TD8 #29: Descending Triads

This device is something I heard on the second "Harry Potter" soundtrack by John Williams. Here's what I liked: 

1) The movement you get from the strings arpeggiating the harmony.

2) How the very soft doubling of Violins 1 in the celeste (an octave higher) gives it a subtle sparkle.

3) The way the harp adds to the pulse with a very simple pattern.

4) The way the "melody" moves through the different registers blending into each new group of instruments in the woodwinds.

TD8 #14: More Tritone Triads

Download the pdf's and mp3 here!

This one starts out with a low string pedal that morphs into a sustained pad in measure 3 when the strings/horns/flutes come in. The low A holds down the key while the rest of the instruments plays an Eb major triad (Eb being the tritone to A). Very sci-fi like sound which is logical since I first heard this device on John Williams work on the Star Wars prequels.

Here's the sketch:

TD8 #12: Chromatic Triads

Download pdf's and mp3 here!

This is a device I got from John Williams score to "Harry Potter", it's in all three movies. Check out the part that begins at 1:39 here.

It's similar to TD8#10 but where that device is more diatonic in nature, this one's signature is the fact that you get some chromatic notes in there. It works best over a pedal since that holds down the tonality so the chromatic notes won't sound out of place, but instead give that special feel. 

Make sure you're satisfied with your melody and then simply experiment with the different triads below. Here you can try major,minor, diminished and augmented. This gives you 12 options per melody note (4 triads with 3 different notes) so it's a huge amount of combinations available. Take it little by little, bar by bar and don't move on until you find the right combination for each note. Knowing that there's a finite number is a big help here so you don't feel overwhelmed.