top of page

Write Your Own Music!

Updated: Apr 23

April 22, 2024

white-pitcher-hydrangea-sheet-music


Today I hope to share a little bit about how I write music. If I have already lost you on that first sentence, maybe another blog post would be of interest to you:



For my music peeps who have requested more posts on music, let’s talk music!

Before we begin, this post will assume that you have at least a basic understanding of music. I always strive for clarity, so if anything is confusing, please give me a holler!


Writing music is an art form and truly unique to each and every composer. While music is an art, there is structure and order to it. If you understand some of the basics, you can write music, too!


A few Sundays ago, a sweet couple in our church lent their talents on the piano and guitar while I attempted to add a little fiddle flair to this classic hymn, “He Leadeth Me.” My heart was so warmed from this experience of simple and soulful music that lifts praise to the Lord.



As I talked with the Lord in my morning bible time, I asked Him what my post should be about for this week. The Lord began impressing on my mind to convey how to write a simple harmony line for any hymn.


What I am going to share with you today is nothing profound, and I used these concepts to write the violin part for the recent trio at church. These concepts are applicable to any setting, sacred or non-sacred, and these concepts could be used to write a harmony line for any instrument.


How to Write a Simple Harmony Line


*All the music examples below are from the simple violin line I wrote for "He Leadeth Me" which I will include a PDF of at the bottom of this post. For your reference point, the melody is actually on the bottom line, and the violin harmony part is on the top.


1. Know the Chord Structure

If music theory is new to you, I would recommend finding a hymnal or lead sheet that has the chords written above the notes (A quick google search led me to a helpful site called Hymn Chords). If you play by ear, music may be unnecessary for you, but a lead sheet with chord names above the text is extremely helpful.


If you find a hymn without chord names and are comfortable with theory, I would recommend taking a moment to write out the chord names. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy with inversions and such technicalities, but you will thank yourself later for writing down the chord names!


2. Follow the Chord Structure

When creating a harmony line, I like to stay within the chord structure as much as possible. A passing tone (note in between chord notes) is fine for my taste, but I prefer to write music that sounds harmonious to the average listener.


The sky is the limit when creating a harmony line! You could

-simply walk up the notes in the chord (ex. in a C chord play C-E-G-C)


-start with one note note in the chord and play a mini scale up or down to another note in the chord (ex. in a G chord play from B down to D)


music-sample


-hold a whole note for a more subtle affect (ex. in a C chord hold a C for 4 beats or even several measures worth)


music-sample


3. Vary the rhythm

Sometimes you may want to follow the rhythm of the melody. For example, moving in harmony (3rds or 6ths) with a moving line.


music-sample



Sometimes you may want to create rhythmic interest by creating a different rhythm from the melody. I often employ this technique in my writing and find it creates a depth of sound in my compositions, almost like working in 3-D instead of 2-D.


If the melody line is moving (say playing notes on the beat or faster), I often hold a long note in the chord.


music-sample


If the melody slows/holds a longer note (longer than a beat), I take the opportunity to move and create some musical interest.


music-sample


4. Be Boldly Creative

Artistry takes courage, and courage is required to overcome the fear of failure. More often than not I have to fail many times before arriving at the desired destination. All this said, the more I doodle and try new ideas, the more creativity flows!


 

As I said earlier, everything I shared today is fairly simple, but I hope that you are inspired to write your own music.


For your own enjoyment and playing, here is a simple rendition of “He Leadeth Me” complete with a harmony line for a violin. This music would work well for a violin duet, or a pianist could take the melody and “run with it!”


He Leadeth Me Violin and Melody
.pdf
Download PDF • 382KB


Happy music making!


-Ashley


Personal Disclosure

As the author of Ashley Qurollo Blog, all opinions are my own. Any possible applications are universal in nature, not directed at any one individual or people group. My sincere desire is to help others by sharing what I am learning. Nothing stated on this blog is ever intended to hurt others. Ashley Qurollo, owner of Ashley Qurollo Blog and Website, is not held liable in any way for any application of the ideas and thoughts stated here.


3 Comments

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Good afternoon my wonderful friend,

I have been enjoying your blog regarding music. 😊 I love that I understand more about music than I ever thought I would. Thank you for ALL you explain in your blog. I'm excited to learn and understand future blogs!

Thank you

Mary P

Like
Replying to

That's wonderful, Mary! Thank you so much for reading. Well, you are a musician every time you sing at church. 😊

Like

Guest
Apr 22
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

These ideas are simple and approachable! Thanks for sharing. I hope to use them in my own writing.

Like
bottom of page