A melody's harmony is the chords underneath the melody to create a more
full sound, ambience, and producing a mood for the melody. It can be difficult to create a harmony when
composing a piece of music.
Depending on the atmosphere you are trying to create, harmonization can take on many different forms. Creating
harmony starts with some knowledge of music theory.
There’s no need for extensive knowledge for simple melodies, on the other hand, the more complex the melody the
more difficult it is to create the harmony. Furthermore, the key and genre of the melody play an important role.
For example, in jazz or classical composition, the harmony will take on much more complexity than a blues or pop
Music theory is a necessity when creating harmony, even an elementary understanding is an asset. An example of
basic music theory knowledge is an understanding of
the key C major. C major has no sharps or flats, so writing harmony is simpler than writing harmony in say, B flat
The most commonly used chords in C major are C major, F major and G major, or I IV V, their corresponding
positions in the C major scale. Regardless of the genre, all harmony is based on tension and release.
Tension is created by leaps, non-scale notes and intervals. Leaps are large intervals, such as making a leap
from C to A, a 6 step interval. Non-scale notes are notes that are outside the key of the music. For example, in C
major, non-scale notes are A flat and G sharp. Finally, music intervals are adding odd notes to chords like 7th or
The genre of music plays a very important role in creating the overall
atmosphere of the music. Each genre carries certain difficulties in creating harmonies. Pop and blues
harmonies tend to be simple because of the singular key and simpler melodies. Conversely, jazz music tends to
be rather difficult for most musicians.
This is due to the complex harmonies that accompany the constant changes in the key of the melody. Creating
harmony in classical music can range from basic to extremely intricate. Because of the wide range of styles within
classical music, creating harmony can be as simple or as multifaceted as you wish.
Regardless of the genre of music you want to create, the mood of the composition is made up of the harmony. By
creating the right amount of tension and release, you give life and breathe to your melody. Melody harmonization
follows a few simple rules.
Your harmony complexity depends on your understanding of music theory. If your knowledge of music theory is at a
beginner’s level, then the harmonies tend to follow the simple patter of basic piano
chords. If you have an advance education in music theory and composition, your harmonies reflect your
understanding of tension and release.
When writing your harmonies, consider the ratio of tension and release. Too much tension can make it difficult
to listen to. So take into account what you are trying to convey with your score. Finally, study the music of your
favorite composers and artists, learn from your favorite
piano songs and develop your own style and voice.
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Although every attempt has been made to make information as accurate as possible, we are not responsible for
any errors that may appear.