Down For Maintenance

Sorry for the inconvenience, but we are performing maintenance, updates and other goodies at the moment.

We’ll be back on-line shortly!

Thanks, Curt

Here is an excerpt from my book Harmonic Analysis for Scale Selection and Chord Substitution with Harmonized Scale Charts to hold you over.

Harmonic Analysis for Scale Selection and Chord Substitution with Harmonized Scale Charts
by Curt Sheller

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 is of 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. We call this process Root Movement Analysis (RMA)

Root Movement Analysis

Root Movement 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 contained in this book. These principles are covered in the next chapters.

The Harmonized Chord Scale

The most common intervals used for building chords are major and minor thirds. This can be accomplished by stacking every other note of a scale or mode. This stacking of notes creates chords using a combination of major and minor thirds.

A minimum of three notes is needed to create a chord. These three note chords are called triads. Four notes make up 4-part chords, five notes make up a 5-part chord, all the way up to chords that include all the notes of the scale. These chords create a Harmonized Chord Scale that is used for a Root Movement Analysis. For the purposes of harmonic analysis this book uses triads and 4-part chords only. Here are the triads and 4-part chords that form a harmonized C major scale.

Example: C Major Harmonized Scale

Triads C Dm Em F G Am B°
4-Part Chords Cmaj7 Dm7 Em7 Fmaj7 G7 Am7 Bm7b5

By applying roman numerals to the chords of a harmonized scale a comparison of chord progressions can be made.

Triads C Dm Em F G Am B°
4-Part Chords Cmaj7 Dm7 Em7 Fmaj7 G7 Am7 Bm7b5

The Nashville Number Systems uses arabic number to represent the chords: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7.

This book uses uppercase roman numerals only to identify a chord's function within its harmonized chord scale. These names are commonly used to indicate a chord's position and function within its corresponding major scale.

I Tonic, II Supertonic, III Mediant, IV Subdominant, V Dominant, VI Submediant, VII Leading Tone

Tonic-Dominant Harmony

This book focuses on Tonic-Dominant harmony predominant in Western music and a staple of a jazz musician's repertoire. Tonic-Dominant harmony stresses the use of key centers which are defined by the use of a tonic (I) chord. These tonic chords are usually preceded and supported by a dominant (V) chord. A dominant chord is sometimes preceded by the subdominant (IV) chord which tends to resolve towards the dominant chord which either resolves to the tonic chord or goes back to the subdominant delaying final resolution to the tonic chord.

A tonic (I) chord is a passive chord having a feeling of rest. A dominant (V) chord is an active chord having a feeling of restlessness and tends to be drawn to its tonic I chord.

An active chord is a triad that contains the fourth of its scale. A passive chord is any triad that contains the third of the scale.

Most progressions are "tonal" with at least one key center being established. Songs can and do modulate through multiple key centers. Many of the songs that are considered part of the standard jazz repertoire modulate through several key centers. Most folk and rock songs establish a main key center and do not modulate to other key centers.

The Six Harmonic Principles


Here is an overview of the six harmonic principles outlined in this book.

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 in the back of this book)

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


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


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.