Character Chords with GarageBand on iPad

We all love music, movies, and books.

And, we all have our favourite characters — whether they are good or bad, the hero or the villain.

Using GarageBand on iPad, everyone can create melodic musical themes based on simple major and minor chords to represent their favourite fictional characters from stories they love.


Character Chords with GarageBand on iPad by Eoin Hughes.

With this book, and using the accompanying workbook, you’ll learn the basics about simple chords and how to add different instruments to bring a character from a movie or book to life through music with GarageBand on iPad.


Contents pages from the book ‘Character Chords with GarageBand on iPad’, with colourful cartoon-like musical note characters.

This project could be used as part of a music class, as an extension of a creative writing project in any classroom, or be adapted to other subject areas to develop and illustrate understanding and learning in new ways.


‘Well-known examples’ page from Character Chords. Audio buttons allow the user to listen to famous chordal melodies.

If you've ever heard someone strumming a guitar or accompanying themselves or someone else on piano, then you've already heard chords before.

Basic chords have 3 notes each and there are two main types: Major and Minor.

But, we can also play the notes of these chords individually to create our Character Chord Melodies.


‘A minor chord’ page from Character Chords, explaining the A minor chord and how to play it to create a chordal melody.

Students can explore music creation through this book independently, either at school or from home, or could be supported and guided by their teacher to create their Character Chords as part of a series of lessons.

Here’s an example of an A minor Character Chord theme. It is based on Thanos, from the Avengers movies and comics. 

And, here’s another example using the notes of a C major chord, based on Yoda from Star Wars.

The book contains lots of video to accompany the text which will help you and your students to create a Character Chord theme. 

These videos are also all on YouTube in a playlist.

Here’s an example of one of the videos:

📺 You can also create along to this recording of a virtual workshop I led during the ADE Festival of Learning in 2020 on Character Chords:

📖 Download the Character Chords with GarageBand on iPad on Apple Books.

⬇️ And, you can download the accompanying workbook below. 

Then, start creating music and have fun! 

Share your Character Chords using the hashtag #CharacterChords 

What will your Character Chord sound like? 


2 replies

January 30, 2023

Wow Eoin. So impressive! Very enticing examples. Appreciate you also including your Festival of Learning Workshop. I always learn a lot by listening to you.

February 02, 2023

Thank you, Cheryl! 😊

Characters Chords are such a big part of my music classes and how students learn about music and apply their knowledge and skills creatively using GarageBand on iPad. 🎶 🎸

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