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Garnish Music Production School in London

MUSPR 312 | Practical Harmony Application (Chord Substitutions)

Unit Title: Practical Harmony Application (Chord Substitutions)

Credit Value: 10

Context

Chord substitutions can breathe new life into compositions in different ways. They can give new character and meaning to melodic ideas by couching a melody in new harmony. They can prepare set up new and altered cadences for a following chord. They can provide unexpected twists to a composition; temporary modulations into new keys or emphasise a mood by using a minor chord where a major chord may have been expected (or vice versa). Chord substitutions can keep a composer’s ideas sounding fresh and inventive.

The ability to effectively use chord substitutions are useful in a number of musical environments and jobs, these might include: composer/songwriter arranging, orchestration, music for media (film etc), jazz composer and arranger, producer, for use in cover versions etc.

Aims/Purpose

This unit has 1 aim:

To develop the learners’ knowledge in the concept of chord substitution, through theory and practical application.

The purpose of the unit is to: develop and enhance practical skills in harmony so that they may be used effectively as a compositional tool.

Skills Development

Learning in this area will support the development of the following specialist and transferable skills:

Specialist Knowledge and Skills

Compositional Skills Knowledge of polychords

Knowledge of diatonic substitutions Knowledge of tritone substitutions Knowledge of parallel minor substitutions

Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS)

Independent Enquirers

Learners analysing keys, chords and arpeggios, investigating how they sound together and applying them in their own chord progressions.

Creative Thinkers

Learners generating new ideas and exploring possibilities for re-harmonising melodies using new chord progressions.

Reflective Learners

Learners assessing their work and identifying opportunities for improvement and identifying their achievements.

Self-managers

Learners seeking out challenges and showing flexibility, working towards effective composition through exploration of new chord progressions and harmonies.

Functional Skills @ Level 2

English 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4; 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6

ICT 1.1

Employability Skills

Analytical skills

Presentation skills

Written or verbal communication

Creative thinking

Problem-solving

Time Management

Own Skills Awareness

Study Skills

Critical thinking

Synthesising information

Problem solving

Listening skills

Creative thinking

Listening and Note taking

Contextual Awareness

Reading (textbooks articles)

Research skills

Problem-solving

Time Management

Learning Outcomes

The learner will be able to:

1. Understand and apply the principles of chord substitution in relation to compositional ideas evaluating the results and their own skill development

Unit Content

The unit content may be broad and the following list does not all have to be seen with the completed work but acts as guide to the content you might expect.

Please note that this unit requires a method by which the music is realised i.e. the way that is created e.g. usually evidenced through an audio representation achieved through a performance/recital, Digital Audio Workstation (herein referred to as a DAW) etc. These methods are not exclusive to the unit but may be seen within the completion of the chord substitution work.

Analytical Skills

Analysis of different chords

Analysis of scale notes within chords and extensions to make poly chords

Analysis of how chords may be substituted for other chords

Evaluation of own work

Developing strategies for improvement

Chords

Construction of diatonic and non-diatonic chords, awareness of the associated moods and colour that chords and their various voicing produce. e.g. minor, major, sus4, minor/major7, maj7#11 dim, aug, etc.

Compositional Techniques

Composing using different chord progressions

Re-harmonising chord progressions

Using arpeggiated ideas effectively

Applying non-diatonic chords

Using extended and altered chords

Awareness of Modulation and transposition

Notation

Bar lines & Bar line formats (e.g. repeats, double bar line etc.) Clefs- Treble, Bass, Alto, Tenor, (e.g. 1 line, 2 lines etc.) Signs Da Capo Dal Segno, Coda

Key Signatures, time signatures

Awareness of Chord Symbols and their alternate forms, e.g. roman numerals, American, abbreviated etc.

Communication Skills

Communicating musical ideas using lead sheets and chord symbols

Recording of musical ideas

Analysis of scale notes within chords

Essay writing

Suggested Delivery Ideas

To be able to understand the relationships between chords and potential substitute chords, learners should be able to construct scales and understand how chords are constructed from those scales. This could be done through tests and quizzes or practice on an instrument (e.g. a keyboard). Delivery may be a mixture of classroom-based, rehearsal based or working on a one to one basis.

Learners may need to spend time working on their own creating trial chord substitutions with targeted support from a tutor or instructor. Learners will need to spend time generating and developing ideas, as each learner may have different concepts about how to achieve the final outcomes. The delivery may involve large group discussions on existing well known pieces of music where chord substitutions have been made e.g. through new arrangements or compositionally.

