Non Harmony Notes
Reccommended prerequisite reading:
Pitch and clefs
Non-harmony notes are those that are not part of the current diatonic chord. There are several different types of non-harmony note, each covered in this guide.
Passing notes provide a link between two parts of a melodic line and can accented (on a strong beat), or more commonly unaccented (on a weak beat).
They can be found in any voice of a piece of music:
Auxiliary/Neighbour notes are, as their name implies, notes that are "neighbours" with the current harmony notes. They are passing notes that return to their starting note.
There are two types of "neighbour" notes: upper auxiliary/neighbours and lower auxiliary/neighbours.
Notes of Anticipation
Notes of anticipation are notes that 'anticipate' the next chord, that is, sound before the chord actually arrives.
The are most often seen at cadences, although not always.
Pedal Notes Pedal notes or pedal points are notes that are held on while the harmony around them changes.
Pedal notes don't always have to be in the bass line and they can be a note which is returned to:
Escape Notes or Èchappées
Escape notes are notes that "escape" from the melodic contour, that is, they move in the opposite direction.
'Appoggiatura' comes from the Italian meaning 'to lean', as they are said to lean on the next note. An appoggiatura is a dissonant note which is followed by its resolution.
It is placed in a rhythmically stronger place than its resolution and takes up half of the note's value.
They can be written one of two ways:
Suspensions are harmony notes that are delayed from changing to the next chord. Every suspension should be:
Prepared (sounded in the chord before)
Suspended (sounded as a suspension)
Resolved (resolved to a harmony note)
Suspensions are often identified by the interval of the note that is suspended and it's resolution above the base note.
Note that this would have technically been an appoggiatura and not a suspension if the note had not been tied as it would not have been suspended.
Note that suspended notes sometimes move to other notes before resolving: