll have to go back and forth until everything works properly.

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Adding chords to an existing melody will usually result in a stronger melody because it's not being affected by a pre-determined harmony. Start with a harmony first and you will tend to follow the chord tones already there.

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7 minutes ago, AngelCityOutlaw said:

Adding chords to an existing melody will usually result in a stronger melody because it's not being affected by a pre-determined harmony. Start with a harmony first and you will tend to follow the chord tones already there.

 

That's what i thought however when i do this i tend to get pretty lazy with the harmony, and it stays kinda bland. So the trade off is i get better melody but my harmony is weaker

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On 5/25/2020 at 3:21 PM, Kudo Anastasia said:

That's what i thought however when i do this i tend to get pretty lazy with the harmony, and it stays kinda bland. So the trade off is i get better melody but my harmony is weaker

 

That's where a knowledge of chord substitutions comes in handy. Once you have the basic harmony you can spice it up by substituting more interesting chords.

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On 5/25/2020 at 1:57 PM, Kudo Anastasia said:

HI so the title is the question, i wanted to ask this as im kinda confused on what to do sometimes with the harmony.

 

Most of the time I would give more importance to the melody. But you can do it the other way around and it is totally okay.

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It is more creative to find melody first and later harmonize it, but the opposite may prove to be an interesting challenge. 😉

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I do either as needs be. As I still often work initially at a piano my hands sometimes fall to 'chords' as I explore a melodic fragment. It's probably as a result of my "lounge" playing where I'm trying to work out decent sounding chords to an improvised variant on a tune. It's whatever I feel at the time. I'm no theoretician so unless I want a specific effect I leave that alone. At times something contrapuntal emerges.

Each case is different. Notation software is far too slow for my initial sketching which ends up vaguely like the x-axis of a time line, no bar lines, no tails to notes unless I have to make it obvious. One develops a shorthand....

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