I wanted to share these fun and free worksheets available for you on www.pianimation.com I discovered some great songs for students to work on for understanding I-IV-V chords and to help them with some ear training. You'll find many useful songs for harmonization, like If You're Happy and All Through The Night.
Also, you may want to read this article I wrote called, Can You Harmonize The Melody?
Harmonizing the melody means playing a chord to accompany every note of the melody. Since the I, IV & V (V7) chords contain all the notes of the major scale, many melodies in a major key can be harmonized with just these three chords.
To determine the chords used, analyze the melody notes and know them. When more than one chord can be chosen, your ear should always be the final guide.
When harmonizing a melody, many prefer that the chord is in the inversion which places the melody tone as the highest note.
Here's another tip... In most cases, the I major chord will be used to accompany the I, III & V scale degrees because those are the tones that make up the I major chord.
I major (1st inversion): Accompanies the 1st scale degree because this inversion puts the I tone on top.
I major (2nd inversion): Accompanies the 3rd scale degree because this inversion puts the III tone on top and the tone in the middle).
I major (root position): Accompanies the 5th scale degree because this inversion puts the V tone on top and the I tone on the bottom.
Two Steps To Harmonize The Melody
1. Figure Out The Melody
- Choose a key center (what major key your melody will be played in).
- The notes of the melody should only use the notes of the major scale(for most situations).
- Apply the appropriate rhythm to your melody.
2. Use the I, ii, IV & V Chords To Harmonize The Melody To The Highest Note
- Determine which corresponding chords will be used in situations where there can be more than one choice.
- Look for chord inversions which are the easiest to transition from the previous chord.
- Apply the appropriate rhythm to your harmony.
- Look for Passing and Neighboring tones as these tones don't always require an accompanying chord.
For more information on this subject of harmonizing a melody in a Major key, visit 300 Page Piano By Ear Home Study Course.
All the best,
"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King