Q. 6 Theory
Remember to check the key signature before naming notes.
Call notes and chords Bb or F# etc. where necessary.
Write out the scale in your rough work before trying to work out the names of chords (Triads).
Remember 1,4 and 5 are major, 2 and 6 are minor.
We don’t use chords 3 and 7.
Remember a passing note is a note that moves by step between 2 harmony notes. Therefore it is not part of the chord.
Q.6d is usually, "find another bar that fits this chord (triad)." That means, find another bar that uses the same notes that are in the chord. A bar doesn’t need to have all the notes of a chord in it for the chord to fit.
Write out the correct scale in your rough work.
Write the rhythm first on the line provided. Keep it similar to the given phrase-just develop a little- making sure to end on a long note.
Be careful of the anacrusis (up-beat) Dont forget the last bar and the first bar added together make one bar in this case.
Then start the melody notes, last bar first! You MUST finish on“Doh”.
Find a balance between moving by step and leap. Use some leaps but not too many. Consider of the shape of the melody. At this stage you should have built up a collection of "stock phrases" (examine sight reading exercises elsewhere on this site) in both pitch and rhythm that you know work. Use them.
Try to hear in your head what you write.
Above all else ask yourself "Does this melody all fit as one". It shouldn't sound like bits and pieces stuck together.
Add phrasing, either a 4 bar, or 2 x 2 bar phrases.
Q. 8 Harmony (Backing Chords)
Write out the correct scale and fill in the 5 chords we use in your rough work.
Only use chords I, ii, IV, V, and vi. (1,2,4,5 and 6)
Work them out as chord numbers first. This will help you work out whether the chords are major or minor.
Then find the letter name of the chord. This is the bottom note of the chord as it is in your rough work scale.
Remember chords ii and vi are minor. You must put a little m after the letter on a minor chord. e.g. Cm.
You may come across passing notes in this question also. Remember, a passing note is a note that moves by step between 2 harmony notes. It isn’t part of the chord.
A harmony note is a note that is part of the chord.
Chord V may have an extra harmony note and is therefore V7. e.g. G7 is g,b,d,f,
Do not use the same chord twice in succession.
Always end on chord 1.
Almost always end on chords V-I . If this doesnt work try chord V7- I or chord IV - I.
At the halfway point (usually 4 bars) check for a cadence. ?-V or V vi.
Don't go from Chord ii to chord I. Often chord ii will go to V or V7.
Q. 4 Dictation
Many students find this to be the most difficult question to answer on a Junior Cert' paper.
Half the marks go for the rhythm and putting the bar lines in place. Most students should be able to do this.
Semi-quavers are not used. Dotted Crotchet - quaver ("I want") is always used once.
End on a long note.
Check the time signature and ensure the correct number of beats are in each bar.
Trust the words you've learned since 1st year to suggest the rhythms for you.
Then add pitch. It's easiest to do this by writing tonic solfa notes under your rhythm.
First get the doh "on your ear". Listen to it as it's played on Cd. Remember all notes are worked out in relation to doh.
Doh and Soh are the 2 most important notes.
They are like the pillars that the melody is built on. Every note is either working its way towards doh or soh. Find all the doh s and soh s.
End on don.
Sometimes you can work backwards from the last note, especially if the notes move by step.