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Topic: Is there a program to check harmony rules? (Read 1392 times) previous topic - next topic

Is there a program to check harmony rules?

Let's say I'd want to work through Schönberg's, or Hindemith's, or Jadassohn's, or Richter's, or whoever's textbook on harmony. All of these books contain "rules" (whether they are "hard" ones, or softer ones), and quite a lot of these rules could be checked mechanically. Some of the rules are temporary ones for exercises ("in the following exercises, the student must always double the chord's base note"), some are more permanent - e.g. ranges of singers and instruments or the infamous parallel fifths rule.

My question: Are there programs out there where one can formulate such rules and have them checked?* - of any sort: Stand-alone, plugins for music editors, and, of course, plugins or tools for NWC?

Thanks for any enlightenment!


* I have an inkling I've already asked this before - but I cannot find where.

Re: Is there a program to check harmony rules?

Reply #2
Thanks for these links! (I only searched with German terms before I asked, I realize - my fault) I'll certainly take a look (especially also at the Java library behind harmony-analyser).



Re: Is there a program to check harmony rules?

Reply #3
I have looked for this sort of thing in the past, and this is what I found at the time. It may or may not be what you were looking for. I have not tried any of them:

I would be interested in other sites that you find!

Re: Is there a program to check harmony rules?

Reply #4
Dear H.M.

For a more manual check, you can try a user tool that I made a few years ago.

This tool adds a new staff with in the lyrics lines all notes that sound at that moment (across all staves). And to undo, just delete that staff.

As a supplement you will find behind the notes if they belong to Octaves or Fifths (O-o / F-f) with capitals for the lower parts and lowercase for the higher parts. This could help you find parallel octaves or fifths in consequent "chords".

I believe parallel fifths or parallel octaves can be heard also because these are less rich than when no such chord progressions are used. I used my tool as a support for finding the notes and harmony rules if my ears tell me that the sound is dull.

It is of course only helpful if your ears already informed you that there was something "missing", but I hope it may help you as it helped me. It isn't of course a full blown tool, but at least it allows you to stay in Noteworthy Composer for your analysis.

I think a better plugin exists for MuseScore (with red or blue lines for parallel octaves and fifths), but then you will have to export and import your score, and since this process has to be repeated until all parallel fifths/octaves are gone,  I preferred to stay within NWC.


Re: Is there a program to check harmony rules?

Reply #5
Thank you also SEBC and Bart. I started looking at SEBC's links. Of course, I want to formulate my own rules, first - and not so important - as there are no real standard rules (not even that "no parallel fifths/eights" - there are at least Mozart fifths, but if you read Schönberg's treatise on harmony, even these "rules" are more a sort of "customs" and "perceived beauty"), but second, as Schönberg (and Hindemith? - I'll have to take a look) require additional rules for their first exercises which I'd also like check, as far as this is possible. So I'll look onto "flexible", programmable tools or the like more than others ... Bart, I'll certainly check out and try yours!