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Compose with Mapping Tonal Harmony: Think Like Beethoven

Lest you think Mapping Tonal Harmony is just for music theory circle-jerking, Adam from mDecks did a 2-part video series on how you go about doing some actual composing with the app! Here's Part 2.

Video Description:

source: https://mdecks.com/mapharmony.phtml

Study Tonal Harmony like never before!

Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro 7 is an interactive music theory app accompanied by 7 workbooks to teach and study tonal harmony.

Reader Comments 2

The use of "dominant" to describe the V (Roman 5) chord, makes sense. Dominant means 5th, so the chord that is a 5th up. Use of "subdominant" to describe the IV chord makes sense, (the chord built on the note a 5th down from the root). Calling a II chord a subdominant is annoying. I prefer when people call it a "pre-dominant".

The nerds came up with fancy words for all the chords: tonic, supertonic, mediant, subdominant, dominant, submediant, hypotonic; then other nerds waltzed in and started using them "weirdly".

Also, don't think like Beethoven. We already had one of those. Think like you. It might not be "better", but it'll be real, and it'll be more fun.
October 26, 2020  | favorite_border stub
A study of chords is not only about harmonic tension and root movement but also about the movement of all the notes in the chords and the tensions and and releases they make as they move. Basically it is a series of melodic lines. The Tonic, Subdominant and Dominant groupings of chords is a very common analysis. It is structured on the harmonic interval of the third being the base consonance in tonal music. Subdominant chords replace the 3 scale degree of the Tonic chords with a 4 and Dominant chords replace the 1 note with a 7 note, sometimes along with the 4 note, making a tritone interval that resolves chromatically to the 1 and 3, a major third, of the Tonic chords (if by transference).

Also these groupings also show the movement of notes going up or down. Tonic -> Subdominant -> Dominant -> Tonic has notes going up (in close voicing) called progressive movement, and going down in the other direction, called regressive movement (except for the vi chord going to the vii chord in a major key, a result of making 3 groups out of 7 chords.) I always look at this to when analyzing chord progressions because these movements have different moods. Tin Pan Alley and old show tunes had lots of progressive movement, modern rock and pop tunes have a lot more regressive movement.

Extended and altered chords used in jazz extend voice movement to notes outside of the key to be resolved chromatically, and also sets up possibilities for melodic ideas that follow that movement. This of course can also be done with triads and other note groupings to set up chromatic melodic ideas. Instead of thinking what scales go with particular chords look at what melodic ideas go with chord progressions, or the other way around. In the end keyboard or notation representations can only give the full analysis.
October 29, 2020  | favorite_border Laarz

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