The list begins with simple chords and proceeds to the more complex.
We use language that is commonly accepted in both popular and classical music circles. Popular/Commercial musicians use pop symbols whereas classical musicians are taught to think in terms of roman numerals. You will need be to be familiar with both.
Worship songs have texts and texts have meanings and poetic images. We can honor and draw attention to these meanings and images by means of “word painting.” Word painting is an expressive device that attempts to depict (often literally) the meaning of specific, individual words in the text.
In the previous chapter we centered on V7 and V9sus chords to effect short, basic modulations. Now our range of options enlarges: any kind of ii chord can precede the V chord. The ii – V – I progression can be used to produce smooth modulations for any key.
To modulate means to change keys. When leading worship or performing in a Christian concert, there is often a need to modulate within pieces or to segue from one piece to another smoothly. This is especially true in contemporary worship where three to eight worship choruses/hymns may need to be connected in a seamless fashion.
This chapter stresses the basics: the importance of the V chord to propel songs into the new key, modulations involving various meters (4/4, 3/4, 6/8), walking the bass down or up, making entrances secure, and modulating within and between pieces.
Major ninth chords with no third occur with regularity in contemporary worship choruses. They are bright sounding. Like the rock alternating harmonies, they are helpful in projecting a degree of tension—even power. You probably won’t find them in any hymnal though.
In this chapter we’ll explore chord substitutions that move up or down in thirds – mostly down thirds. These harmonic substitutions will add smoothness, warmth, variety, and richness to your songs.