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Harmony is the aspect of music that makes it feel rich and full. Our ears would get quite bored without harmony. The harmony of music is built to compliment the melody. The melody is a musical line that our brains interpret as one cohesive unit with a beginning and ending. You could think of the melody as the horizontal aspect of music.

What exactly is harmony?

The harmony is the vertical aspect of music. Harmony is sounding more than one note together at the same time and is built to compliment the melody line. When 3 or more notes are combined to sound together, we call it a chord. When multiple chord blocks are placed together in a progression, they can function like an aural sentence structure, also with a beginning and ending.

Types of Harmony

The particular harmony notes that are selected to compliment the melody affect the mood of the song. We have two main types of harmony: dissonant and consonant. The dissonant harmony will sound jarring. Consonant harmony sounds smooth and blends naturally to our ears. Music composers combine those consonant and dissonant harmonies to make the music interesting and intriguing. If music only included consonant harmony, it would sound very bland without the aspect of tension and release in the music.

A great way to get started playing in harmony is to combine two or more players together! One musician will play the melody line, and the other players will play complimenting harmonies.  There are many available options, spanning many different styles, and for all levels of musicianship. For band and orchestra musicians who are within their first few years of playing, here are a few fun recommendations.


Easy and Familiar Duet Music Options

Here are three collections of songs arranged as fun and flexible duets! These duets are great for pop concerts, recitals, or just for fun. Books in this series are available for flute, clarinet, alto sax, trumpet, trombone, violin, and cello.

Please Note: the woodwind and brass books are compatible with one another regarding key so they can be played together in mixed combinations. The violin and cello books are compatible with each other. However, the wind and string books cannot be combined.

“Hit Songs for Two”

All About That Bass
All of Me
Can’t Stop the Feeling
Hey, Soul Sister
I Will Wait
Let Her Go

Let It Go
100 Years
Poker Face
Say Something
Shake It Off
Shape of You
Some Nights
Stay with Me
Story of my Life
Viva la Vida

“Classical Themes for Two”

Academic Festival Overture
Air from Water Music
Air On The G String
The Beautiful Blue Danube, Op. 314
Canon In D
Clair De Lune
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
Fanfare Rondeau
Flower Duet
Hallelujah Chorus
Hornpipe from Water Music

Hungarian Dance No. 5
Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring
March from The Nutcracker
Minuet In G Major
Ode To Joy
Pictures At An Exhibition
Pomp And Circumstance
Sheep May Safely Graze
The Surprise Symphony
Symphony No. 7 In A Major
Trumpet Voluntary
William Tell Overture

“Broadway Songs for Two”

Any Dream Will Do
Bring Him Home
For Forever
Hello, Dolly!
I Believe
I Whistle a Happy Tune
If I Were a Bell
The Impossible Dream

Mamma Mia
My Favorite Things
Seasons of Love
Seventy-Six Trombones
Sunrise, Sunset
Where Is Love?
You’ve Got a Friend