Harmony Navigator LE, some questions to get me going

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Mazinga's picture
Mazinga
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Harmony Navigator LE, some questions to get me going

I have only moderate music theory knowledge. I am using Harmony Navigator LE to make Flamenco chord progressions for a particular style of song called “por medio.” This style is harmonized in the mode A Phrygian and A Phrygian Dominant, and features the familiar Andalusian cadence. The main chords I will add to the palette are these:
See image #1: http://imgur.com/a/6eWJE

I am not sure what the best chord palette to use would be. I have tried a few different things, but am confused about some  things. Here is an image of my current palette:
See image #2: http://imgur.com/a/6eWJE

Here, I have dropped the vertical scales “phrygian” and “phrygian-dominant” onto the palette and deleted the other minor scales. Is it better to keep the other minor scales on the palette? What would be the best scales to have on the palette for my purpose?

When I add modes to a palette, their names sometimes change from what it is named in the catalog. For example when I added “phrygian-dominant,” it showed up as “melodic-major-b2.” I think that is a valid name for that scale, but I have sometimes seen it appear as “phrygian-dominant,” without changing the name. Why do the scale names sometimes change, but do not always change? (Also, you can’t see the whole name on Windows—maybe adding a tool tip that shows the whole name or extending the field a little would help.)

Another thing that is confusing me is that the key is shown as “D minor.” A Phrygian is the relative Phrygian key of the F major and D minor keys so that kind of makes sense. Since I’m in the mode, my scale has switched from Roman Numerals to Arabic numerals (as I read it would in the manual). My A major chord (my first scale degree) still says it’s Roman Numeral “V.” Should I be seeing V as the first chord on my palette? I just want to double-check. My prioritized phrygian dominant palette goes V, VI, #VII o,  i, II, III, iv.

I didn’t find the manual very helpful in explaining the difference between vertical and horizontal scales. What are horizontal scales and when are they useful?

Also, adding a vertical scale seems tied to the selected scale degree. For example, lets say I last clicked on Dbdim, my #VII o chord. When I go over and right-click one of the scales and choose “add vertical scale,” the context menu is pre-populated with scales particular to Db. Why is that? It seems like adding a vertical scale changes things globally, not just for the last selected scale degree. I think this is confusing and may play into my confusion about scale sets, vertical scales, and horizontal scales.

Finally, as you can see in my first image, I will need to create some different voicings for flamenco chords. I did not find appropriate Flamenco chord voicings in the variety available. Am I able to do that?

I really like this program and hope to get a lot of use out of it. I may have a couple additional questions when I get to the point where I add chords to my palettes. I will be making palettes for many different “palos,” or Flamenco song styles. Thank you!

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Finally, as you can see in my first image, I will need to create some different voicings for flamenco chords. I did not find appropriate Flamenco chord voicings in the variety available. Am I able to do that?

If those chordtypes belongs to a particular key then different voicings are possible seems to me

So what key can produces those chords you want ? ..if Synfire doesn't have those chordtypes explicitely in a list mentioning, that'sbecause nobody is using them much ? 
Perhaps you can then start as basis with a simpler chord ith the chord symbol in Synfire and try to build up the chord in the phrase editor?  

 

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Hi Mazinga, welcome to the user forum.

Your questions are interesting, however as I'm currently totally swamped, please allow another day or so for me to reply in detail. Just wanted to let you know your post was read.

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Mazinga
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Hi, Andre (and janamdo). This is not urgent and I'd much rather you replied when you are able to in greater depth. In the meantime, I have a lot more functional harmony stuff to study. Thank you.

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http://users.cognitone.com/files/forum/1501/akkordprogressieschema.jpg

Functional harmony..the tonic I can be followed by any chord  

Mazinga's picture
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Thanks, janamdo. That's a very helpful image. I had just been trying to make sense of the charts here, but yours is much easier to read.

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music composing make simple....it is not that easy

 

Yes, you can deduct also from the chords how they are related to eachother.

For example  I and III chord on the C major scale differ only one note..so they sound similar ( see this on your keyboard)    

So I and III are a substitute for eachother

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

These chords ..lead to these chords => (see diagram ..correct? ) 

i  => any chord

II => iv, v,vii

III =>ii,iv,vi

iv =>i,iii,v,vii

v => i

vi => ii,iv,v,i

vii => i,iii

This means that if you have a iii chord, you can follow it with either a ii,iv, or vi chord. Or if you have a vi chord, you can follow it with either a ii,iv,v , or i chord , and so on. Although you don't have to follow these chord-leading rules, doing so is a relatively safe and easy way to create pleasant-sounding chord progression as i read here.

