We can’t wait to teach Beyoncé’s new song, ‘Rise Up,’ from the upcoming animated movie Epic. It’s an inspirational call to action and a plea to ‘be who you are,’ and we can’t really think of a better message than that. The vocal part is ornate, syncopated, and harmonized, but the song actually only has three important chords in it. That means ‘Rise Up’ is the perfect song to start learning how to accompany yourself.
If you know music theory, the roman numeral notation for this song is IV-I-V-V in any Major key. If that doesn’t make sense to you, but you know the keys on a piano, here’s a different way of looking at it:
The song is in the key of F#-Major. To play it in the original key, you’d play:
four counts of B Major (B, D#, F#),
four counts of F# Major (F#, A#, C#),
and eight counts of C# Major (C#, F, G#)
If you want to play it in C, an all-white-note key, you’d play:
four counts of F Major (F, A, C)
four counts of C Major (C, E, G)
and eight counts of G Major (G, B, D)
I’ve put some resources together for you on Hooktheory.
Here’s a link to the chords and melody in the chorus of ‘Rise Up’:
(I think this one is especially important because the harmonies are so locked together, it’s hard to discern which voice is the main voice.)