Harmony Postlude: Mary Had a Little Lamb in Minor

As a precursor to an upcoming discussion on harmonies (or a "postlude," if you will pardon the musical pun), I wanted to rewrite "Mary Had a Little Lamb" again with the same melody but different harmonies, placed in such a way to put it in a minor instead of a major key.  This wasn't too hard, as there are only three notes (4 notes in some versions) in the whole song.  Here's the minor version of "Mary Had a Little Lamb:"

While this is the same exact melody, a change in the harmonies can give the song a different feel, in this case quite sinister and very dark.  Since the melody used only DO, RE, and MI in the original key, I turned these into ME, FA, and SOL for the minor version.

I've utilized a similar technique for my Piano Sonata to help change the feel of different movements but to connect them together.  The first movement is in A minor and starts out in the melody with a B-flat grace note going to the tonic, A.  The second movement is in F Major, and it starts out with an A as well, followed by a B-flat a moment later.  As B-flat is a diatonic pitch in F Major, or is naturally in F Major, I thought it would be a nice way to tie the two movements together, placing the 2nd movement in F.

I'll soon explore the possibilities of changes in the harmony to achieve different effects in the music, most likely with the same simple example of Mary Had a Little Lamb.  Who knew that song had such depth to it?


  1. Hey Everyone!

    I've taken this little exercise that I did several years back, and turned it into a movement of a suite for beginning and string orchestra! You can check out the article here:

    You can also watch the video of the first movement here:


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