I noticed there's no typical harmony (chords, etc) in Scotland the Brave but rather there's three elements: a drone on B-flat, the melody, and the drums.

So is a single continuous note (drone) considered harmony?

  • Towards the end there is specific harmony, as in I (Bb) IV (Eb) and V (F).
    – Tim
    Dec 15, 2019 at 9:14

4 Answers 4


If by harmony we intend the mere superpositions of sounds, the single drone note alone does not costitute harmony - but the drone + melody does.

If by harmony we intend the backbone on top of which be build the melody, the drone (and its overtones) helps to establish the tonal center (of the mixolydian mode, in this case), so it fulfills the harmonic role.


A drone is a pedal tone, right? So you have a pedal tone and a melody, at least two notes sounding all the time. And the melody plays different notes which at times seem to outline chords. There is definitely harmony in your example.


To the extent that the melody against the drone will produce consonances and dissonances and consonance and dissonance are harmonic concepts, then "yes" harmony is produced by a drone.

If you try to shoe-horn that into common practice/Roman numeral analysis, I suppose you would label all the music as a tonic chord with passing motion. (Sort of like how a dominant pedal point passage can be labelled with a simple V.) That won't be very musically illuminating about the melody played over the drone, but that is what you will get for harmonic analysis.


Twinkle twinkle little star can be played with a drone. It should really be played with at leadt two bass notes (1 and 5). The chords are I, IV/V and V(7). I play with only two notes in the bass even if play it as four-part harmony.

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