Delivery may involve development of chord, melody and arpeggio notation skills. This could include grounding in basic theory of stave notation, writing lead sheets and chord charts.

There may also be some practical application of the theory on an instrument, so some keyboard or other harmony instrument (e.g. guitar) skills may be taught.

The delivery of this unit should take into account that the realisation of work has to have some practical referent e.g. audio file, video, and this can be presented through performance/recital, recording studio work, arrangement and orchestration of an ensemble, through a DAW etc.

Suggested Activity Ideas

For learners to engage in effective chord substitution there will need to be a diverse range of activities for the learner to engage with, based on their capacity and needs as mapped against the chord substitution brief. Tutors should encourage learners to work together (where appropriate) in the initial stages in a collaborative or peer reviewing capacity to develop their abilities and self-confidence.

Learners may engage in analysis of chord progressions and identify where substitute chords are used and how they sound. They could look for common chord tones or use of leading notes and chromaticism, and the function of non-diatonic chords within a progression.

They may need time to experiment with the sounds of chords and substitutions; how they work over melodies; and what impact the substitutions have on the listener.

Learners may also try to play two related chords together to create new poly chords and experiment with arpeggiating the chords.

They may practise notating chord progressions in relevant formats such as full score, chord symbols or lead sheets. They may also need to spend time recording their chord progressions.

To help them to evaluate their work, it may be useful for learners to review each other’s work as peers and suggest things that they like about a progression and things they may change.

Other activities might include:

Trial runs over parts of simple popular songs e.g. verse sections Quizzes and questionnaires on chords and substitutions

Identifying where chord substitutions have been used in existing songs/music Assessing the interaction and relationship a of melody (notes) and chords Applying chord substitutions to their own compositional work (where applicable) Experimentation with chord voicings

Experimentation with instrumentation and timbre (where appropriate) Examining well know examples of chord substitution

Summative Assessment Methods

Learners should discuss how chord substitutions of different types work, with reference to shared note and leading notes etc. The types of chord substitutions discussed include diatonic substitutions, for example chord I for chord iii or chord ii for chord IV; tritone substitution; parallel minor ‘borrowing’ e.g. C maj- Ebmaj; and secondary dominant substitution.

They should take an appropriate sixteen bars of an existing chord progression and use at least 3 examples of chord substitution to achieve developed harmonic movement, maintaining the outline of the original progression.

Learners should also re-harmonise an existing given song, applying at least 3 different types of chord substitution ensuring that the substitutions used work with the melodic content.

They should then take an appropriate existing 8 bar chord progression and superimpose arpeggios of different but related chords to create poly chords e.g. F maj7 arpeggio played over D min7 to create a D min9 poly chord.

Learners should also evaluate what they have learned during this process assessing how this will aid their compositions, highlighting strengths and areas for development.

Recommended Evidence

1.1Analysis – essay (written, presentation, etc.)

1.2Developed a 16 bar chord progression – a chord chart of the original and the substituted progression; an audio representation of the new progression (e.g. mp3, videoed performance etc.)

1.3Re-harmonisation of an existing given song – lead sheet for re-harmonised version; an audio representation of the new progression (e.g. mp3 videoed performance etc.) (The original versions/lead sheetmust be provided by the tutor/learner as part of the brief)

1.4Poly chords – lead sheet/score including the original chords and the arpeggios; an audio representation of the 8 bar piece

1.5Evaluation – essay; recorded discussion; blog; vlog

Links to other areas of the MUSPRA qualifications

Knowledge and skills developed in this area may be utilised to underpin activities relating to:

Instrumental Study

Musicianship

Composing Music (Styles, Solo, Collaboration and Media)

Other Practical Harmony units

Arrangement Orchestration/Projects

Remixing

Using a Keyboard with a DAW

Links to National Occupational Standards

This unit is derived from elements of the following NOS for Music Practitioners:

Map to the NOS for Music Composers, Performers and Music Technologist

Grading Criteria

Unclassified

A learner not on course to achieve this unit might evidence:

1.Not being able to effectively analyse the principles of chord substitutions discussing different types and their application in composition

2.Failure to apply substitutions to the existing chord progression and or not using the examples of chord substitution discussed in 1.1 Failure to provide a chord chart of the original and the substituted progression.

3.Failure to re-harmonise an existing given song by not using 3 types of substitution, not providing lead sheets for both original and re-harmonised versions, providing substitutions which don’t work with the

melodic part of the song.

4.Failure to demonstrate the ability to superimpose diatonic substitutions as arpeggios to create poly chords over an 8 bar chord progression or using wholly inappropriate arpeggios to superimpose with.

5.Not demonstrating the ability to assess and evaluate what they have learned no targets and goals for the future provided.

Pass

To achieve a pass, all learners must:

1.Give some analysis to the principles of chord substitutions describing different types and applications in composition to include the following diatonic, tritone, parallel minor and secondary dominant substitutions providing some background information.

2.Apply substitutions an appropriate sixteen bars of an existing chord progression and using the examples of chord substitution discussed in 1.1 achieving harmonic movement displaying some and creative

selections. Provide a chord chart of the original and the substituted progression and an audio file of the new progression.

3. Re-harmonise an existing given song applying an array different types of chord substitution that enhance and develop the melodic content displaying excellent arrangement and musical skills to include: a lead sheet and an audio recording of the re-harmonised version.

4.Demonstrate the ability to superimpose diatonic substitutions as arpeggios to create poly chords over an

8bar chord progression, demonstrating some arrangement and musical skills, providing a lead sheet and an audio recording.

5.Demonstrate the ability to assess and evaluate what they have learned

Merit

To achieve a merit, learners should:

1. Analyse the principles of chord substitutions discussing different types and their application in composition to include the following diatonic, tritone, parallel minor and secondary dominant substitutions providing good relevant information.

2. Apply substitutions an appropriate sixteen bars of an existing chord progression and using the examples of chord substitution discussed in 1.1 achieving new harmonic movement displaying good selections which would develop the original progression. Provide an accurate chord chart of the original and the substituted progression and an audio recording of the new version.

3.Re-harmonise an existing given song applying a good selection (more than three) of different types of chord substitution that develop the melodic content displaying good arrangement/musical skills to include: a lead sheet and an audio recording of re-harmonised versions.

4.Demonstrate the ability to superimpose diatonic substitutions as arpeggios to create poly chords over an

8bar chord progression, demonstrating good arrangement and musical skills which develop the original progression.

5. Demonstrate the ability to analyse and evaluate what they have learned giving a realistic self-assessmenthighlighting targets and goals for the future in relationship to this field.

Distinction

To achieve a distinction, learners should:

1. Effectively analyse the principles of chord substitutions discussing different types and their application in composition to include the following diatonic, tritone, parallel minor and secondary dominant substitutions providing excellent contextual information.

2. Apply substitutions an appropriate sixteen bars of an existing chord progression and using the examples of chord substitution discussed in 1.1 achieving developed harmonic movement displaying excellent and creative selections which enhance the progression. Provide an accurate and concise a chord chart of the original and the substituted progression and an audio recording of the new version.

3.Re-harmonise an existing given song applying an array different types of chord substitution that enhance and develop the melodic content displaying excellent arrangement and musical skills to include: a lead sheet and an audio recording of the re-harmonised version.

4.Demonstrate the ability to superimpose diatonic substitutions as arpeggios to create poly chords over an

8bar chord progression demonstrating excellent arrangement and musical skills which enhance the original

progression.

5. Demonstrate the ability to analyse and evaluate what they have learned giving a thorough and insightfulself-assessment highlighting targets and goals for the future in relationship to this field.

MUSPR 312 Practical Harmony Application (Chord Substitution)

Credit Value 10

QCF Level 3

Assessment Framework

Learning Outcomes

Through completion of this unit, the learner will be able to:

1.Understand and apply the principles of chord substitution in relation to compositional ideas evaluating the results and their own skill development

Assessment Requirements

The learner can:

1.1Analyse the principles of chord substitutions discussing different types, their usage and application in composition to include the following:

a)diatonic substitution

b)tritone substitution

c)parallel minor

d)secondary dominant substitution

1.2Take an appropriate sixteen bars of an existing chord progression and use at least 3 examples of chord substitution as discussed in 1.1 to achieve developed harmonic movement, maintaining the outline of the original progression to include the following:

a)a chord chart of the original and substituted progression

b)an audio representation of the new progression

1.3Re-harmonise an existing given song, applying at least 3 different types of chord substitution ensuring that the substitutions used work with the melodic content to include:

a)lead sheets for both the original and the re-harmonised versions

b)an audio representation of the new progression

1.4Evaluate the learning during this process and assess how this will aid compositional skills, highlighting strengths and areas for development.