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Diatonic Harmony Ideas

The below score is written for choir and piano but can be adapted to classical guitar and is a useful piece for anyone to study if they are serious about composition. The Roman Numerals refer to scale degree.

6=1st inversion (Triad) 6/5 = 1st Inversion (7ths) 6/4 =2nd Inversion (Triad) 4/2=3rd Inversion (7ths)

The point of this was to create a non static piece which evolved by modulating or pivoting from one chord progression to another without always doing it in a clichéd way via the tonic or 1st degree in each scale. For example, the piece starts In C Major and moves to G major in the 2nd system by pivoting from the 6th degree of the C major scale which is A minor which is also the 2nd chord in the G major Harmony. This technique then allows you to use new chords from the G major scale which doesn’t belong in the C major. The more simpler way of pivoting is demonstrated at bar 12 with a parallel minor move. Examples of pivots can be found in many classical pieces. If you want to understand more about pivoting playing guitar music try "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" by George Harrison in which part A is in A minor and part B moves to A major. Also the famous Classical guitar piece "Spanish Ballad/Romance" does exactly the same with the E Major and E Minor chords. After you have understood that look at this piece I have composed and if you are serious about composition study Diatonic Harmony . Its exciting stuff !!!


This article was written by Australian Composer
Guitarist Ivan Bertolla www.bertolla.com

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