Elements of Music Pitch – Harmony • Harmony is a way to describe accompanying instruments who are playing actual notes or pitches different than the main melody. • This is not rhythmic accompaniment so instruments like drum set or most percussion are not being described here. • As you know, melodies in the songs we listen to are not alone. • There will often be 'lead' instruments which play the main melodies (such as a voice) and other instruments that accompany them doing something else. • This relationship between different notes played at the same time is what we call harmony. Who plays harmony? • Sometimes this can be done by one instrument such as guitar or piano, but other times by several instruments. • Harmony refers to the proper progression of chords – groups of notes usually used as accompaniment to a melody. • As listeners we have an intuitive sense of harmonic rules, if someone hits the wrong chord or note and it doesn’t fit, we know. • There are many types of relations between two or more notes played at the same time, but they can be classified into two main divisions: consonance and dissonance. Consonance - Dissonance • Technical Terms: ▫ Consonance – the quality of chords that makes them sound restful or free of tension. ▫ Dissonance – the non-restful quality of some chords that demands resolution. • Consonance refers to a sense of stability and 'relaxation' experienced when listening to some notes together – or harmonic relations. • Opposite to this, dissonance refers to the sensation of 'tension' or the feeling that something is 'unstable'. • Depending on the 'distance' between one note and another, we can classify their relations into consonant and dissonant. Consonance and Dissonance… Consonant Things Sound: – Pleasant – Major – Include perfect or major intervals – Happy, relaxing, comfortable sounds – Relieve tension Dissonant Things Sound: – – – – Minor Include minor intervals Might sound ‘out of tune’ Tense, gloomy, sad – http://www.youtube.com/w atch?v=DuIQJ-l16b4 Example: • Chopin – Harmony http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1QM6YZ C45g&feature=iv&annotation_id=annotation_ 323647 • “When I Go” by Slow Club http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JcO9pw0 cEA&feature=related To describe harmony you can: • List the instruments that the group/artist is using to create harmony. • Figure out where there is more than one singer. • Is the song mostly consonant or dissonant?