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How to match Chords to a melody?

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How to match Chords to a melody?

Post by SinkingHigher on Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:31 pm

Hi everyone,

If you had hypothetically created a melody using notes from Bb minor or A Major, how would you select the chords that go along with it? I know there's no "right answer" but I'm simply looking for a guide since I know practically nothing about music theory.

To give an example, I'm waiting on some sheet music for Joe Hisaishi's "Nostalgia". I've managed to figure out most of the melody on my own, so, say it goes (forgive me if my notation methods are flawed)

| Bb C Db Ab | F->F Eb Eb |

How would I figure out which chord to play at (at a simple level) Bb and F?

I can find the notes that make a chord that will work together but I have no idea what chord I'm playing nor why it works.

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Re: How to match Chords to a melody?

Post by yokewong on Tue Jul 20, 2010 4:25 am

In order for you to figure what chords to use, first you will have to know the notes in the scale. For example, in the key of A major. You have A, B, C#, D, E, F#, and G#. Next you build the triads (3 notes) starting with A by using the notes in the scale. In this case, youíll have A/C#/E which is a A major triad. Next, B/D/F# which is a B minor triad, C#/E/G#, which is a C# minor triad, D/F#/A, which is a D major triad, E/G#/B, which is a E major triad, F#/A/ C#, which is a F# minor triad and lastly, G#/B/D, which is a half diminished triad.

So in the scale of A major, the diatonic chords are I, ii, iii, IV, V, vi, vii half dim. Also, understanding basic cadences will also be helpful. For example, V-I, IV-V-I, ii-V-I, and iii-vi-ii,V,I just to name a few.
With that being said, if you are writing an original song or composition, use these just as a guideline. Ultimately, you have to trust your ears and feel.

The next one to understand is minor scale. In the key of Bb natural minor, we have Bb, C, Db, Eb, F, Gb, Ab.

Building the triads based on these notes, weíll get Bb minor, C half dim, Db Major, Eb Major, F Minor, Gb Major and Ab Major.
Also, the I-IV-V chords are most commonly used to harmonize any songs in any keys; For example, in key of C. The C chord, F, chord, and G chords are commonly used.

If these three chords does not fit, you can use the ii minor, vi minor chords. As long as the note belongs in the chord, you can re-harmonized it. For example, in the key of C. The melody note is F, you would try to use the IV chord, which is the F (F/A/C). If it doesnít work, then you will try to use the ii minor which is D minor (D/F/A). You can also try using a V7 which is a G dom7 (G/B/D/F).

Not looking at the sheet music, itís difficult to analyze the melodies. Iíll give you some examples based on youíre the first 2 bars; Bb/ C/ Db/ Ab and F/ F/ Eb/ Eb. Most of the time, the 1st note determines what key you are in. In this case, Bb. Since D, E and A is flat, which makes me guess that we in the key of Bb minor. You can play Bb minor, and then F for 2 beats and then F7 because of the Eb for the next 2 beats.
Understanding basic theory and scales will help you with building chords and melodies.

Yoke Wong
Take Your Piano Playing To The Next Level
http://www.pianomother.com


Last edited by yokewong on Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:08 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: How to match Chords to a melody?

Post by MoBuc on Fri Sep 03, 2010 4:56 am

NOT THAT'S THE KIND OF INFO I NEED! I have not seen this type of info advertised in your 'Bundles' Yoke. Did I miss some older products? Also, Are your products down-loadable? The one that I had was an 'online ' video course. I prefer to work Off-line. :-)

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