What is KVR Audio? | Submit News | Advertise | Developer Account

Options (Affects News & Product results only):

OS:
Format:
Include:
Quick Search KVR

"Quick Search" KVR Audio's Product Database, News Items, Developer Listings, Forum Topics and videos here. For advanced Product Database searching please use the full product search. For the forum you can use the phpBB forum search.

To utilize the power of Google you can use the integrated Google Site Search.

Products 0

Developers 0

News 0

Forum 0

Videos 0

Search  

Is chord progression necessary?

Chords, scales, harmony, melody, etc.

Moderator: Moderators (Main)

KVRist
 
35 posts since 3 Apr, 2014

Postby Juljan; Fri May 16, 2014 11:48 am Is chord progression necessary?

Hey guys,
hope you can help me:

I looked up some house music remakes on YouTube, for example Sebastian Ingrosso-Reload. I realized that in a lot of them there is only one melody line, so really no chord progression but I am not sure if this is what the 'big' producers also do.

So question is: Is chord progression necessary?

If yes, how to put chords under the melody so that you don't have something like a new melody or chord progresion which 'destroys' the actual melody?

If no, how to make the melody as a big sound. Only layering in differnt octaves or are there more tricks how to handle it?

I really hope, you can help me. :wink:

Thank you
Julian
User avatar
Rad Grandad
 
24620 posts since 5 Sep, 2003, from New England U.S.A.
    

Postby Hink; Fri May 16, 2014 12:26 pm Re: Is chord progression necessary?

Juljan wrote:Hey guys,
hope you can help me:

I looked up some house music remakes on YouTube, for example Sebastian Ingrosso-Reload. I realized that in a lot of them there is only one melody line, so really no chord progression but I am not sure if this is what the 'big' producers also do.

So question is: Is chord progression necessary?

If yes, how to put chords under the melody so that you don't have something like a new melody or chord progresion which 'destroys' the actual melody?

If no, how to make the melody as a big sound. Only layering in differnt octaves or are there more tricks how to handle it?

I really hope, you can help me. :wink:

Thank you
Julian


seems to me that if you have more than one chord you're going to have a chord progression...it also sounds to me like you're talking about counterpoint and I found this to be a fairly good read on the subject of counterpoint :)
As long as you hate, there will be people to hate
-George Harrison
User avatar
KVRAF
 
4319 posts since 20 Jul, 2010
 

Postby Sendy; Fri May 16, 2014 12:34 pm Re: Is chord progression necessary?

What is neccecary and what isn't depends on what you're trying to achieve. As you're talking about house music, no, a chord progression isn't neccecary. House is about groove and feeling, so you could have a track based on one chord, or rocking back and fourth between two chords (commonly something like A minor and G major).

Putting chords or harmonizing motifs under a melody and having it fit in with the bassline requires either a feel for music and a reasonable ear, or an understanding of basic music theory, or ideally both. Stacking octaves is fine but if done a lot it will sound redundant, because of the equivalence of octaves.

Getting a "big" sound is about the entire mix. Practice and the ability to evolve a sense of taste and sensibility are important. Learn how mixing tools like compressors work in isolation, then begin combining them. Find tutorials. Listen to lots of music, and listen to what's going on both in the mix and in the music.

These questions are massive in scope, so good luck. There are some great tutorials out there but remember that information and knowledge aren't neccecarily the same thing. So get experience with sound. Become intimate with it. Have a relationship with it. I can't stress that enough.
http://sendy.bandcamp.com/releases < My new album at Bandcamp!
User avatar
KVRAF
 
20075 posts since 26 Jul, 2005, from Inside Schroedinger's Cat...or am I...

Postby robojam; Fri May 16, 2014 12:38 pm Re: Is chord progression necessary?

But the short answer is no. A piece of music can have no chord changes if that works for you.

Why do you worry about what the "big producers" do? Don't you want to create your own music?
User avatar
Rad Grandad
 
24620 posts since 5 Sep, 2003, from New England U.S.A.
    

Postby Hink; Fri May 16, 2014 12:38 pm Re: Is chord progression necessary?

+1, +1
As long as you hate, there will be people to hate
-George Harrison
User avatar
KVRAF
 
8919 posts since 12 Mar, 2012, from South Bavaria - near the alps... :-)

Postby Tricky-Loops; Fri May 16, 2014 12:39 pm Re: Is chord progression necessary?

