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Fast Orchestral Harmonic Analysis

Discussion in 'Tips, Tricks & Talk' started by JP Beveraggi, Apr 8, 2019.

  1. In my quest to break down my analysis of large orchestral works, I have written some code to analyse measure after measure the harmonic content of an orchestral MIDI file. It basically combines the notes across different instruments, highlights the potential scale used (hence detect modulations) and identify the overall chords played. The output is pretty basic at the moment, but here is a sample of what comes out Beethoven's 5th 1st Movement:

    Measure: 577 | Chords: {"Gm", "Cm"} | Potential Scales: {"D# Major", "G Harmonic Minor"}
    Measure: 578 | Chords: {"G#", "D#"} | Potential Scales: {"D# Major"}
    Measure: 579 | Chords: {"Cm"} | Potential Scales: {"D# Major"}
    Measure: 580 | Chords: {"Cm", "Fm"} | Potential Scales: {"D# Major"}
    Measure: 581 | Chords: {"Cm", "Fm"} | Potential Scales: {"D# Major"}
    Measure: 582 | Chords: {"Cm", "Fm"} | Potential Scales: {"D# Major"}
    Measure: 583 | Chords: {"Cm"} | Potential Scales: {"D# Major"}
    Measure: 584 | Chords: {"G", "G7"} | Potential Scales: {"D Diminished", "F# Double Harmonic", "G# Diminished", "C Major", "F Diminished", "C Melodic Minor", "C Harmonic Minor", "D Melodic Minor"}
    Measure: 585 | Chords: {"Gm"} | Potential Scales: {"G Harmonic Minor", "D# Major"}
    Measure: 586 | Chords: {"D#"} | Potential Scales: {"D# Major"}
    Measure: 587 | Chords: {"Fm", "Cm"} | Potential Scales: {"D# Major"}
    Measure: 588 | Chords: {"Fm", "Cm"} | Potential Scales: {"D# Major"}
    Measure: 589 | Chords: {"Fm", "Cm"} | Potential Scales: {"D# Major"}
    Measure: 590 | Chords: {"Fm", "Cm"} | Potential Scales: {"D# Major"}
    Measure: 591 | Chords: {"Cm"} | Potential Scales: {"D# Major"}

    I was wondering if such a tool would be of any help to your personal workflow?
  2. Huh ?


    You're in London, right ? Can I ask what I think is a British way of asking a question

    "What are you on about" ?

    If you really want to understand tonal music from the classical era, I am still of the opinion that the theories of Heinrich Schenker are the best.
    Now, people have expanded, clarified some things he left unfinished after he died. Plus there have other works that are essential, but what I
    will call a "modified Schenkerian" road map is wonderful for revealing coherence in music from the classical era. (He was not interested in 20th century music, so it's really only for the "tonal" era)
  3. "Mate, what are you on about?" or perhaps "What in God's name are you referring to my dear fellow?" at the other side of the spectrum

    As I suspected, I must have a very strange way of approaching music because I actually like it a lot. It is also quite efficient for finding false notes in my own work which appears to be... Tonal!! However I have never heard of this Heinrich, is he the father of Rudolph and Michael? I will see what I can dig out on his theories. Thank you for your heart felt opinion and the name dropping... :cool:

  4. We'll chat....we shall chat..... I promise.

    I sort of get it.....but IMO you are at a very surface level.

    I truly am not trying to be a dick and piss all over a very nice gesture you are offering to the community.

    Without even getting into the weeds (not the weed) on the theoretical side:

    The piece is in C minor. The Ur (the underlying major) is Eb major. That's in the subtitle of the work. Symphony 5 - in C minor.

    D# is wrong....it's Eb major.

    So at Measure 577 up to 584 ....... a bunch of shit in Eb major.

    584 .... we have the dominant chord. Ok..... so now we have some dominant scale choices...cool.

    585 to the end of your analysis ....... a bunch of shit in Eb major again.

    I hope I am not coming off as too much of a negative nancy. I really applaud the gesture, and if it works for you keep going with it.
    That's right...... you're the computer guy. Ok.... now it's clicking...... remember I don't even own a phone.

    Basically, the 5th symphony is about motivic "kernals". That's the heart of it. The scales...... are like the outer clothes.

    Please keep going. Take my criticism as someone trying to help by being cynical.

    Damn..... I gotta write out that suggested assignment for you.
    How do you feel about a passacaglia ? I think that would a good place for us to begin. We can use it as a basis for exploring modes.
  5. I would agree actually. I am at ground level trying to find the elevator lobby... but with a full blown GPS system

    Very true, the software does not understand scale relationships just yet :confused:

    "Just a tad, but I would not worry about it Mate" More British English (coming from a French man)

    Bring on the passacaglia I say and let's write some notes. It is tonal right? ;)

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