Creating more sophisticated chord progressions

- using secondairy dominants

- extending the chords:

-inverting the chords

-doubling octaves (bass note))

-using altered bass chords

- using compound chords

- working with a pedal point

-chord substitution: diatonic substitutions = the easiest form of chord substitutions replaces a chord with a related chord by either a diatonic third above or a diatonic third below the original. This type of substitution is called a diatonic substitution because you are not altering any of the notes of the underlying scale .... and so on

- major chord substituions

- minor chord substitutions

- dominant sevent chord substituions

- functional chord substitution

- using nonscale chords

- using chords as tonal centers

As you can see, he chordal structure of a composition can become quite complex. It doesn't have to be grounded in diatonic chords or simple  chord-leading rules; the chords you use can go off into all manner of unexpected directions..trust your ears 

I can recommend the" the complete idiot's guide" to music composition 

Enough to do with the chord progressions in Synfire and you must also master "modulations" : going from one key to another key ( There is video tutorial made by cognitone how to do this with the pallette )  

http://users.cognitone.com/tutorial/modulation-navigating-circle-fifths

I do have here a booklet from Max Reger (a great German musician and musictheorist from the past ) with a list off all sorts of key modulations he made.
Should be not difficult to make a library out of it?
Start with Cmajor to G major

example

Ci(=Giv),Gii/, Gv6/4, Gv,| Gi => this modulation formulae must be translated into the pallette ..if possible

/  = 1e inversion
6/4 = 2e inversion
Ci = C chord on the first position of C-major scale
Tonic C-major; uses this C -major which is at the same time the sub-dominant of G-major (Cadence!)

You can read this roughly as C-major.key. .goes to... G- major key.
Ci and Giv is a pivot chord : tonic chord on C-major key and sub-dominant on G-major key.  
So you go from C major on the palette to Amin ( at the same time supertonic of the G-major ) to Dmin major in second inversion ( at the same time the dominant of the G-major ) , then to Dmin major in root position ( at the same time the dominant of the G-major ) and as last ended on G major tonic of the Gmajor key.
There are 5 chords involved for this modulation. : C-Am(first inversion)-Dm(second inversion)-Dm????( this one is similar with Dm(2e inversion, so when i listening in Synfire it sounds the same: so leave this one out ) -G

Note: modulations examples of Max Reger are written for a piano or organs, so there is more involved in the voice leading examples then only blockchords like in Synfire, but to get bigger chords you can add octave doublings for the root and more ( adding two root doublings gives a 5 note chord )

Take another example : C major to D major : Ci,Ciii/(=Dii/),Dv6/4,Dv| Di    ( Dv6/4 and Dv are similar sounding in Synfire , so Dv can be omitted.)
C-Em-Am6/4-D ..that its: the quick translation of the formulae ( now it is handy to know about diationic chord substitution..to predict the flow of chords ?)
Max Reger reasoning: Tonic C-major;relative(e-minor) to the dominant (g-major) of C-major;use this e-minor ( 1st inversion), wich is also related to the sub-dominant(G-major) of D-major. (cadence) , yes Am is dominant chord of d major and goes to D , the tonic to confirm the keychance.

Example notation: Cii is the second chord on the C-major key and the notation Gii is the second chord on G-key

Seems to be at first sight ..complicated, but in the modulation book of this great German composer it is full of formuleas and if you can translated them to the  pallette it is maybe a easy way to get modulations ? 
The same principle here can be done also directly on the pallete ( see video tutorial ) and i don't know about the quality of the max regers modulation and those made in synfire with the pallette.?
It seems to me that the palette gives more freedom in constructing a modulation, because you can experiment on the fly.
I am not yet handy with making modulations in the pallette, maybe it goes now better these days.. i must try it out again.

 

 

 

 

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Sorry for the long wait ...

Whether you call the phyrigan mode a "key" or "mode" or something else doesn't matter for HN2. What the palette does is simply provide you with chords that can be built from one or more scales. Neither do you need to use a single palette for all of your song. You can open two palettes on different modes and play the chords from both.

Is it better to keep the other minor scales on the palette?

