The Harmonization Of The Major Scale Using The Mu Chord

You arrived at this page because you’re interested in learning about the harmonization of the major scale.

Attention: Due to the fact that this lesson was written with intermediate players in mind, beginners may find it a little bit difficult to comprehend. However, there’s always something to learn in every lesson on this site. So, read on.

At the end of this lesson, you’ll be able to harmonize the major scale using the mu chord. But before we get on with it, let’s break down the concept of harmonization, and the mu chord.

The Concept Of Harmonization – Explained

Right before we talk about harmonization which is our subject, let’s define harmony.

There are twelve musical notes:

…and the relationship between these notes produces music.

In a previous lesson, we learned that the relationship between notes can either be classified as melodic or harmonic. The relationship between notes that are heard separately produces melody while the relationship between notes that are heard together produces harmony.

“What Is Harmonization?”

Harmonization is the musical process of adding notes to a melody to produce harmony. Let’s use the melody of the song Mary Had A Little Lamb as an example.

Ma:

…ry:

…had:

…a:

Li:

…ttle:

…lamb:

The addition of notes to every note in the melody (Mary had a little lamb) harmonizes it.

“Check It Out…”

Ma:

…ry:

…had:

…a:

Li:

…ttle:

…lamb:

It is important for every serious musician who wants to learn about harmonization to start with the harmonization of the tones of traditional scales like the natural major and natural minor scales. However, in this lesson we’ll be focusing on the former – the natural major scale.

There are a variety of approaches to the harmonization of the tones of the major scale and we’re focusing on the use of the mu chord in this lesson.

“What Is A Mu Chord?”

The mu chord is one of the voicings of the add9 chord.

Using the C major triad:

…as an example, adding the ninth tone (which is D):

…produces the mu chord:

Although there are variants of the mu chord, we’ll be focusing on this variant of the C mu chord:

“Here’s How We Arrived At This Variant…”

Given the regular C add9 chord:

Playing the third tone (which is E):

…two octaves lower (to this E):

…produces the C mu chord:

Also, we’re duplicating the fifth tone (which is G):

…by adding it an octave below:

This produces the C mu chord:

“Check Out This Variant Of The Mu Chord In All Twelve Keys…”

C mu chord:

Db mu chord:

D mu chord:

Eb mu chord:

E mu chord:

F mu chord:

Gb mu chord:

G mu chord:

Ab mu chord:

A mu chord:

Bb mu chord:

B mu chord:

The Harmonization Of The Major Scale Using The Mu Chord

The major scale can be harmonized using the mu chord and I’ll be showing you step-by-step, in this segment.

Attention: The harmonization will be done in the key of C major.

In the key of C major:

C is the first tone

D is the second tone

E is the third tone

F is the fourth tone

G is the fifth tone

A is the sixth tone

B is the seventh tone

The first tone of the C major scale is C:

…and can be harmonized using the F mu chord:

D (the second tone):

…and can be harmonized using the G mu chord:

E (the third tone):

…and can be harmonized using the A mu chord:

F (the fourth tone):

…and can be harmonized using the Bb mu chord:

G (the fifth tone):

…and can be harmonized using the C mu chord:

A (the sixth tone):

…and can be harmonized using the D mu chord:

B (the seventh tone):

…and can be harmonized using the E mu chord:

Application Of The Harmonization Of The Major Scale Using The Mu Chord

The harmonization of the major scale can be applied while playing hymn songs. Here’s an example using the song “I surrender all”

I:

…sur:

…ren:

…der:

…all:

Final Words

Now that you’ve learned how to harmonize the major scale using the mu chord, it is recommended that you practice playing it in all twelve keys.

I’ll see you in the next lesson.

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Chuku Onyemachi

Hello, I'm Chuku Onyemachi (aka - "Dr. Pokey") - a musicologist, pianist, author, clinician and Nigerian. I started teaching musicians in my neighbourhood in April 2005. Today, I'm humbled to work as a music consultant with HearandPlay Music Group for musicians in Africa and beyond.

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3 comments
Sahil Mann says August 21, 2018

Hi are you providing any training or made course just let me know.

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Dave says December 7, 2018

This is so great! I love the simplicity. Thanks so much for sharing your musical knowledge, very much appreciated!

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Liza Cooper says June 17, 2021

Very well explained. Learned a lot.

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