Harmony: Introduction

Harmony. I love harmony, and I suspect many of you do too. Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s take a moment to appreciate all the beauty that harmony brings into the world. Feel free to pause your reading to do this in your own way.

Some basic knowledge of scales is necessary to understand harmony. Make sure you’ve read and understood chapters 6, 7, and 8 about the major and minor scales before you read about harmony. You won’t understand harmony unless you understand these scales. It is particularly helpful to read the section about intervals and their names, found here.

Everything in the harmony chapters will be easiest to understand if you can play piano because it’s the easiest instrument to play chords on. You can also play chords on the guitar and other stringed instruments, but it’s more difficult to “see” the harmony on these instruments. Harmony can also be made with multiple singers or multiple instruments playing different notes at the same time. The concepts in this chapter apply equally to all of these situations.

As you digest the information in this chapter, try not to get too bogged down in trying to master your technical knowledge of harmony. Remember that all of this is supposed to be in service of your unique creativity and expression. Don’t forget to express yourself!