1) Harmony - Grades 6-8
The Dictionary gives the following definitions of the word 'Harmony'
1. agreement; accord; harmonious relations. 2. a consistent, orderly, or pleasing arrangement of parts; congruity.3. Musical definitions: (a) any simultaneous combination of tones. (b) the simultaneous combination of tones, especially when blended into chords pleasing to the ear; chordal structure, as distinguished from melody and rhythm. (c) the science of the structure, relations, and practical combination of chords.
Harmony developed gradually through the middle ages and flowered during the renaissance. But it was particularly the great composer J.S. Bach who devised a framework for composition and beautifully showcased it throughout his chorales and other works.
A great deal of the music written since the time of Bach has been based on this 4 part structure using a set of 'rules' which composers had to know and fully understand. But it was the breaking and bending of these rules that gave composers their individuality and unique style.
On the next page of this course we will give a brief but very useful list of the important rules and guidelines of harmony. Please try and commit them to memory.