Sendy wrote:What is neccecary and what isn't depends on what you're trying to achieve. As you're talking about house music, no, a chord progression isn't neccecary. House is about groove and feeling, so you could have a track based on one chord, or rocking back and fourth between two chords (commonly something like A minor and G major).
What do you understand under "house music"? Martin Garrix animals? :o

I listen to a lot of house music, and they all have chord progressions, at least for the bass lines...
KVRAF
 
3767 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Fri May 16, 2014 12:42 pm Re: Is chord progression necessary?

Sendy wrote: or rocking back and fourth between two chords (commonly something like A minor and G major).


There are so many variations on this that you could create hundreds of house tracks and never play anything else. One thing that I would suggest (for the OP), however, is to post an example of what you think is a house track. This isn't just about snobbery, although, I fully admit to being of the opinion that most shit called house isn't, rather, it relates to the wide variance in music form that gets lumped under the moniker house.
KVRAF
 
4798 posts since 9 Mar, 2003

Postby experimental.crow; Fri May 16, 2014 12:53 pm Re: Is chord progression necessary?

ghettosynth wrote:
Sendy wrote: or rocking back and fourth between two chords (commonly something like A minor and G major).


There are so many variations on this that you could create hundreds of house tracks and never play anything else. One thing that I would suggest (for the OP), however, is to post an example of what you think is a house track. This isn't just about snobbery, although, I fully admit to being of the opinion that most shit called house isn't, rather, it relates to the wide variance in music form that gets lumped under the moniker house.



My house ... s'out of the ordinary ...
Image
User avatar
KVRAF
 
4319 posts since 20 Jul, 2010
 

Postby Sendy; Fri May 16, 2014 1:00 pm Re: Is chord progression necessary?

Tricky-Loops wrote:
Sendy wrote:What is neccecary and what isn't depends on what you're trying to achieve. As you're talking about house music, no, a chord progression isn't neccecary. House is about groove and feeling, so you could have a track based on one chord, or rocking back and fourth between two chords (commonly something like A minor and G major).
What do you understand under "house music"? Martin Garrix animals? :o

I listen to a lot of house music, and they all have chord progressions, at least for the bass lines...


It really depends on what you're willing to call a chord progression. A progression leads onto something else. For me, two or three chords in a loop isn't a progression, it's a loop, a groove, a sequence... And that's not a bad thing. I'd rather hear a soulful track on one to three chords than something with lots of different chords that sounds shitty. The notion that one can go "upmarket" by adding more chords to your house is a bit snobby. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Where it really gets interesting is when instead of going all out with lots of chords, you keep the tonality ambiguous, so there's not much actual music material in there, but it fits together in interesting ways that don't go for the obvious "look here are chords this is real music" gambit :)

Look at the stuff by Frankie Knuckles, it's not trying to be epic with big cinematic chords and wotnot, it's just pure understated groove, a pool for you to dip your body into or not, as you choose.

If I was more of a house music connoisseur I could probably give you more interesting and less generic examples, but I'm not :) But the same principles apply for other dance music like drum and bass.

I'm really sick of this trend in EDM for "epic cinematic" chords, in fact the trend of trying to be EPEEHHHHHHHCK! by walloping the listener over the head with desperately "impressive" stuff has really gotten old to me. My taste in dance music veers more to the oldschool.
http://sendy.bandcamp.com/releases < My new album at Bandcamp!
User avatar
KVRAF
 
8919 posts since 12 Mar, 2012, from South Bavaria - near the alps... :-)

Postby Tricky-Loops; Fri May 16, 2014 1:16 pm Re: Is chord progression necessary?

Sendy wrote:
Tricky-Loops wrote:
Sendy wrote:What is neccecary and what isn't depends on what you're trying to achieve. As you're talking about house music, no, a chord progression isn't neccecary. House is about groove and feeling, so you could have a track based on one chord, or rocking back and fourth between two chords (commonly something like A minor and G major).
What do you understand under "house music"? Martin Garrix animals? :o

I listen to a lot of house music, and they all have chord progressions, at least for the bass lines...


It really depends on what you're willing to call a chord progression. A progression leads onto something else. For me, two or three chords in a loop isn't a progression, it's a loop, a groove, a sequence... And that's not a bad thing. I'd rather hear a soulful track on one to three chords than something with lots of different chords that sounds shitty. The notion that one can go "upmarket" by adding more chords to your house is a bit snobby. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Where it really gets interesting is when instead of going all out with lots of chords, you keep the tonality ambiguous, so there's not much actual music material in there, but it fits together in interesting ways that don't go for the obvious "look here are chords this is real music" gambit :)

Look at the stuff by Frankie Knuckles, it's not trying to be epic with big cinematic chords and wotnot, it's just pure understated groove, a pool for you to dip your body into or not, as you choose.

