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This is example 2 on how to sync an audio track to a progression in Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro.

In case you haven’t read the previous post, here’s a link:
How to sync progressions to audio tracks in Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro

Multiple repetitions of the form

Now that you know how to sync one statement of the form, syncing multiple ones is fairly simple.

Remember when we sync the last marker to the end of the form (1st time through)? Well,  this time we will sync that last marker to the end of the last occurrence of the form in the audio track.

But first we need to know how many times the form is played in the audio track.

In the audio version I have of DOXY the form is played 9 times:
Head-In • 3x’s Trumpet • 2x’s Sax • 2x’s Piano • Head-Out 

So the first step is to set the number of repetitions in the Repeat Box to 9

The last marker will be link to measure 145 beat 1

Remember you can enable the “#” button to view all the measures numbers in the multi-staff panel. So the first measure will now show: 1,17,33,49,65,81,97,113,129

Set the initial marker to the beginning of the song as we did before

Now let’s zoom in to the right and find the spot where measure 145 beat 1 is in the audio track. Select the last marker, play from a few seconds before the end and hit the Update Sync button at the downbeat of measure 145

Adding the last marker on in Audio-Sync Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro - YouTube

All the beats between the first and last have been re-calculated. The audio is sync to the progression already but there might be a few places where it is off (unless the tempo in the performance was perfectly steady)

I would expect the audio getting of sync in some places. To fix this the best way is to make some of the calculated markers into keyframes. By doing this all the other markers will be re-calculated again and the sync will be much more accurate.

There’s no one way to do this, sometimes the audio sync will be perfect with only 2 keyframes. I will show you how I would do it in this example so as to show you the options you have.

So, I played the audio with the sync and in the 3rd chorus the audio is already one beat ahead of the syncing.

I’ve found the most effective way to solve this is to add keyframes to some first measures of the form. That’s where numbering the measures comes handy.

So the first measure has the following numbers: 1,17,33,49,65,81,97,113,129 meaning each chorus of the song starts on the first beat of those measures.

In the following video I demonstrate how I add a few keyframes to the first beats of some occurrences of the form.

Adding Extra Keyframes in Audio-Sync Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro - YouTube

The audio track is now synced to the progression. You can play the entire song or use the sync feature between chords in the progression and the audio to listen to what the musicians played over a certain part in the progression.

Doxy (Sonny Rollings) Audio-Sync using Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro - YouTube

Visit mDecks.com to find more about all you can do in Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro

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Before you read this post please make sure you take a look at the previous post:
Audio-Sync in Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro 7.5

In order to sync a progression in Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro to an audio track you need two things:

  1. The Harmonic Progression entered in Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro
  2. The audio track you want to sync must be in your iTunes Library locally
    (no Cloud items and no Apple Music tracks are allowed)

For this tutorial I will sync the song “DOXY” by Sonny Rollings

First I need to create or load the harmonic progression in Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro. Luckily I have my 1000+ Jazz Standards Bundle which comes loaded with all the best-known standards, so I will not have to analyze nor create the progression for Doxy.

Just in case you want to check this bundle out I am adding a link to the download. Every jazz standard in this collection was carefully analyzed and entered into Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro. By the way, it also includes all three volumes of “The Jazz Standards Progressions Book” in PDF (you can get the PDF for C, Bb or Eb instruments) which is a great addition to the bundle

Jazz Standards 1000+ for Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro

OK, DOXY… I have it loaded in Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro

Now I need the audio track

Go to iTunes and search for DOXY by Sonny Rollings. Since I do not own the track so I will ask iTunes to show it to me in the iTunes Store (I could have used some other version of the song already in my library but I wanted to explain the entire process including the purchase of the track in the iTunes Store to be more thorough in this tutorial)

Once in the iTunes Store I can purchase the track and download it. Now it’ll be in my iTunes Library

Now go back to Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro and click on the Audio-Sync button in the top menu to launch the Audio-Sync window and then on the NEW button

The Audio-Sync window will populate with:
A popup button with the number 1 (because is the first audio track I am syncing with the progression Doxy in Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro)

A Drag & Drop Area and some other empty fields.

And (this is very important) a button that says: “Rebuild iTunes Data”
Click on “Rebuild iTunes Data”, Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro was already running when I purchased Doxy so it does not know that now it is part of my library. This button will let the app refresh the list of songs it thinks I have in my library.

