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  • Holly Mead

Composing Music by William Russo: Chapter 2 / Exercise 10

Mixed Progression



As a warm up for sabbatical times, I’ve decided to finish working my way through William Russo’s book Composing Music before 6/1. It’s been a great primer so far and will be fun for my students too!


​In exercises 6-9, Russo invites you to create smooth voice-leading between diatonic/non-diatonic chord progressions by redistributing chord tones. Ideally (but not necessarily), students should be familiar with all twelve major and minor triads and their respective inversions before tackling this part of Chapter 2.


Russo posits this rule: major triads move freely to other major triads, and minor triads move freely to other minor triads.


For this next piece, I have constructed a progression of 16 chords that adheres to Russo’s Basic Rules for Mixed Progressions. If you are curious about these rules, check out page 20 in Composing Music.


*Side note: I’ve decided to pause the fantasy/story-telling element of these posts until some of my younger students catch up with the material, but don’t let that stop you from creating your own stories to accompany these exploratory tunes!