A few days ago I visited a friend organist during a church service he was playing here in Vilnius. This was the time of the church year when they used the sequence Dies Irae. My friend's harmonization sounded so nice that this melody inspired me to create something of my own.
Although the above score looks pretty scary in terms of chromatic notes, I used only major and minor chords to harmonize this tune. The result - a little like French modal writing of the 20th century organ composers. The key was not to use Tonic and Dominant chords in this setting. Instead lots of other chordal relationships of a tritone, major and minor thirds are pretty colorful.
So today I would like to share with you this harmonization in four parts. Here is the PDF and MIDI files if you want to play it.
If you would like to know how to write or improvise in this style on any tune you want, please let me know.
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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Don't have an organ at home?
Download paper manuals and pedals, print them out, cut the white spaces, tape the sheets together and you'll be ready to practice anywhere where is a desk and floor. Make sure you have a higher chair.