Monday, May 05, 2008

A Quick Lesson in Harmony Singing

Update: Found something even better and it's also on Pandora's blog: A page that lists examples (from pop/rock music) of some of the different kinds of harmony.
****

I just discovered that Pandora has a blog and it even carries the occasional music lesson! I found this excellent video primer on harmony singing on the blog.

What makes the video really cool is that it takes one simple melody line and applies different harmony techniques to it: tutti, "drone", unison, counterpoint etc. You need absolutely NO knowledge of musical theory to enjoy the video.



If you prefer a link to the page, go here.

I also found a very interesting page on harmony singing for Bluegrass music. (For the uninitiated, this page definitely needs some rudimentary knowledge of musical theory.)

I often wonder why harmony (especially counterpoint) was ignored by classical musicians during the early days of music development in the Indian subcontinent? Though one of the delights of Indian classical music is hearing the tanpuras's shimmering Sa and Pa (the classic interval of fifths; C and G notes) forming patterns with the notes of the raag/composition.

8 comments:

Tabula Rasa said...

nice.

km said...

No, no, you are supposed to SING your comment. In harmony.

Tabula Rasa said...

na ha ha ha hice.
?

Puppy Manohar said...

Dear TR and KM,

As I read the "na ha ha ha hice" I imagined the following chords played over it:

Amaj7 A6 Am Am6 E

Thanks,

Puppy Manohar

PS: You bastiges. It's now stuck in my head.

PPS: For best results, make sure the maj7 and 6th notes are on top.

km said...

TR: there, much better."na ha ha ha hice" is a killer chorus.

Puppy: Post an audio link! (You know, I couldn't think of a *single* song where I've used Am6. Though I'm positive Steely Dan or the Beatles have used it in some song.)

Puppy Manohar said...

Dear KM,

I can't post link to audio from here. But I will tell you that the strings that end "Unchained Melody" use the same "IVmaj7 IV6 IVm IVm6 I" formula, which is where I remember it from. It basically sounds like an embellished "C Cm G".

Regards,

PM

km said...

Puppy: yeah, older pop music uses so many more progressions.

Puppy Manohar said...

Dear KM,

I should have specified that it was the Righteous Brothers version, but I think you figured that out yourself.

And you are right about older pop music. Most Beatles stuff is quite insane that way.

Thanks,

PM