Lecture 7 - Harmony: Chords and How to Build Them

author: Craig Wright, Department of Music, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: May 21, 2010,   recorded: September 2008,   views: 5873
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)

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Professor Wright explains the way harmony works in Western music. Throughout the lecture, he discusses the ways in which triads are formed out of scales, the ways that some of the most common harmonic progressions work, and the nature of modulation. Professor Wright focuses particularly on the listening skills involved in hearing whether harmonies are changing at regular or irregular rates in a given musical phrase. His musical examples in this lecture are wide-ranging, including such diverse styles as grand opera, bluegrass, and 1960s American popular music.

Reading assignment:

Wright, Craig. Listening to Music, chapter 4


Professor Wright's course contains copyrighted material, including portions of musical works, the use of which may not have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. In making this content available, we have relied on fair use as provided for in section 107 of the United States Copyright Law. We make no representation that your use, reuse or remixing of this content will constitute fair use or that by using, reusing or remixing this content you will not infringe upon the rights of others. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that exceed fair use or wish to use such material in a manner that is not authorized under the applicable copyright law, you must request permission from the copyright owner.

Special thanks to Naxos, LLC for providing recordings from the Notes - Naxos Music Library for use in connection with the Open Yale Courses publication of Craig Wright's Listening to Music course. For specific credits, see: Naxos Music Credits - Lecture 7 [PDF]

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Reviews and comments:

Comment1 Adam, June 19, 2010 at 7:09 a.m.:

This looks like a great set of lectures... but i've been having a lot of trouble with the video player. Every 2minutes or so it'll stop and buffer for 10-15seconds... and if I pause the video a couple of times, to let it buffer ahead, it jumps back to the start, and begins to load all over again. After trying for about 2 hours to watch it, I haven't seen past the 8min mark.

Comment2 Taj, August 31, 2010 at 2:30 a.m.:

I saw the first lecture in its entirety but I had difficulty with the latter lessons as the video would cut off although audio was available. It's more fun watching the video evrsion.

Comment3 cristian, August 26, 2011 at 9:35 p.m.:

I have been having a lot of problems for watching this lectures as well. It is a pity because I really find it excellent. Hopefully somebody can repair it and make it works better.

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