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Basic Harmony

David Loberg Code, Western Michigan University

Harmony parts are made by stringing together triads built on different scale degrees. 

Triadic Harmony: The three most common triads used to harmonize a melody are the tonic, subdominant, and dominant triads: I, IV, and V. 

In a major key, all three of these will be major triads.



















Major Scale


























For harmonizing in minor keys, use the harmonic minor scale. The tonic (i) and subdominant (iv) will be minor triads; the dominant will be a major triad.

   E      A  B      
   C      F  G#      
Harmonic Minor  A  B D  E  F  G#
   i      iv  V      
   Tonic      Sub-Dominant  Domiant      
Subject X2: 

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