Harmonizing “Amazing Grace” using Band-in-a-Box

Harmonizing “Amazing Grace” using Band-in-a-Box

Dr. Tom Rudolph
[email protected]
Haverford Middle School

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:



Middle School




Macintosh or Windows Computer
Band-in-a-Box Software from PG Music


40 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

1. Tonic, Dominant and Subdominant harmony in major tonality.

NAfME Standards of 1994 Addressed:

NAfME Standards of 1994: Composing and Arranging Music within specified guidelines.
NAfME Standards of 1994: Reading and notating music.

NAfME 2014: Creating


1. Teacher prepares a Band-in-a-Box file of Amazing Grace. The melody is recorded with only the first and last chord.
2. Print out of the melody to Amazing Grace in music notation with only the melody and first and last chord.


1. Students will harmonize the melody Amazing Grace by typing in the chord symbols. They will use a trial and error approach.
2. Students will select an accompaniment style and tempo.


1. Play a recording of the song Amazing Grace
2. Ask students to sing (or play) the melody.
3. Ask students to sing (or play) the roots of the chords using a neutral syllable.
4. Students open up Band-in-a-Box and open the sample file for Amazing Grace with melody and only the first and last chord.
5. Students are given time to experiement with entering the chords in the measures.
6. Students play their version for the teacher and/or class.


1. Each student’s harmonization will be compared to the original and graded for accuracy.
2. Each student will play their version for the teacher and/or class and will receive feedback on their version.

Follow Up:

1. Students can select a harmonization of the melody from the Harmony menu.
2. Students can select a jazz soloist from the solo manu. This can be printed out and performed on an instrument.
3. Compare several arrangements of Amazing Grace that use alternate chords. Incorporate some of the alternate chords in the arrangement.
4. Repeat the above lesson with other songs.

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