Music Theory for Recorder: Intervals/Chords

On this page we will start out with the concept of the interval.  From there we will expand into chords, starting with three-note chords and then four-note chords.  We will also introduce the basic concepts of harmonization.  Other topics include the inversion of intervals and chords, modulation, and cadences.
 
It is highly recommended to work your way through this page starting at the top, as each installment builds on the previous one. It is also recommended that you consult the NOTES where you will find more detailed information regarding these topics.

Go To

How Intervals Work

YouTube Video: Music Theory Crash Course

Defines intervals and interval types (major, minor, perfect, augmented, and diminished), and how to count the distance between notes.

MP3 Playback

00:00 / 03:40

Introduction to Intervals - NSATBGC

Score and Audio File

MP3 Playback: Ascending

00:00 / 01:29

Ascending and Descending Intervals from F and C

Score and Audio File

MP3 Playback: Descending

00:00 / 01:29

MP3 Playback

00:00 / 02:09

Major and Minor Thirds

Score and Audio File

Interval Inversion

YouTube Video: John Paul Ito

A college lecture on inverting intervals.

MP3 Playback

00:00 / 02:40

Inversion of Intervals

Score and Audio File

Building Major and Minor Chords

YouTube Video: Two Minute Music Theory

Defines major and minor chords.

How Chords Work

YouTube Video: Music Theory Crash Course

Defines chord parts (root, third, fifth), types (major, minor, augmented, and diminished), and inversions.

MP3 Playback

00:00 / 01:50

Major Triads - NSATBGC

Score and Audio File

MP3 Playback

00:00 / 01:53

Minor Triads - NSATBGC

Score and Audio File

MP3 Playback

00:00 / 02:17

Altering Major Triads - NSATBGC

Score and Audio File

Building Chords: Chord Inversion

YouTube Video: Jesse Strickland

TRIADS can also be altered by choosing which note will be heard in the bass line. This video also gives us a preview of TETRADS - four-note chords also known as Seventh Chords.

Common Chord Progressions

YouTube Video: PianoPig

This video starts with a very clear introduction of all the triads found in a major scale and then moves on to easy chord progressions used in popular music (and classical!). We will cover chord progressions in later installments.

MP3 Playback

00:00 / 01:38

Triads in Major Keys

Score and Audio File

Minor Keys Explained

YouTube Video: Rick Beato

This video covers both elementary and advanced harmonic topics. The first two minutes cover our current topic, the triads in a natural minor scale, then discusses more advanced  subjects such as seventh chords (tetrads) and melodic and harmonic minor scales. We will cover some of these topics later in our series. The constant reference to modes is very much a jazz improvisation topic and is an interesting tie-in with our own study of medieval music theory for our oldest recorder repertoire.

MP3 Playback

00:00 / 01:38

Triads in Minor Keys

Score and Audio File

How to Harmonize a Melody

YouTube Video: Music Matters

This video uses Rule of Harmonization #2 in the Notes.

Intro to Harmonization

MP3 Playback

00:00 / 03:17

Score and Audio File

This sound file is for listening to the examples in the score, not for playing along.

Chord Progression I-IV-V-I

YouTube Video: Berklee Online

The presenter plays variations of the I-IV-V-I chord progression to train your ear to hear and identify the three chords.

Basic Chord Progression in Major Keys SATB

MP3 Playback

00:00 / 03:28

Score and Audio File

SATB with piano introductions.

Secrets Of The 'I' 'IV' 'V' Chords - Piano Lessons

YouTube Video: Pianote (Jordan Leibel)

Introduces the basic minor  i-iv-v  chord progression along with some other interesting and unusual variations on the basic I-IV-V chord progression.  Unfortunately the presenter does not cover the very common i - iv -V option so prevalent in classical music.

Basic Chord Progression in Minor Keys SATB

MP3 Playback

00:00 / 04:34

Score and Audio File

SATB with piano introductions.

Seventh Chords

YouTube Video: Odd Quartet

A clear explanation of tetrads focusing on the five most commonly used.  They are defined here as a triad plus a seventh interval.

7th Chords For Dummies

YouTube Video: PianoPig

This video also presents the five most common tetrads but constructs them using stacking thirds.

Introduction to Tetrads

MP3 Playback

Score and Audio File

00:00 / 02:53

Classical Cadences

YouTube Video: Seth Monahan

This video explains how cadences work in homophonic music, especially of the Classical and Romantic eras.

Cadences in the 16th and 17th Centuries

YouTube Video: Elam Rotem

This video explains how cadences work in polyphonic music, especially music of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Note that although the analysis of what we are doing uses very different terminology, the end results are very similar. In other words, the polyphonic cadences of earlier music will develop naturally into the harmonic cadences of homophony in later music.

The Dominant 7 Chord and The Authentic Cadence

MP3 Playback

Score and Audio File

00:00 / 03:27

The atonal harpsichord interludes are designed to erase any tonal memory of the previous chords, to let you start 'fresh' each time.

 

Understanding the Circle of Fifths

YouTube Video: Music Matters

A good review of the Circle of Fifths before diving into the idea of modulation.

Modulation Using the Circle of Fifths

YouTube Video: Music Matters

Shows how you can use the Circle of Fifths to modulate to different keys.

Modulation

MP3 Playback

Score and Audio File

00:00 / 02:46