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Find out all about harmony, chord functions, substitutions, chord progressions



     Polyharmony refers to a musical passage in which polychords are used in a chord succession or create a harmonic flow. As mentioned, when introducing the way polychord structures are built, the component triads can either be kept distinct through simple… Read More »Polyharmony

harmonic ambiguity

Harmonic Ambiguity

     A chord is ambiguous when it can be associated or implies more than one tonality or mode. As an example, every major or minor triad can be associated to two or more tonalities. For instance, the C major chord exists… Read More »Harmonic Ambiguity

polymodal chromaticism

How to Use Polymodal Chromaticism

     The term polymodal refers to the use of more than one mode at a time. Usually the layered modes share the same tonic, like C Dorian and C Lydian. Polymodal chromaticism is related to the fact that it is possible… Read More »How to Use Polymodal Chromaticism

pandiatonic harmony

Pandiatonic Harmony

     This is a musical technique that consists of using diatonic material to dissolve the sense of functional harmony in a tonality, as opposed to using chromaticism for that effect. It is the practice of allowing chords to be formed from… Read More »Pandiatonic Harmony

post-tonal harmony

Post-Tonal Harmony

     In the beginning of the twentieth century, the tonal system was already falling apart due to the extreme use of chromaticism and post-tonal is a term that is used for music that doesn’t follow the traditional conventions of tonal harmony.… Read More »Post-Tonal Harmony

modal modulation

How to Use Modal Modulation

     Using this technique implies that you already know how each mode sounds and how to make chords that sound like the mode. If that isn’t the case, take a look at this post of how you can make “modal… Read More »How to Use Modal Modulation

non-functional harmony

Non-Functional Harmony

     Any system that doesn’t fit the tension and release cycle that is pervasive in functional harmony cadences is called non-functional harmony and it occurs when no chord “wants” to specially resolve to the next one.      In fact, such chords are… Read More »Non-Functional Harmony

modal interchange

Modal Interchange

     In this post, I will be showing you how you can effectively use modal interchange and add variety to your chord progressions and (re)harmonizations. This is a technique that consists in temporarily borrowing chords from a parallel tonality or… Read More »Modal Interchange