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Organist Wayne Marshall demonstrates a range of approaches to harmonising in different styles. A well known melody is harmonised in different styles. The harmonies of jazz, baroque and hymnal music are discussed before going on to look in more depth at the more contemporary approach of Olivier Messiaen. An extract of a performance of, 'Messe de la Pentecote' is used to exemplify the use of harmonic texture to create the special kind of sound Messiaen wanted to create where dissonance and poly-tonality are key characteristics.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
28 September 1992

Classroom Ideas

For this activity, the teacher will need to provide a simple short melody and a chord collection. This collection should include the conventional diatonic chords appropriate for the melody, plus some more exotic alternatives. Students then work in pairs on keyboards. One student plays the melody while the other student tries the various chords against the tune, using a trial and error approach. The task is to come up with a conventional-sounding accompaniment and a more unusual variation.

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