Drag & Drop the track from iTunes into the gray area that says “DRAG & DROP AUDIO FILES FROM YOUR ITUNES LIBRARY HERE”

Drag & Drop from iTunes into Audio-Sync in Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro - YouTube

An optional step before you sync the audio would be to save a link to the track in the iTunes Store. This is only useful if you want to share the audio sync with others.

To embed the link to the iTunes Store just go to iTunes and click on the Copy Link item under the Share Song menu for the song (Doxy in our example)

Then go to Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro and paste it in the text box next to the album’s picture and press ENTER.

Syncing the Audio

The syncing process is fairly simple once you understand the concept behind it.

Now that the track is linked to the progression we just need to worry about the lower section of the audio-sync window. Here’s were all the syncing is done.

The top waveform shows the entire track, and the one below it is the zoomed view of the track determined by where the zoom is set in the top.

You can drag the yellow markers on the top waveform to zoom in and out

How does the audio-sync work?

You have a progression with a number of measures. In our example, Doxy is a  16 measures long form.

To view the bar numbers in the progression enable the “#” button

I will explain the syncing in two examples, one with the form played once, and another with the entire track (the form will play several times)

Example 1: Syncing the Form only once

Doxy is 16 measures long.

Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro has already created all the sync markers for every beat in the song. There are two types of sync markers: Key-frames and Calculated-frames

Every songs has one initial key-frame and one final key-frame. If you look at the table of frames you will see only the first and last are checked (meaning they are keyframes) and disabled (you cannot make them “calculated frames”)

As you can see the first keyframe is at the beginning of the track (0 secs) and it’s been assigned bar 1 beat 1

The last keyframe is at the end of the track (292.8040 secs) and it’s been assigned bar 17 beat 1 (because Doxy is a 16 bar-long form)

These two markers are shown in the waveform as red markers. All the rest of the beats are calculated based on these two markers (and shown as thin blue lines)

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Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro 7.5 can now sync audio tracks with harmonic progressions.

This new feature is great for developing a better understanding of tonal harmony while listening to real-life examples from the masters performed by great musicians.

Since Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro understands harmonic progressions in many styles (from Traditional Harmony to Jazz and everything in between) the possibilities are certainly endless. You can study the harmony of Beethoven, Queen and Charlie Parker all  within the same app.

Here are three examples of the audio-sync feature in Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro 7.5

Queen - Somebody to Love (Harmonic Analysis) using Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro Audio-Sync - YouTube
Mozart Symphony No.35 (Audio Sync w/Harmonic Analysis) Music Theory Video - YouTube
Donna Lee Charlie Parker (Audio-Sync w/Harmonic Analysis) Music Theory Video - YouTube

It is important to know that Mapping Tonal Harmony does not produce the harmonic progression automatically from the audio track (as of 2019 there’s no software that can do that)

The harmonic progression must already exist in your catalogue and the audio track must be locally present on your computer’s hard-drive and accessible from within iTunes (no iCloud nor Apple Music tracks). You must own the track, either because you’ve purchased it on the iTunes Store or you’ve created it yourself.

In the example above the first two tracks are OK. They are in the iTunes Library and exist locally on the user’s hard-drive.

The next two tracks are BAD. They are both in the cloud (and also the first one is a video)

Checking for Progressions w/Audio-Sync in your catalogue

The new version comes preloaded with some audio-synched progressions to get you started. To view the audio-synched progressions in your catalogue just enable the “Only w/Audio-Sync” button

Load and Play (Including a step-by-step tutorial when you don’t have the track in your iTunes library)

To load a progression just click on its card in the catalogue. The progression will still be a regular progression and you can use the play-along feature to practice the song with the piano.bass.drums accompaniment, change tempos, style, voicing-rules, etc.

The only difference is that now the Audio-Sync button will be enabled. Click on it

The audio-sync menu will appear, but no track will be selected. Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro can sync the same progressions with multiple different recordings. In the example we loaded Blues for Alice and there are hundreds of version of the song in iTunes. You can sync as many audio tracks to the same progression as you want.

So click on the Popup Button to reveal all the audio tracks that have been synched to the progression. In our example there’s only 1 Blues For Alice. Select it.

Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro will check to see if the Audio Track is present in your iTunes Library. In our example I had purchased that exact same track but never downloaded it. MTH will let me know the track is in the Cloud. Click OK so Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro can open the track in iTunes.

iTunes will automatically show you the track. Just click on the Cloud button to download the track locally to your library.

Once the track has downloaded you can go back to Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro and click on the RETRY LINKING ITUNES TRACK button

Now the song will stay linked to the progression as long as you keep the audio track local in your iTunes Library. Mapping Tonal Harmony will also save the track you’ve chosen as the default so next time you open Blues for Alice the audio-sync will be ready to play.

You play the audio track with the Play button in the Audio-Sync panel

Cool things you can do in Audio-Sync

Pre-roll : Some audio-syncs start playing before the progression starts (for example when the introduction for a song is included). Other audio-syncs might start in the middle of the audio track to show a specific harmonic device used by the composer.

So Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro will wait until after the pre-roll has been played to start the sync with the progression.

In Blues for Alice we allow the intro to be played as a pre-roll for the track

Audio-Sync Pre-roll in Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro - YouTube

Form Repetitions: When syncing with repeating forms, such in pop tunes and jazz standards (and some classical pieces with repeats), the app will just need a single statement of the harmonic progression and will loop while the audio track keeps playing. The track will stop once the form has repeated the amount of times allotted.

In Blues for Alice we synced the audio track to 4 repetitions of the form so as to fit the head and the sax solo by Charlie Parker (he improvises there times over the form)

Audio-Sync Form Repetitions in Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro - YouTube

Progression-To-Audio Linking: A cool feature in audio-sync is that every function in your progression is synced to the audio track’s timeline.

For example, in Blues for Alice the 2nd measure in the form is an Em7. Since we have repeated the form 4 times this same Em7 will occur in measures 2, 14, 26 & 38. (to view bar numbers enable the “#” button)

By clicking repeatedly on the Em7 in the 2nd measure the audio will cycle through all the occurrences of that Em7 in the audio. So it will go to measure 2 then 14 then 26 then 38 and back to 2 and so on…

Now you can play the audio track from that measure as many times as you want. So let’s use it to compare the jazz lines that Charlie Parker played over that ii7/vi V7/vi (Em7 A7) during his solo.

Progression-To-Audio linking in Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro - YouTube

This is a great feature to transcribe and analyze solos, and to see how the same harmonic progression is treated differently among form repetitions.

NEXT: How to sync progressions to audio tracks in Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro
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I’ve been asked many times “Why do I need to learn and practice scales?” or “Why do I need to understand chords-scales and tonal harmony?”

Some other people complain about the chord-scale theory, saying that they don’t want to play scales, meaning they wish to play in the jazz vocabulary, licks, motives, playing rhythmically or even playing by ear. Non of these contradict the use of the chord scale information. It doesn’t even contradict playing “out”! It merely informs the ear and clarifies how certain tones will work over a chord. The chord-scale information shows the collection of chord-tones and tensions in between them in the key of the moment. That’s it. What you do with that information is up to you. Whether you want to play inside the key with this notes, or “rub” against the chord changes, will depend on your artistic choice, in the moment.

In a harmonic progression, we usually find chord-scales that are the same collection of notes, from different starting points. Let’s examine an example:

IImin7 (Dorian)  – V7 (Mixolydian) – Imaj7 (Ionian) in the key of C:They are the same seven notes! It’s just the c major scale using different notes as starting points. So what’s the difference? The difference is which notes are chord-tones or tensions over each chord. They will have a different sound and different tendencies over each chord.

The main idea I’d like to convey in this post it that we don’t need to play all the notes in a scale nor do we need to play scale-wise. Having the chord-scale helps us understand which notes work tonally over a chord. For instance in this simple IImin7-V7-Imaj7 progression we use notes inside the chord scales:Another approach is finding just a couple of notes that are common to several chord-scales and using them as a motive across a chord progression. Here’s an example of a two-note motive across several chords:Here’s another important benefit from understating the chord-scales in a progression: We can simply stay faithful to any musical idea by keeping it’s rhythm and contour and just adapting the notes according to each chord-scale:Let’s see two more examples of using just a few notes out of the scale to create an iconic phrase in the jazz language. Every note in this phrase belongs to the altered scale, but not all the notes in the scale are used:If we take all of this a step further, we can find upper structures inside a scale like upper structure triads or other structures. For instance we can find a minor pentatonic scale inside an altered scale:Now that we identified C minor pentatonic inside A altered, we can use as an upper structure. Here you can see C minor Pent over A7alt in the first measure:There is so much to say about this topic that it could be an entire book by itself, but I will close this post with one more concept: Knowing the chord-scale gives us the target notes for any kind of chromatic or diatonic approach and passing tones:I hope this helps clarify the value of understanding tonal harmony, harmonic functions and chord-scale information. A partial understanding of these concepts might lead to believe that we are supposed to play only the notes in the chord scale, all the notes in the chord scale, or playing scale-wise. Nothing further from the truth. Harmonic functions and chord-scale information provide us the building blocks to create melodies, riffs, motives, etc. They are just starting point, a trampoline for our creativity.

Written by Mario Cerra at mDecks Music.

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Here’s a musical concept nobody taught me at school.

While analyzing 1000+ jazz tunes for The Jazz Standards Progressions Book, I noticed a great number of songs in major keys tonicize the IV degree at the beginning of the bridge.

It’s usually preceded by the V/IV, landing on the IV at the beginning of the bridge, then finding it’s way back to I towards the end of the bridge, usually via the V/V, the IIm7-V7 or a similar harmonic path. Here’s a good example:

Had there been a second cadence in the bridge using a secondary dominant resolving towards the IV, then I would have considered it a modulation at the beginning of the bridge. However, many times the music “tonizices” the IV for just a few measures, then it goes back to other harmonic functions in the main key. That is why I talk about “tonicizing” the IV degree instead of modulating to it.

When I was choosing the chord scales for each harmonic function I realized that the default chord scale for a IVmaj7 chord (Lydian) does not quiet work. I find that an Ionian chord scale just sounds better in this case even though we have not modulated. I did a lot of listening and I hear the great improvisers play out of an Ionian chord scale in this context. I think the reason for this scale choice is this “quasi modulation” which calls for an Ionian sound while harmonically the tonal shift isn’t strong enough to consider it a modulation.

That’s what granted us to create a new chord/chord-scale pairing option for the IVmaj7 and the IV6 in Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro adding the Ionian scale as an alternate choice. We feel it represents what’s going on musically more faithfully than using a Lydian scale and better than making a brief modulation to the IV, then quickly modulating back to the original key. There are no grounds to justify such a short modulation to a key that’s so closely related.

Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro turned out to be the ideal tool for this project. It allowed us to transcribe each song as we analyzed it and save it to a catalog, all in one step. Then we used that catalog to produce each volume of The Jazz Standards Progressions Book.

Here’s the complete tune with full harmonic analysis, chord-scales and arrows & brackets analysis. Take the A Train:

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In the process of writing The Jazz Standards Progressions Book Series I realized the need to express a very common harmonic event with a new symbol. So far we had solid and dotted arrows and brackets to express II-V relationships and their resolutions. However there isn’t any symbol to show a Major 7th chord that becomes a minor 7th chord. It happens so often that I started using a symbol to show this harmonic event in my analyses. I just makes sense to me to show this along with brackets and arrows. In my opinion this adds an important quality to the overall visual representation of the music and what going on harmonically.

The symbol we came up at mDecks Music is a headless straight arrow as shown under the number 3 in this image:

In this case the CMaj7 turning into a Cmin7 is analyzed with this new symbol we call “TO MINOR”.

Here’s the page dedicated to Arrows & Brakets in The Jazz Standards Progressions Book:

A cool way to illustrate this is the song “Afternoon in Paris”. Here you can see the full harmonic analysis, chord scales and complete arrows & brackets analysis, included this new symbol: TO MINOR

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mDecks Music Blog by Mdecks Music - 2M ago

Can we map tonal harmony in a coherent landscape that includes all possible harmonic functions, cadences and expected paths?

What is Tonal Harmony? Download the app today, learn music, challenge your mind. - YouTube

It’s all in Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro.

Learn More here…

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Key: F major

Form: 32 Bars – A (8), B(8), A'(16)

Full Harmonic Analysis with functions, chord-scales and arrows & brackets:

Source: The Jazz Standards Progressions Book Volume 1

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