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

chord connection and voice-leading

Chord Connection and Voice-Leading

     In a chord progression, the involved chord tones move according to certain melodic tendencies. When one writes harmonic progressions or successions, special attention should be paid to the outer voices of chords and their implicit melody since the outer voices… Read More »Chord Connection and Voice-Leading

harmonic movement and chord progression

Harmonic Movement and Chord Progressions

     It is the interplay between chords that creates a sense of movement that can be more or less dynamic and/or static. Probably, the most obvious way to achieve harmonic movement is through harmonic rhythm, that is, how fast you change… Read More »Harmonic Movement and Chord Progressions

cadences and negative harmony

Cadences and Negative Harmony

     This is a technique that makes use of existing material, be it from chords or melodies. As you will see, it is not a simple inversion or mirroring technique because the harmonic functionality in the chord progression will be… Read More »Cadences and Negative Harmony

augmented sixth chords

Augmented Sixth Chords

     These chords either lead to or act like secondary dominant chords that, in effect, resolve to the dominant chord before the tonicized chord (*see note). For that reason, they are also referred to as pre-dominant chords.      If we consider the… Read More »Augmented Sixth Chords

spice up your chord progressions with secondary dominants

Secondary Dominants

     Harmonic cadences are used to prepare and reinforce the tonic but other diatonic chords can also be reinforced. The dominant chord that exists in the tonality we are using is called a primary dominant.      But if you wish to emphasize… Read More »Secondary Dominants

the sub-7 dominant substitute

The Sub-7 Dominant Chord Substitute

     Considering the C major scale, its natural dominant chord is the G7 and we have been extrapolating chords that can be used to replace its function.      Commonly you will find references to a substitute of the V7 chord, abbreviated to… Read More »The Sub-7 Dominant Chord Substitute

dominant chord substitution

Dominant Chord Substitutions

     The importance of the tritone to functional harmony was already discussed and considering that chords can be replaced in their function, as long as they share common tones, it is not hard to imagine that the dominant chord (V7) and… Read More »Dominant Chord Substitutions

chord substitution

A Simple Guide for Chord Substitutions

     As the name implies, a chord substitution involves using a chord in place of another. However, it is not just any chord as usually the substitute chord replaces the original one in respect to its function in a given harmonic… Read More »A Simple Guide for Chord Substitutions

the importance of the tritone

The Importance of the Tritone in Harmony

     These next concepts will crucial to understand not only tonal harmony but also to understand how we can use this knowledge to escape the tonal pull exerted by certain chord types and instead work in an atonal or modal context.… Read More »The Importance of the Tritone in Harmony