Tip #79 – Cheat-Sheet to Movable Inner Voices under a Stagnant Melody

This long title may seem intimidating as to what I’m going to explain – but it is some common sense that you were probably aware of.

Say you have a composition with a beautiful legato melody and lush harmonies to accompany it. However, it lacks in motion and you feel that some of the inner voices need to move. At the same time, you don’t want to take away focus from the melody or change the harmony too much.

Below, I have provided a cheat-sheet on inner voice movement possibilities:

To read and assess this, first find what chord quality you have. Then, determine from your composition what is your melody note in relationship to the chord harmony. That will be on the left-hand side of the cheat-sheet. From there, look horizontally across to see the advised subtle inner voices that can be moved chromatically or diatonically.

Play around and see what best fits your musical work.


Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Author: Bryan M. Waring

Bryan Waring is a graduate of USM's School of Music with a B.M. in Performance – Composition and is now attending Belmont University for a M.M. in Commercial Media – Composition & Arranging. During his time at USM, he studied violin with Dino Liva and composition with Dr. Daniel Sonenberg, as well as has premiered several pieces during the semiannual Composer's Ensemble concert series. In 2017, Bryan was a writer for the original musical theater work of "Molded By The Flow," directed by Paul Dresher and Rinde Eckert. Outside of school, Bryan has been involved with writing music for videogame developers at Portland's CI2 Lab, collaborating with the King Tide Party, and studying with Larry Groupé (Straw Dogs) in San Diego. Now living in Nashville. Along with composing, Bryan teaches music to children, receiving the Master Teacher Award for his work at ESF Camps; and does audio engineering for live ensembles. Besides talents in music, Bryan is a team-player in any competitive work environment; equipped with skills in leadership, organization, mathematics, creativity, communication, and managing. On the side, Bryan has worked as a model for several skilled artists in the New England area. Among his other accomplishments include obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout in April 2013 with a project of building a side parking area with guide rails for Webb Mountain Park in Monroe, CT.

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