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35: Melody: Chord Tones

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Lesson 35: Melody: Chord Tones

This lesson introduces the art of creating melodies.

Before taking this lesson, you should know:
To learn about creating your own melodies, we start by studying melodies in existing songs; this is called melodic analysis. Melodic analysis is a big subject, exploring the many different aspects of melodies, for example (these are covered in separate lessons):

Chord Tones


For this lesson, let's start analyzing how individual notes in a melody work with the song's chords and with other notes in the melody. We can divide a melody's notes into:
  • "Anchor notes" (chord tones): More about these below.
  • Embellishing notes: These are relatively "weak" notes which "fill in" between the anchor notes. We'll explore these in Lesson 45: Embellishing Tones.

Anchor notes. These are the "strong" notes in a melody which sound good "on their own" with the chord that's playing at that moment, generally because they are chord tones. A chord tone is just a tone which can be found in the chord itself. For example:
  1. Let's say the chord playing at a certain moment is C (a "C major triad").
  2. The notes in a C chord are (as I hope you know): C, E, and G.
  3. Therefore, the notes C, E, and G are chord tones at that moment in the song; and you can use any of those notes in your melody at that moment, with confidence that the note will sound good with the chord.

Next:

Lessons

1: Introduction
2: Practicing Songwriting
3: Pitch Names
4: Letters Game
5: Sharps & Flats
6: Half-Steps & Whole-Steps
7: Steps Game
8: Scales
9: Major Scale 1-2-3
10: Major 1-2-3 Games
11: Major Scale 1-5
12: Major 1-5 Games
13: Chords: Major Triads
14: Major Triad Games
15: Minor Triads
16: Minor Triad Games
17: Major Scale 1-8
18: Major Scale Games
19: Keys
20: Roman Numeral Chords
21: Scales Above 8
22: Diatonic Triads
23: Using Diatonics
24: Tonic Function
25: Subdominant & Dominant
26: Diatonic Function Analysis
27: Natural Minor Scale
28: Natural Minor Games
29: Minor Key Triads
30: 7th Chords
31: 7ths Games
32: Suspended-4th Chords
33: Time: Beats & Measures
34: Starting a Song: Hook Chords
35: Melody: Chord Tones
36: Treble Staff
37: Treble Staff Game
38: Note Lengths
39: Tied & Dotted Notes
40: Rhythm: Rests
41: Key Signatures
42: Diatonic 7ths
43: Non-Root-Bass Chords
44: Major Pentatonic Scale
45: Embellishing Tones
46: Melody Rhythm: Rolling Stone
47: Pitch & Frequency

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