The Orchestra Sings
Melodies Play Together
Aim: How does the melody change when played in harmony or with accompaniment?
Summary: We explore the difference between melodies in unison and melodies played in harmony.
Standards: National 1, 4, 7, 8; NYC 1, 2, 3, 5
Vocabulary: harmony, unison
Jump to section:
Exploring Unison and Harmony
- Have the groups trade pitches so that they each get a turn singing the root of the interval.
- When two or more people sing multiple pitches together at the same time, it is called singing in harmony.
- Experiment with different combinations from the major scale. See the table below for examples.
- Which combinations are your favorite? Why?
- Which combinations are your least favorite? Why?
Group 1 Sings:
Group 2 Sings:
Try extending some of the harmonic patterns we learned in this activity by moving the phrases up or down the scale.
Exploring Unison and Harmony in “Oye”
- “Oye” includes an optional two-part harmony. Once your students are familiar with the melody, you can explore having some of your students sing the lower part.
- Listen to Track 22.
- Raise your hand when you think you hear the singers singing in harmony. Lower your hand when you hear them singing in unison.
- Refer to the interactive sheet music for “Oye.” (You may wish to have the students use their print-outs of the “Oye” Sheet Music (PDF) to highlight the melodic line in one color and the harmonic line in a different color to make it easier to follow).
- Note when the melody is sung in unison (one note at a time) and when there is harmony (two notes at a time).
- We have already explored some harmonic intervals. This song uses thirds, fourths, and fifths to create the harmony.
- Play Track 24. Follow along with the interactive sheet music for “Oye.”
- Notice how each line is moving (by steps or staying on the same note).
- When does the harmonic line move in the same direction as the melodic line? When does it do something different than the melodic line?
- As a group, practice singing the harmonic line along with Track 24.
- Once the group is confident singing the harmonic line, split the class into two groups and sing the melody and harmony together with Track 25.