Piano Chords and New Age Music
There are basically two ways you can compose a piece of music.
- The first and most traditional way is to write out the melody and then harmonize it. Some call this working from the top (as opposed to the chords on the bottom.)
- The second approach is where you create some kind of rhythmic harmonic pattern and improvise (or compose) the melody on top. Now, which one is best for New Age music?
The answer is neither approach. Each has its own merits and own special benefits. For example, if you start with a pattern in your left hand and improvise a melody with your right, you are doing what most new age composers/improvisers do.
This is what some of the pianists do most of the time. They have chords they set to a certain rhythm and do their thing with that amazing right hand of theirs.
When you start to learn your piano scales, songs, and chords, you’ll notice that the left hand generally plays the chords while the right hand will usually incorporate the melody. Piano chords are any set of three (though sometimes two) or more notes played simultaneously (what really gets confusing is when you’re asked to play broken chords which aren’t played together). Chords will frequently be repeated throughout the song, so once you get it down, you can play an entire piece easily.
Piano chords are different than piano notes which are the sounds you’ll produce from hitting the individual keys on the piano. Piano notes run from A to G (or from C to G and then continuing on to A and B, depending on what key you’re in), and each one emits a slightly different sound. The pattern repeats itself across the entire length of the piano. So starting from C, we’ve got C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C-D-E…etc.
Don’t let one style freeze you into something where you can’t maneuver artistically! Remember that your feeling must come first. Everything else is secondary. Let your feeling lead you and your creation will be truly inspired, however, if you try to mold what you have to say into a specific style, the result may be less than satisfactory.