Close Harmony Version 2

This time we'll start with an A minor in root position. The closest possible D minor chord is a 2nd inversion chord. When two consecutive chords share a note it is called a common tone. The other two notes of the chord move very minimally. One note moves up a half-step and another moves up a whole-step. Pitchwise, from low to high, we get:


A to A - same pitch

C to D - up whole-step (2 frets)

E to F - up half-step (1 fret)


We move back to the A minor chord. Next we look for the closest possible E minor chord. This happens to be the 1st inversion E minor below the A minor. The low note E is a common tone. The other two notes of the chord move very minimally. One note moves down a whole-step and another moves down a half-step. Pitchwise, from low to high, we get:


A to G - down whole-step (2 frets)

C to B - down half-step (1 fret)

E to E - same pitch


Notice the pattern emerges concerning our i-iv-iv chord progression. In this case Am(i)-Dm(iv)-Am(i)-Em(v).


The distance from any given i chord to it's closest voicing iv chord always involves three characteristics:


Root note of i chord to 5th of iv chord - same pitch

3rd of i chord to root note of iv chord - up whole-step (2 frets)

5th of i chord to 3rd of iv chord - up half-step (1 fret)


Depending upon which voicing you start with, these motions could be in a different order, but all three will always be present in some order. Likewise, the distance from any given I chord to its closest voicing v chord always involves three characteristics:


Root note of i chord to 3rd of V chord - down whole-step (2 frets)

3rd of i chord to 5th of V chord - down half-step (1 fret)

5th of i chord to root note of V chord - same pitch


Again, depending upon which voicing you start with, these motions could be in a different order, but all three will always be present in some order.


This is a very important feature of all I-IV-I-V chord progressions with incredibly wide ranging implications, applications and potential.


Also, remember we are altering the E minor chord (v) to an E major chord (V) in order to get that leading tone modulation of the major 3rd of the V chord to the root of the I chord: G# to A! We'll do this on the last measure of every cycle before we start again.


Christopher Schlegel
Instructor Christopher Schlegel
Styles:
Any Style
Difficulty:
Close Harmony Version 2 song notation