Reharmonisation Arranging Task

Today we will spend some time exploring how to reharmonise using diatonic harmony. The document below includes three short melodic phrases for you to use to create different harmonic accompaniments:

Below is the sheet we previously referred to that includes all the diatonic chord choices for C major and A minor:

Needless to say this is just a starting point, you may well wish to explore the use of extended chords (7ths). If so please click HERE for a link to a detailed blog post explaining what these are…Once you get the idea of using 7th chords, extending to 9ths, 11ths, 13ths etc is a fairly easy step – go ahead the jazzheads..

Another type of chord not mentioned but commonly used is the sus (short for suspended) chord. There is a good explanation of them HERE. Here is the master, demonstrating how to use the sus chord to stunning effect in the beautiful “Maiden Voyage”


Task 1C – Arranging stylistic fingerprints

Following from our discussion in class today here are some of the key stylistic fingerprints that were identified in your research. We will add and develop this list as your arrangements progress..

1950s Rock’n’Roll

RHYTHM – fast tempos, 4/4 time signatures, use of swing/shuffle feel, some brushes on drum kit

INSTRUMENTATION – vocal, guitar, bass (sometimes double bass), drum kit, some use of horn sections and tenor saxophone

TONALITY & HARMONY – prominent use of major keys, simple harmony, much use of blues chord progressions. Use of walking bass lines.

TEXTURE – use of riffs, often doubled on bass & guitar. Call and response in vocals and with guitar/horn parts.

PRODUCTION/FX – some use of reverb, tremolo and slap-back delay.


RHYTHM – extensive use of sampled drum loops, often manipulated. Some use of percussion and percussion loops. Commonly 4/4 time signatures. Predominance of slow tempos.

INSTRUMENTATION – extensive use of sampled sounds. 1970s influence – electric piano, beats. Processed vocals.

TONALITY & HARMONY – minor keys are common, simple chord sequences. Some jazz/blues influence with use of extended chords and bluesy figures. Common root note bass lines. Some use of pedal.

TEXTURE – mixture of some very sparse textures and some dense (especially Tricky).

PRODUCTION/FX – much use of reverb and delay – especially on vocals. Some use of sub bass.

The vocoder in Logic

For those exploring production ideas for your Synth Pop arrangements, you might want to consider inviting the EVOC 20 PS vocoder to the party. Not always a well behaved guest  but guaranteed to raise a smile..
This introductory video gives you a basic low down on how to set it up and using a sidechain to trigger it.

Don’t forget, all the Logic videos are also on the Music Department Mac Network (the folder link in your dock)
go to “Resources and Handouts” then “Logic” then “Logic Tutorial Movies”