Arranging Diatonic and Modestly Chromatic Melodies in Four-Part Harmony

TI:ME Technology Strategy 4.06 Arranging Diatonic and Modestly Chromatic Melodies in Four-Part Harmony

John M. Lee
[email protected]
Kent State University

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:

Electronic Musical Instruments




Music Theory


MIDI keyboards, Finale and Sibelius software, Macintosh and Dell computers, printers


50 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

1) Facility in reading music in treble, bass, alto, an tenor clefs.
2) Facility in writing four-part diatonic and modestly chromatic harmony for SATB voices.
3) Knowledge of instrumental ranges and transpositions.

MENC Standards Addressed:

MENC 4: Composing and Arranging Music within specified guidelines.
MENC 5: Reading and notating music.


1) Selected melodies from appropriate historical styles.
2) Composition paper (if screen not available for demonstration).
3) Reference charts as needed to demonstrate ranges for woodwind, brass, string, and pitched percussion instruments.


1) Students will first be able to harmonize provided melodies in four parts for SATB voices.
2) Students will next be able to arrange four-part SATB writing for instrumental combinations as directed.
3) Students will develop facility in writing within instruments’ ranges (woodwinds, brass, strings, and pitched percussion).
4) Students will develop facility in working with at least two different instrumental transpositions for each such exercise.
5) Students will acquire facility in working with notation software.
6) Students will be able to identify strengths and weaknesses of their writing, including specific errors, by listening to their work on playback.


1) Teacher will demonstrate sample melody of eight measures in length (1 minute).
2) Teacher will demonstrate sample four-part harmonization (5 minutes).
3) Teacher will provide new melody to students (1 minute).
4) Students will enter melodic notes on computer at written pitch using speedy entry on keyboards (5 minutes).
5) Students will create four-part harmonization of melody on computer (15 minutes).
6) Students will utilize in an arrangement the harmony they have created (15 minutes).
7) Students will submit printed copy of their work (2 minutes).
8) Students will play back their work on computer at sounding pitch and make corrections as needed (6 minutes).


Evaluation will be based one:
1) Correct use of chord tones and non-chord tones in melodic harmonizations.
2) Correct use of ranges.
3) Correct use of transpositions.

Follow Up:

1. Have students use melodies of similar length and complexity, but in different melodic styles.
2. Have students use different groups of instruments with transpositions and ranges not used previously.
3. Have students purposely demonstrate in specifically identified places in their work the difference between effective and ineffective writing within instruments’ ranges.

Items to Purchase:

Macintosh or Dell computers printers keyboards (synthesizers) Finale and/or Sibelius software

When budget should be submitted:

No later than during the spring of preceding academic year.

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