Harmonic Sequences

Aim : To compose variations on a harmonic sequence.
Related topics : Ground bass, theme and variation, triads

Pair work, small group work and whole class work is possible with this topic. Pupils should first know about the concept of triad and how to play them on keyboards and tuned percussion. 
1. Play the 8 notes below to the pupils

2. Play Pachelbel's Canon to the pupils while pointing out that the whole piece is based on these 8 notes repeated over and over again. Many other pieces of music have used this chord sequence e.g. Oasis: Don't look back in Anger and Coolio : I'll see you when you get there

3. Ask the pupils to learn to play the 8 notes on their instruments.

4. When they can do this, explain that each of these 8 notes can be converted into a triad, so C becomes C E G, G becomes G B D etc. Ask them to try this on their instruments.

5. Point out the different ways of playing the triad : backwards, as a block chord, In dialogue with another instrument etc. Try to get the pupils to plan their music carefully perhaps by drawing out a plan on some paper first, then trying some ideas on instruments. 

Arrangement index

This page is taken from the Music Teacher's Resource Site