More Than One Note

Harmony happens when more than one note is being played or sung at the same time. Try improvising using harmony. You might have to use a piano for this. Try playing two notes at once, and listen closely. Listen as closely as you can. What happens when you use different combinations of notes? What do two notes that are far apart sound like? Two notes close together? If you’re a singer or you play an instrument that can only play one note at a time, try asking a friend or two to improvise with you. What do the different combinations of notes sound like? Can you find groups of notes that you like? Can you find groups of notes that you don’t like?

If you keep experimenting like this, you might end up discovering what I’m about to explain in chapter 11. There are some common ways of combining notes to create harmony. In this chapter, you’ll learn how these harmonies are constructed.

Harmony Ear Training Exercise 1: Identifying Intervals

You can start your harmony ear training by learning how to identify groups of two notes. You could have a friend play two notes at the same time and see if you can identify the interval between the two notes. You can also quiz yourself online using this ear training game, where there is an option to hear both notes played simultaneously.