Diatonic Harmony provides a framework by which music students can develop an understanding of all of the chords to be found in any particular key.
An understanding of the diatonic system will allow students to examine a chord sequence and to decide which scale it is based upon as well as to give them the knowledge to compose musically "correct" chord sequences of their own.
Once an understanding of the diatonic system has been developed students are ideally placed to work on study of the (relatively few) common alterations to the diatonic chords which provide the chords that make up the bulk of popular music.
A feature of the materials relating to the development of an understanding of the system is a series of "diatonic puzzles" (click the image to download a free sample worksheet) that contain all of the diatonic chords from a particular key (in the case of the free sheet the key is D)
Stdents are invited to firstly identify the chords on the worksheet and then to name the key that all of the triads belong to.
It is likely (and desirable) that as they progress through the sheets they will begin to develop an ability to identify the key before they have named all of the chords on the sheet by using an increasing understanding of the system and the chords within it.
An example of this understanding might be that they come to realise (rather than just be able to recite) that chord no VII is always a diminished chord (in the case of the sample sheet C# diminished) and that the tonic (name) chord of the key is a major chord a semitone above the root of chord no VII (a D chord?)
Another example would be that two major triads a tone apart might be identified (G and A on the free worksheet)?
Armed with this information students would be able to deduce the key containing all of the chords on the sheet by correctly identifying the lower of these major triads (G) as chord IV (the subdominant) and the higher one (an A chord) as Chord no V ( the dominant chord)
As there is only one Major key (in this case D) which features these two chords then identification of the parent key could become fairly simple by addressing the following questions
Which scale has a fourth note of G (the root note of a G major triad)?
Material relating to the diatonic system forms part of our package that music teachers can now download featuring 200 professionally prepared handouts that can be printed over and over again and all for less than the price of a single textbook!
These resources are especially designed to make life easier for classroom music teachers and instrumental instructors. They have been put together so that a single music educator might work with all ability levels within a single session or work back to basic principles with an individual student.