Writing parts – also known as harmonizing

It’s actually really interesting to me that so much of the harmony is implied in the initial melody. If the melody follows a tonal pattern, then it begs for harmony that reinforces that – and conversely, if my melody is more atonal, toying with twelve-tone patterns, the harmony is demanding to be more like that too. If I should try to insert lots of regular trichords (think major or minor chords, mainly) to an atonal line, I think it would feel misplaced – unless, of course, it isn’t trying to follow exactly a regular bass-line or chord progression from the tonal tradition.

So while I feel like it’s not hard to write in the harmony, I’m questioning my choices yesterday. Do I like what I hear? I think I will continue to work on this thread – meaning the melody I wrote yesterday, with its accompanying harmonies I’m continuing on today – a bit longer and see if it redeems itself before scrapping it.

What makes music compelling? Why do you want to continue listening? The counterpoint certainly helps, but if the melody doesn’t want to stay in your head after listening, maybe it is just another piece you’re going to forget as soon as you heard it. So I’m second guessing my choices but don’t want to give up yet. I’ll let you know what I decide to do as I look at it again with – hopefully fresh eyes – next time.

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