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victoria Williams Music Theory

Victoria Williams

LmusTCL BA Mus (Hons) MISM

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Harmony Reconstruction Lesson 5: Adding Changing Notes

Grade 7 Music Theory Q2. Lesson 5: Adding Changing Notes to a Harmonic Outline

Where to Add Changing Notes

Changing notes can be added between two chord notes which are any interval apart (except the unison, because between a unison we find the auxiliary note).

Changing note can be added to the alto, tenor or bass parts, but only rarely to the soprano. They create a dissonance with the rest of the chord.

A changing note pattern consists of a leap and a step in the opposition direction. (“Step” means an interval of a 2nd, and “leap” means any interval bigger than a 2nd).

Here are some ascending melodic intervals from a second to a fifth. (It’s rare to find larger melodic intervals in a chorale).


We can add a changing note which moves by step down from the first note, then moves by a leap up to the second note.



Or, we could add a changing note which moves by a leap up, then a step down.



In the same way, let’s look at some descending melodic intervals, and the ways in which changing notes can be added to them.

descending melodic intervals 1


As with other forms of decoration, check for augmented/diminished intervals and consecutive 5ths and octaves.


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