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Lesson 3 - Diatonic Substitutions 3: The V-vi Progressions

In this module, we look at the idea of chord substitution. All of the substitutions we will learn about this week are diatonic, that is, the substituting chord is within the key of the passage. Melodic writing is also introduced, and in the 3 parts of Lesson 7, I walk through creating an entire passage of music from a very simple 2 voice outline. Along the way, I try to articulate the things that one thinks about when creating and working with a melody within a phrase. We will also look at the kinds of harmonic progressions that take place at the end of a phrase. These are called cadences, and they are crucial for the experience of form in common practice music. With cadences introduced, we will be able to take a look at one of the simplest forms found - the period form. With the concepts and techniques learned in this module, you will be able to take a short 4-8 bar passage and generate a small composition from it. In fact, the assignment for the week is to take a sketch of a 5-bar phrase and turn it into a 10-15 bar simple composition that uses a parallel period form. The description of the assignment should tip you off to the fact that the “solution” is just one possibility. Previously, there were always more solutions that the one given, but not many more. This week is different. There will be a bunch of solutions, but I do feel that the solution given is a good implementation of the things learned in the week’s lectures. I would suggest, then, to use your study groups (or to form study groups) to share some of your solutions since they will differ in some ways from the given one. It would also be good preparation for the final project, where you will give such feedback when assessing your peers. I want to also note that while your solution might differ in details from mine, the more general aspects - structure, cadence types and locations, for instance - should not. I want to remind everyone that all of these different ways of engaging with the assignment - completing it, checking it against the solution, getting feedback from others, and giving feedback - are part of the learning process.

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