A few preliminaries are needed before going on to the harmonies...
The notes of the 7 harmoniesThe diagram below shows the seven notes of the major scale. In this diagram the key is C major, but you could construct the scale in any of the other keys. The seven notes may be numbered 1 through 7, 1 being the first note of the scale, the note that defines its key. Note 1 is the tonic note.
If you build a three-note chord ('triad') on each of the notes, you will have the seven harmonies. In each chord,
we start with a note of the scale, which becomes the root of the chord, and then take every other scale note
until we have three notes.
These chords are the seven harmonies of Western music, and all the music you hear ó popular, classical, country/western, whatever, is made using them, and a few other 'secondary' harmonies related to them. In harmonized music, a note in the melody is given life by sounding one of these harmonies, one that contains that particular note. If the note in the melody is note 6 of the scale for instance, it could be harmonized using 6, 2 , or 4, because those chords all have note 6 in them. But the effect will be very different, depending on which one is used.
For now you don't have to remember what notes are in each of these chords, although that will be very useful to know later as you take your understanding to a deeper level. When you learn to play guitar, you learn the fingering for several chords, and you develop a feel for when to use each one. You donít bother remembering or even learning at all what the actual notes are in each of those chords, because itís not necessary for your purposes. We are going to use a very similar process here, except there is no guitar and no fingerings to learn. We are concerned only with learning when to use each of the chords, or equivalently, how to recognize the seven chord harmonies in the music we hear.
Check out the myths of music theory
It is time now to meet the harmonies. After the basic seven there is a section relating to the secondary harmonies, which are less common but still very important.
Go now to the 7 harmonies examples.
Basic music symbols and notation
Advanced topicsInterval arithmetic and harmony
The minor and modal scales
The seven harmonies in minor mode
The Circle of Keys
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