Voice Leading is King

Voice Leading is King Good voice leading beats any other rule. This was already valid in Bach’s times where there were fifth parallels and doubled thirds in the chord because the voice leading of the individual voices was so strong that it could easily justify for...

Movement of Inner Voices

Movement of Inner Voices Most of the time, when arranging chords, you should try to move the “inner voices” (=all voices except for bass line and potential top melody line) by the shortest possible distance from chord to chord, using inversions of chords but also...

Melody Notes as Chord Extensions

Melody Notes as Chord Extensions When harmonizing melodies, it can sound musically more interesting to place key notes of the melody higher up in the chord structure (like 7th, 9th etc.) than playing around root, third or fifth. Eg. you have a melody sequence of...

Chord Voicings Without Fifth

Chord Voicings Without Fifth When constructing chords, try the difference of leaving out the perfect fifth of the chord and having it in. Due to the fact that the fifth will be quite a strong overtone of the root (=usually the bass note) anyway, it will be present in...

Chord Arpeggios

Chord Arpeggios Arpeggios or respective broken chords can be a great tool for accompaniment patterns or sources for melodic gestures. On accompanying figures they help to establish a sense of harmony but also keep a steady rhythm going. On melodies they help to...