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Basic Instructions

As you know, each note in a scale has an associated chord function that can be built from it. In major keys, the 1, 4, and 5 chords are always major in quality, the 2, 3, and 6 chords are always minor, and the 7 chord is always diminished.

  1. Using the “chord chart” below, play the corresponding chord on a piano/keyboard, guitar, or other polyphonic instrument in any rhythm for the specified number of beats as demonstrated in the video below.

Most of the activities we'll be doing involve playing chord progressions along with popular music using a polyphonic instrument like guitar or piano. You may use any acoustic instrument as long as it is primarily polyphonic (e.g. no bass guitars, no trumpets, no violins, no solo voice, etc.).

  1. General Activity Guidelines

    1. Click a song title. Notice that the chord sheets reveal the appropriate key and tempo. All you have to do is play the chords in these keys according to the key function number (e.g. a 4 chord in C major is an F Major chord).
    2. Listen to the song once without playing along by clicking the MP3 link at the top of the page. Note: you may also download the song for offline listening/playing by right clicking or ctrl+clicking the link and selecting "Save Target" or "Download Linked File":
    3. Practice playing the song without the music track. The chord sheet provides the number of beats to play each chord number. You may take liberty with the rhythm you use, but stay within the number of beats within the bar. Note: you may print chord sheet pages for offline playing by clicking File>Print in your webbrowser.
    4. Play along with the music by playing the appropriate chord number for the key as the music plays. Note: songs may use added notes beyond the root, 3rd, and 5th of the chord, as well as suspensions but you may limit your performance to only play triads.
  2. When you are finished, choose the appropriate week number from above beginning with Week 1 and complete the activities for that week by working through each numbered item on the page.


*Please work on weekly activities for a total of 1 1/2 to 2 hours each week in any way your schedule allows (spreading time across several days is recommended) but for no more or less than 1 1/2 to 2 hours per week.




Visit the live site for this study at vjmanzo.com/dissertation