If I was more of a house music connoisseur I could probably give you more interesting and less generic examples, but I'm not :) But the same principles apply for other dance music like drum and bass.

I'm really sick of this trend in EDM for "epic cinematic" chords, in fact the trend of trying to be EPEEHHHHHHHCK! by walloping the listener over the head with desperately "impressive" stuff has really gotten old to me. My taste in dance music veers more to the oldschool.
Most so called "chord progressions" consist of 4 (or more) chords. I've never seen any chord progression with 2 chords only...

But you're right in the impression that most EDM music is so filled with chords, octave-doubling and the most epic layering that it rather sounds like a lawn mower. It's like a competition: Who's the phattest of 'em all? Many producers forget that music needs to breathe, too :!:

(That's why I liked "The Magic Key" by Cool-T, because of this lo-fi chiptune lead! :love:)
User avatar
KVRAF
 
4319 posts since 20 Jul, 2010
 

Postby Sendy; Fri May 16, 2014 1:23 pm Re: Is chord progression necessary?

Yes, it's not black and white. There's a lot of grey area between a simple two-chord motion and something that registers as a progression. Four chords would be where I would draw the line as well, though sometimes three. It depends if there's a sense of motion, which in turn depends how different these chords are from eachother.

Generally, I feel it isn't really a "progression" if you can vamp over it all in the tonic key. When you look at a lot of chord loops many chords are simple alterations and substitutions of the ones before them. Am and C for example. That's just a pet theory, though. I feel that a lack of melodic/harmonic motion may actually cause the rhythmic motion to become more pronounced, which is how you get that hypnogogic trance type feeling.
http://sendy.bandcamp.com/releases < My new album at Bandcamp!
KVRist
 
229 posts since 29 May, 2012

Postby hueynym; Fri May 16, 2014 1:32 pm Re: Is chord progression necessary?

A "Chord Progression" is when one chord goes to another chord. If you are composing diatonic music, regardless of genre, and use notes outside of a single chromatic scale, you are using a chord progression. It may be 2 chords going back and forth, it may be 4 chords. If it goes from one discernible chord to another, it's a progression.

Minimalists using micro-tonality and one or two tones manipulated over the course of 40 minutes don't use chord progressions. They also have a VERY niche audience.

Just because you are playing the "chord" doesn't mean it isn't part of a progression - especially if there's a conventional melody involved
User avatar
KVRAF
 
8919 posts since 12 Mar, 2012, from South Bavaria - near the alps... :-)

Postby Tricky-Loops; Fri May 16, 2014 1:35 pm Re: Is chord progression necessary?

Sendy wrote:I feel that a lack of melodic/harmonic motion may actually cause the rhythmic motion to become more pronounced, which is how you get that hypnogogic trance type feeling.
Isn't it rather because of the fast tempo? Imagine you'd slow down a trance tune to 80 BPM - it wouldn't have that hypnotic effect anymore, and for a chill-out track it might be too repetitive...

EDIT: Now that we have "slow food", maybe there will be "slow trance", too? :hihi:
KVRian
 
672 posts since 1 Dec, 2004

Postby MadBrain; Fri May 16, 2014 2:01 pm Re: Is chord progression necessary?

You can make music with nothing but drums, so it's definitively possible to make music without chords...

That being said, chords is really the strong point of western music. It's where European music stands out compared to other traditions such as Arabic music or Indian music (which is traditionally just a melody line over a drone). Western melodies are simple and cheesy in comparison, but it makes up for it in harmony, including all sorts of voice leading, multiple overlapping melodic/harmonic lines, funky bass lines, etc.

Doing western music without chords is kinda like doing French cooking without dairy products... It's totally possible, but you're skipping over all the best stuff it has to offer, and concentrating on the weak points.
User avatar
KVRAF
 
4319 posts since 20 Jul, 2010
 

Postby Sendy; Fri May 16, 2014 2:09 pm Re: Is chord progression necessary?

Tricky-Loops wrote:
EDIT: Now that we have "slow food", maybe there will be "slow trance", too? :hihi:


Yeah, it's called ambient? :hihi:
http://sendy.bandcamp.com/releases < My new album at Bandcamp!
Next

Moderator: Moderators (Main)

Return to Music Theory