Whether you keep the diatonic major/minor scales in a palette depends on if you want the vertical scales to use their tones. Scales "fill the gaps between chord tones", so they matter for melodies only. However, if you are composing for guitar (or some other real instrument), it makes perfectly sense to know all the scale tones (e.g. on a printed sheet).

When I add modes to a palette, their names sometimes change from what it is named in the catalog.

That's because HN2 creates a new ad-hoc horizontal scale from the vertical scale you dropped. A palette can only hold horizontal scales. If you want to control its name, add it to the Catalog and make it persistent. 

However, you should probably add scales to the palette using the right-click menu over the left scale button. This avoids potential confusion.

Another thing that is confusing me is that the key is shown as “D minor.” A Phrygian is the relative Phrygian key of the F major and D minor keys so that kind of makes sense.

For HN2 a "key" is a diatonic key. Modal music doesn't use the notion of "key" in that same sense. Therefore HN2 shows the closest diatonic key. There is a way to create "alternative keys" from scales, but that's only complicating things.

My A major chord (my first scale degree) still says it’s Roman Numeral “V.”

That's because it's V in the diatonic key. Roman numerals always denote diatonic function. That's why scale steps use arabic numbers. You can also change that with the layout setting per palette.

What are horizontal scales and when are they useful?

Horizontal scales provide the root notes of the chords of your "key" (aka "steps", "functions"). Vertical scales provide melody tones per each individual chord. They may or may not fully intersect with the horizontal scales. Also, you can use multiple different vertical scales on the same chord. It's impossible to shown all of them in a palette: You assign them in the progression editor.

Also, adding a vertical scale seems tied to the selected scale degree.

Yep, as just said.

I did not find appropriate Flamenco chord voicings in the variety available. Am I able to do that?

If you are writing for guitar, you can select the voicing per each chord in your progression. Open a fretboard widget (string instrument) from the Window menu and scroll through the fingerings. These will appear on your printed charts.

There is currently no way to assign a specific voicing (narrow, wide) to a chord in a progression with HN2, except simple inversions. That's because progressions control multiple instruments and each instrument can interpret harmony differently. Voicing is a property of an instrument interpreting harmony through its Figure (a feature that makes sense in Synfire, but can be confusing to HN2 users at times -- we are working on it). 

It is rare that HN2 users ask in-depth questions about harmony. Yours are much appreciated.

 

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flow diagram of chord constructions : https://www.google.nl/search?q=flow+diagram+of+chord+construction&biw=1920&bih=908&tbm=isch&imgil=uxqvQKcX5r1U8M%253A%253BE_rTUQWLb4GroM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.miltonline.com%25252F2013%25252F09%25252F28%25252Ftonal-harmony-circuit-diagram%25252F&source=iu&pf=m&fir=uxqvQKcX5r1U8M%253A%252CE_rTUQWLb4GroM%252C_&usg=__uWpnKcjZAL6RMQ8w0GncVGxoY9Y%3D&dpr=1&ved=0ahUKEwiTkrDP1-_LAhXDFQ8KHZY6BPcQyjcIJw&ei=vpb_VpO7HcOrPJb1kLgP#imgrc=uxqvQKcX5r1U8M%3A

Memorizing this cart gives direction inthe chord progression ( i write it also in the thread down )

I looked again to this website : https://www.artofcomposing.com/08-diatonic-harmony

_There is diatonic chordsubstitution on two ways

- functional ( I, IV and V chords)
- not functional  

 i <=> VI ( this one is a functional diatonic chord substitution..does share two chord tones 
 i <=>  III  ..this one not .. i think..although does share two chord tones too

Both substitutions do have 2 chord tones they share

On this website

I <=> VI
IV <=> II
V <=> VIIo 
These are funtional diatonic chordsubstituions ..all these chords do have two chord tones sharing ( look at your keyboard to see this)

Summarize:  
-i can be replaced by a vi (functional diatonic substition) and iii
-iv can be replaced by a ii and vi?
-v can be replaced by..viio and  ?
 
 

 

 

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Mazinga's picture
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Hi guys, thank you so much for your replies. I am in bed with the flu right now, but will go through everything as soon as I can! See you later, --M

Godin's picture
Godin
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Hi Mazinga.

Here is a very meaningful source:

It not only shows the theory, but also possible melodies and a good selection of chords.

10 minutes, which are worth dealing with the content several times.

 

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