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Topic: Chord Identifier (Read 1252 times) previous topic - next topic

Chord Identifier
I sing barbershop and notate in four part harmony, like this - see attached. I wonder if there is a way to identify the chords. I was told  that Finale does it. Can NoteWorthy do the same?

Alexander Boltenko

RusskiBass

  • Bart
  • NWC2 User
Re: Chord Identifier
Reply #1
Alexander,

Chord recognition is not implemented in NWC. It is also more complex than it may seem at first sight. Some identical note combinations can be labeled as different chords. In diminished seventh chords for instance (with each note 3 semitones away from its neighbour) every note could be the "root" and the harmony before and after that chord influences the correct chord name. Some composers use this kind of chords for modulation. At the end of the "sound" the chord is then even different as it was at the beginning.

Next, I46 is very common in a (classical) cadential I46-V35-I35 combination. But theorists do not agree if I46 should be notated as an individual chord, or as a part of the dominant V35. When I46 appears outside the cadential V-I, it is interpreted as a chord on its own and should be notated explicitly.

Also, different music styles use different chord notations. In classical style it is normal to show the chord with its root and the used inversion. Guitar music score seldom show the root chord and its inversion. More often they show the (root) chord name with a "/" followed by the bass-note.

If software must first make the correct choice for the kind of music and for the preferred chord language, that would be tough.

I don't know Finale, but, taking all these considerations into account, it would surprise me if it succeeds to do a good job.

For your case, I think following chords were composed (classical notation, but for this music classical notation is definitely not the best choice for this style): EM, EM7, E7, E34, F#m56, F#m, D#34, Fx56, (?), Fx56, EM - with (?) an unnamed passing chord (or something like Esus2 in the first inversion).

I don't think these chord names are very helpful, unless maybe you are composing your own music and you want to "reuse" a chord progression from this song to create a similar effect.

Bart

Re: Chord Identifier
Reply #2
To piggyback on what Bart said: barbershop quartet and other close-harmony styles don't use standard chord progressions, at least not all of the time. They depend for their effect on tight voice leading that moves from one chord to another by stepwise motion (all voices move to tones that are at the most one whole step away). This can produce "chords" that are primarily passing tones: they may be able to be named, but the names are meaningless in the context where they are found.

Of course, you may want the names so you can give them to a guitarist or pianist for accompaniment purposes - the functions may not matter. In that case, you are better off ignoring the chords made up of passing notes anyway. Guitarists and pianists - trust me, I play both instruments - guitarists and pianists HATE music that shifts chords on every beat, as barbershop quartet music does. We are far happier playing just the important chords in the progressions, and will usually simply leave the complicated chords on off-beats out entirely. So you really only need the clean, well-defined chords for accompanists' use. And you really should learn to recognize those yourself, because it will help you interpret the music better.

All that being said, there's no real reason that a User Object couldn't be created that would show, after a fashion, the names of chords, or at least one of a chord's names (as Bart said, there is often more than one name for the more complex chords).  But it would be of limited usefulness, and I know of no one who has taken the effort to put one together.

Re: Chord Identifier
Reply #3
All that being said, there's no real reason that a User Object couldn't be created that would show, after a fashion, the names of chords, or at least one of a chord's names (as Bart said, there is often more than one name for the more complex chords).  But it would be of limited usefulness, and I know of no one who has taken the effort to put one together.
There would be one small problem with that approach, at least with the example score for this posting. A custom object can only "see" notation that is on its staff, and this example is 4 layered staves. A user tool can access all staves, if it runs in "file mode", and could parse the notes and insert a text or ChordPlay.nw object at appropriate locations.

Or... it's possible that when the original poster said "identify the chords", he simply meant "label them in the score" (i.e. identify, to the person who is reading the music), in which case we have all assumed the more difficult task.