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1 minute reading time (256 words)

Introductions

A good musical introduction creates anticipation for the listener by suggesting the key and style of a tune about to be played.

Ready? Go! 

The easiest way to set up a tune is to play a V7 intro chord. This works because it takes advantage of our expectations about functional harmony. Since most tunes begin with the I chord, a V7 chord played just before the tune leads our ears right into the melody through its natural resolution. Listen to how the C7 in this familiar tune seems to say, "Here we go."

Drum roll please...

Stretch the V7 intro chord "Liberace" style with hand-over-hand arpeggios to pump up the audience. Corny and overstated? Yes. Effective? Absolutely. Students love it because it sounds impressive without being difficult. Excerpt 2 adds drama suggesting, "Ladies and gentlemen, the show is about to begin."


The following preview... 

State the last few measures of a tune before the V7 chord to increase the sense of expectancy. Like a movie trailer, Excerpt 3 hints at coming attractions with a little teaser of the melody.

Mashups 

Combine approaches for maximum effect. Excerpt 4 includes the last few measures of the melody with a V7 intro chord and the "Liberace lick." Now that's an introduction!

Next time, we'll consider how to add stock endings to put the nal touches on your lead sheet masterpiece. Until then, enjoy your creative music-making journey.

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Piano Magazine is the leading resource for pianists, piano teachers, and piano enthusiasts. We bring you informative, interesting, and inspiring ideas on all aspects of piano teaching, learning, and performing. The official name of Clavier Companion magazine was changed to Piano Magazine in 2019.

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