Tip #154 – Cheat-Sheet for Four-Part Fourth Structures

Okay, the title may seem really confusing, but this is what it is:

This post is about how to create fourth structures (harmonies built on intervals of fourths) with four notes.

To read the cheat-sheet below, take a melody note and decide what function is it in relation to the chord. Then, you add three remaining chord member notes below it. Finally, you analyze the chord in relation to the melody note being the tonic:

So, say that I have the note A, and I want it to be the m3 of a chord:

Because A is the m3 of the chord, that means the notes below it (from highest to lowest) are E as the b7, B as the 11, and F# as the root 1. We can thus analyze this as vi 11 in the key of A major:

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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