1. QUESTION 5: COMPOSING BASS NOTES AND CHORD INDICTIONS TO A GIVEN TUNE
1. Task 1: harmonise a tune by choosing appropriate chords that are part of a good progression
2. Task 2: add a correct bass note under a correct chord symbol then compose a good quality bassline that has a sence of musicality and technical knowledge.
Selecting and Notating Chords
To select a chord based on the melody given, we must note the available options by identifying the passing notes as unessential notes and using harmony notes only to make our chord selection decision.
Harmony notes are notes from the chord while passing notes are unessential notes i.e. notes not in the chord. There are three types of unessential notes: upper auxiliary, lower auxiliary and moving in step passing notes.
We then must write chord options above each box to ensure the most logical and musical chord progressions. It’s a good idea to lightly pencil in all possibilities before going back to make a final choice.
When notating chords in the given boxes ensure to use all accidentals present in the chord box, (watch for the raised 7th in the minor key) in conjunction with all minor and diminished indications given. Use lower case letters for all minor Roman numerals and upper case letters for all major chords. If you do not correctly identify the chord in the box, no marks will be given.
Cadence points are important to identify in this question. They typically occur every four bars; however they can be identified at the end of a two, three or even 6 bar phrase. As a result, you must scan your piece, hum the melody and identify areas of pause or rest.
Common ways to identify a cadence point include:
• Rests in the melody
• Long notes approached by a sequence of short or accented notes
• A break in the flow of the melody
• Others may be immersed in the melody and hard to identify
Major Key cadences include:
Perfect: V-I V7-I
Interrupted: V/V7 – vi
Imperfect: ii/iib- V
IV – V
Do not use V7 here as the 7th needs to resolve and it cannot do so at the end of a phrase.
Minor Key cadences include:
Plagal: iv- i
Perfect: V-i, V7 – i.
Interrupted: V/V7 to I
Imperfect:: iiob – V,
Similarly, do not use V7 here. V7 needs to resolve to a strong chord therefor is not suitable to use for a cadence point.
Suitable chord progressions include:
I, V, IV, ii, and vi in order of importance.
Ib, Vb, IVb and iib
V7 and Ic in stock phrases: examples of Ic- V- I and I –Vc – Ib
Good major progressions include:
I- Vb – vi – V- (which create a descending bass);
I - IV – V; ii – V – I; I – vi –IV/ii – V; and any chords of a cadence.
V must go to I or vi
Ic – V7 – I
I-ii or IV –V as this creates an ascending bassline
Good minor chord progressions include:
i, VI – iv (which create a falling 3rd bass line)
V7 – i/VI
NOTE: All chord progression from the major key are acceptable in the minor key.
ii – I. Do not go from ii to I.
Do not use the chords of iii, vii, and vib
Avoid the overuse of V7
Do not use the same chords in the same position twice in succession.
Do not over use inversions. Use them when you need to repeat a chord or for a certain bass-line as in the descending bass line above, or for stock phrases.
From the melody given, we must compose a bass line that is related to the given melody and based on the chord selections we have made.
You must have a bass note under each chord symbol. Selecting a single note is not enough to justify full marks; you must ensure the note alignment is correct and its development is evident in the bar – break the chord selected in the bar below the box.
How to achieve full marks in the bass section:
• Use both harmony and passing notes in the bar
• Develop the rhythm from ideas given in the melody
• Ensure a flowing, smooth and clear melody based on the correct notes selected from the chord above.
• Do not double the third of the chord as this creates a weak and potentially dissonant sound.
Make sure your bass notes are aligned with your treble notes. Marks will be taken away if you don't do this. It makes it hard for the examiner to read and be sure which bass note goes with which chord if you don't do this and it is simply incorrect.
The harmony question is marked like so: