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  1. I often hear people refer to the "lead". What exactly is it?

  2. Also, what would be called the chord progression that is higher pitch than the bass chord progression? I think the bass chord progression is just referred to as the bass.

  3. If there is a bass chord progression, a higher pitch chord progression and a instrumental melody, is the melody the lead?

  4. If the higher pitch chord progression is not the lead, what is it called? The harmony?

  5. Is the bass chord progression also considered part of the harmony?

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closed as not a real question by Wheat Williams, luser droog, Dr Mayhem, American Luke, Andrew Dec 31 '12 at 23:32

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I fear that this question is too basic, too broad and too confusingly worded to work on this forum. Anybody want to attempt to rewrite it to clarify it? –  Wheat Williams Dec 21 '12 at 5:02

1 Answer 1

The 'lead' is the part that plays the melody, typically some repetitive motif replacing or complementing a vocal line. This is typically in the treble register, although arguably some forms these days are making an overdriven bass line hold the main motif and play the part of a lead.

Below the lead you usually have 'pads', often sounding a bit like traditional strings, which tend to play the current chord (or at least its root), and which fill out the mid-range frequencies.

Then at the bottom you have the bass, which may be multiple instruments, may be arpeggiated, etc.

There is usually only one chord progression. The progression of chords is usually a property of the piece as a whole, not the property of an individual part. This is certainly the case with all modern dance music I am familiar with. However, as with almost any music, each part sometimes plays notes outside the current chord at times to add interest.

There isn't a certain part that is typically called 'the harmony' - harmony is more of a role a part plays than a part in itself. Any part that plays a different note to any other could be considered a harmony of sorts. As such all parts may or may not harmonise with other parts. If someone refers to "the harmony" in such music they usually mean a part that is specifically harmonising with another part - for example a lead harmony implies there are at least 2 parallel lead lines, one perhaps 2 notes above the other.

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