Thursday, November 21, 2013

How Music Works > Episode 3 - Harmony

Series 1 Summary
We all respond to music - whether clicking our fingers, humming along or dancing - there's something out there for everyone. In this series Goodall looks at melody, rhythm, harmony and bass to establish how music is made and how it comes to reflect different cultures.
Setting out on a journey that spans the globe and moves through the centuries, Goodall uncovers the elements that are shared by all styles of music. Following a trail of diverse musical talents from Mahler to David Bowie; the blues to Bulgarian folk songs; medieval choral music to disco; he reveals the tried and tested tricks of the composer's trade.

Episode 3 - Harmony
In the late middle ages western harmony started on a journey that would take it in a completely separate direction to that of the music of other parts of the world. It discovered chords, and, over the next seven centuries, began to unlock their harmonic possibilities. In this film Howard looks at how western harmony works, and how, in the present day, it has fused with other forms of music to create new styles.
Chords led to chord progressions, and Howard looks at how familiar patterns of chord progressions give all kinds of music - from classical to popular - their sense of forward movement. Why do the same chord patterns appear again and again, from Renaissance Italy to the latest chart hit?

Musicians have always liked to tamper with the basic chords, and experiment with dissonance. We see how these tricks of the trade actually work, and the emotional and musical effect they have. From the folk musicians of the middle ages to Bach, Beethoven, and Wagner, from Chuck Berry to David Bowie, Hendrix to Coldplay, the same harmonic techniques surface again and again.

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