A Capella Dominant Seventh Chord progressions

Dominant seventh chords are a fundamental part of how most music is structured. These are the chords that have a strong tendency to move to the "home" chord. They follow all the same part writing rules that other chords follow, but with additional requirements for their resolution.

What did we do with them?

We were introduced to these special chords in our freshmen general music class. We were not only taught how this chords function within a progression, but we also created our own chord progressions that utilized dominant seventh chords!

After the compositions were created, we then were asked to sing and record our compositions via the application "Acapella." "Acapella" is an application that allows a person to record themselves singing multiple parts and then layer them on top of each other to create a song with multiple voices. This was a great way for us to understand the dominant seventh chords theoretically, and also aurally. It's so cool, because now when I see a dominant seventh chord in a piece, I not only know what it is and how it functions, but I can also hear it and how it resolves in my head.

Objectives and Additional Challenges


  1. Students will be able to accurately use the application “Acapella” to record their chord progression
  2. Students will be able to sing each part of their chord progression accurately, within one quarter tone deviation.
  3. Students will be able to compose a chord progression using at least one dominant seventh chord, that accurately follows the rules of part writing with 80% accuracy.

Additional Challenges

Some students who have motor disabilities or manual disabilities may need additional support on during this lesson. It may be a good idea to pair these students with another student who can assist them. Additionally, if there are students in the class who have cognitive impairments or learning disabilities, it might also be a good idea to pair these students with a more advanced peer who can support their learning during the activity. For students who are ELL, it may be necessary to set the device to be in their native language. It would also be a good idea to model for the entire class how to use the application. This would be beneficial to the English speakers in the room as well as especially helpful for any ELL students in the class.

An example of a recording made on the application of "Acapella"

Use of Digital Storytelling in My Future Classroom

I will definitely be using digital storytelling in my classroom. I believe that this could be a great tool to teach, reinforce, and review content for students in a manner that isn't just the teacher talking at them. I also think it would be interesting to have the students work in groups and each work on a different sub topic under the main musical topic and create a digital story of their own. After their stories are completed, the students would come together to share their digital stories with one another to help teach each other.

  • "You Belong to Me" cover by Dilana Beilfuss courtesy of YouTube
  • Images courtesy of Adobe Spark


Created with images by Unsplash - "microphone boy studio" • Span Arts Wales - "A Capella Festival - 2013" • Teddy Mafia - "Microphone" • MissVine - "classical music notes mozart" • Sabine Mondestin - "Queen Sabine Mondestin In Studio" • VFS Digital Design - "The Agile PM Game (Aug '11)" • umezy12 - "Classroom" • Horia Varlan - "C scale notation over musical staff"

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