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On sheet music or chart, the chord is indicated to to be played on the bass clef. For example, a blues tune is in F Major. The chords written above are Dm, Gm, A7, etc.

How did the compose determine to use these chords? Or do you just accept the chords indicated and no way to determine how to analyze how they determined the chord?

since can't post an image of the song, I'll try to explain:

The G clef plays triplets; Bass Clef chords quarter notes.
chord F-A with Dm chord note Bb;
chord Bb-G with Gm chord note G;
chord C#-A with A7 chord note A.

hope my question makes sense....

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I think you're talking about how the composer determines what chords to use to 'fit' his tune, and whether you could do the same.

It's all about being able to 'hear' the harmony for any (diatonic) tune in your head when you play it (or just 'read' it in the score, and 'hear' it in your head), and that's down to knowledge of harmony and developing good aural skills.

Like anything to do with with music (or life), start slow and easy, with simple tunes that use just three or four chords. Like Amazing Grace, which you can sing along to using just I, IV, V. Try it. (Other harmonies are available, but we're talking basics here.)

Even this so-called 'really basic harmony' crash course YT is far too fast for beginners to take in and assimilate properly, but it was the first one that popped up on my screen whistle:



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Here you go. I'm not good at addressing the level of music theory as I personally find it easy so I apologize in advance for that. But this guy condenses most of what you need to know in 40 minutes, which is quite cool.

Basically, think of a scale in terms of scale degrees. In C major for example, C is 1, D is 2, etc. All of music essentially involves the relationships of these with each other. Chords built upon each scale degree have their own character in the key. And a chord based on a certain scale degree going to another based on another scale degree will tend to have a certain character to it. For example, the chord based on 5 tends to resolve to the chord based on 1. A chord outside of the scale will tend to sound tense or dissonant. Well, that's the idea in short.


Last edited by ranjit; 10/28/21 03:49 PM.
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Bennevis thankx. That explained what i was getting at. So in the chord progression, what i was asking, it's the root of the melody chord.

Need to speak clearly and use the correct terminology. I'm a drummer, si I can speak fluent drumming. Piano although alot of the rhythms translate from drumming, terminology in music theory more more intense.

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@ranjit thankx I will review

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@ranjit Rick Beato is a go to guy, use him alot for drumming thankx again

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Rick Beato is a great guy, I love his channel and have followed him for years but his theory vids are terrible. They start off okay but after a few minutes they jump about 8 grades with no explanation.

The Music Matters channel is much better for getting a grasp of how harmony works.


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It depends on the type of sheet music and what who they are trying to sell to. If your songbook or fakebook type a lot of the time chord symbols and reduced arrangement are done by someone on staff of the publisher. They very often trying to make the song as simple as possible to play to typical buyer of sheet music. This can lead to issues like early sheet music of standard had lots of diminished chords, because the actually chords were 7b9. Back then 4-string tenor guitar and ukulele were popular instrument and they didn't know how to do a 7b9. Even typical piano player might freak out seeing 7b9 so they put diminished chords (another name for same chord) and they could sell more sheet music.

As for harmonizing your own melody or reharmonizing a melody basically you can use any chord you want as long as you have good voicing leading and strong bass movement. A fun way to get started is take a nursery rhyme song like Mary Had A Little Lamb and start with the original first chord. Now on every note of the melody drop the bass note a half-step. Then figure out the new chord based on the relationship between the bass note and the melody note, sprinkle in some good voice leading and tell people your doing a Neo Soul version of Mary.... Creating harmony for songs if fun to play with just keep remember ANY CHORD works if you use good voicing leading.

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Originally Posted by scirocco
Rick Beato is a great guy, I love his channel and have followed him for years but his theory vids are terrible. They start off okay but after a few minutes they jump about 8 grades with no explanation.
At what point do they jump 8 grades? I have no idea about the RCM syllabus.

I actually learned from this online course called Write Like Mozart on Coursera. However it goes into more depth than the Rick Beato so it may be overkill.

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Originally Posted by ranjit
At what point do they jump 8 grades?
The 8 grades was just a figure of speech. One minute he’ll be carefully explaining the intervals of the major scale at beginner level and next without warning he’ll be into some advanced chord theory.


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I am not entirely sure I understood the question right but I will hazard a suggestion anyway.

I like Karen Ramirez's videos, they are short and very to the point (and entertaining too). She also has a series on playing by ear that I think it is worth taking a look at as well.




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Composer determine the chords by the natural diatonic chord progression in that key. If the composer compose a music in C# minor he/she prioritize the occurrence of diatonic chord progression in C# minor key of course with modulation to add some spice otherwise it would be boring and monotone. Every key has it's own diatonic chord progression starting from the root so thats the toolkit for the composer like the brushes and colors for painter. But composing isn't just about determining which chords to use it's about voicing, texture, melody, counterpoint, phrasing, harmonic rhythm, motifs, retrogrades and many more.

Last edited by Batuhan; 10/30/21 08:26 PM.



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