(musth1) Melody Harmonization

To harmonize a melody, follow the steps below.

  1. Analyze the melody
    1. determine the key
    2. label the scale degrees of the melody
  2. Pick Harmonies
    1. It is very helpful to write out all the possible harmonies for each melody note (following the given harmonic rhythm)
    2. Remember that once you pick a harmony, it affects future possible choices, much like species counterpoint.
    3. Try to think in groups of harmonies by function. Write out the cadence first. Look to start with a tonic prolongation pattern. Look for possible voice exchanges between the soprano and bass parts.
  3. Write the bass line, choosing between root position and first inversion triads (if you haven’t already) to create an interesting melodic contour.
  4. Check for objectionable parallels between the given soprano and your composed bass line. Fix if needed.


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