Harmonic Analysis - Basic Concepts

The basic concepts for starting to lear how to analyze the harmonic structure of a chord progresson or songs.

Published: 06 Apr 2012 Updated: 06 Apr 2012Visits: 44Code: MLRMAe-2

Topic: Theory Instruments: ukulele ANY music guitar Subjects: Theory • Intermediate • Advanced • Progressions

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Harmonic Analysis is the process of determining the root movement of chords within a chord progression, the chord types that are used as well as identifying tonal centers. This root movement can be determined and categorized using one of six harmonic principles and the harmonized chord charts reference in the lessons. These six harmonic principles are covered in the lessons of this series.

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The Six Harmonic Principles

Here is an overview of the six harmonic principles.

Full Diatonic

A Full Diatonic (FD) chord is defined as a chord that has its root and species (chord type) in its harmonized chord chart. (Harmonized chord charts are located starting on page 65)

Partial Diatonic

A Partial Diatonic (PD) chord is defined as a chord that has its root in chord chart but its species is NOT in its harmonized chord chart.

Internal Modulation

An Internal Modulation(IM) is when a change of tonal center has occurred.

Unresolved

Unresolved (UR) is when a chord is in its harmonized chord chart but does not resolve to the I chord.

Chromatic

Chords ascending or descending by Chromatic(CH) half steps between roots. The root and species are NOT in the harmonized chord chart.

Cycle

A Cycle (Cyl) is when there is an equal distance between chord roots and same species for each chord, ascending or descending. A minimum of three chords is required for a cycle.

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End of Lesson - Thanks, Hope You Enjoyed It!

Related Lessons, Videos, Lesson Series, Songs, Books & Reference Charts, Resources & Assets, Workshops are below.

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Harmonic Analysis Lesson Series

Updated: 06 Jan 2020

Harmonic Analysis ( HA ) is the process used to determine the harmonic function of chords within a chord progression. A chord progression is defined as a sequence of chords, each chord has a root and has a particular chord type. The relationship of a chord's root to a scale determines its function within that scale's tonality. Once a chord's function is identified, scale selections along with chord and scale substitutions can be made. This process is called Root Movement Analysis ( RMA ). This series of lessons are extracted from my book for use with individual private and on-line students. Each lesson directly corresponds the chapters in my book Harmonic Analysis for Scale Selection and Chord Substitution by Curt Sheller (me).

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Key Signatures and the Circle of Fifths and Fourths

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There is a load of information in traditional "Key Signatures." Unlocking the principles in this circle leads to a better understanding of music and how things work. A key signature is a series of sharp or flat symbols placed on the staff, designating the notes that are to be consistently played higher or lower than the equivalent natural notes.

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Harmonic Analysis - The Six Harmonic Principles - Overview

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This lessons cover the "Six Harmonic Principles" that are used to do a Harmonic Anlyasis - the understanding of the functional sequence of chords.

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Harmonic Analysis - Major and Minor Harmonized Chord Charts

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Major and Minor Harmonized Chord Charts are used for while doing a Harmonic Analysis (HA). Shows triads and 4-part chords for ALL 15 major and minor keys. "Yes, Virginia there are 15 keys."

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Harmonic Analysis - Modes Harmonized Chord Charts

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The triads and 4-part chords for ALL 15 major and minor keys.

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Harmonic Analysis - Worksheet and Examples

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A blank worksheet and examples for notating your harmonic analysis.

Related Books & Charts

Related Books for Harmonic Analysis - Basic Concepts.

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Harmonic Analysis for Scale Selection and Chord Substitution

Updated: 10 Jun 2021

Harmonic Analysis is the understanding of the functional sequence of chords. It is the process used to analyze the harmonic structure of a progression, song or composition. This analysis is then used to make scale selections for improvisation and chord substitution.

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A Guide to Advanced Chords Series - Chord Building Chart

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