8 videos (68 minutes)
Of course, it is possible to play music without understanding all that much about the big picture. However, understanding keys, modes, how tunes are structured, how to form simple and more complex chords, and how chords move (chord progressions) all greatly increase one’s ability to create arrangements and learn, process, and retain music.
This discussion provides the minimum that you need to know. And for those more ambitious folks, I hope this discussion provides nearly everything you will ever want to know!
Introduction: the importance of theory; construction and definition of major, minor and diminished chords; intervals; concept of the relative minor
Harmonizing a scale using triads; formation of seventh chords, especially the dominant 7th chord formed off the fifth note of the scale; function of the dominant 7th chord; why the diminished chord is rare
Additional important 7th chords: major and minor 7 chords (the “box” pattern); function of 7ths chords including chord “movement” and “color”; where the major, minor and dominant 7th chords are “found” in a key; expansion of the concept of harmony; strengthening chord movement using 7th chords
Strengthening chord movement using the dreaded secondary dominants - bringing in notes from “outside” the key
The circle of fifths: relationship to chord movement (“BEAD Go Catch Fish”!); layout of the hammered dulcimer in the circle of fifths
Modes! 13 minutes of modes! The importance of learning the three big modes: mixolydian, dorian and aeolian; two approaches to forming modes; chords typically found in the various modes
- Secondary Dominants - 23 minutes using charts, discussion and some examples, a thorough explanation of the what, why and where they live of secondary dominants beginning with clarification of the difference between a major 7th and a dominant 7th chord, covering the function of the dominant 7th chord, how chords move in the circle of fifths; and ending with "The Secondary Dominant Shortcut." You will get this very important piece of theory!
- The Chromatic Trick - finding chromatics can be a little tricky and inconvenient on the hammered dulcimer; this short video will help point the way with a really easy to remember "trick!"
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Thank you for your support - I hope you enjoy these videos and get a lot out of them! Please do not share your purchased music and videos.
Recorded 2014 Sandbridge Hammered Dulcimer Retreat
Additional recording 2018 Baltimore MD